^Up Modern Kitchen
I ended up on Walnut Street in Shadyside earlier this week looking for a bite to eat and haphazardly came across recently opened: ^Up Modern Kitchen (It’s in the space where Walnut Grill used to be).
If you had ever been to Walnut Grill, you’ll notice some similarities, mainly the same general floor plan. Other than that it has a completely fresh and urban yet retro feel inside.
String pendant lights fill the stairwell, large sliding barn doors directing you to either: “eat up” or “drink up”, greet you at the top of the stairs, and simple tea towels from Ikea are used as napkins. Both my dining companion and I commented on how nice the space looked and felt.
The menu is 2 sides, one for an extensive speciality drink and wine list and one for the food made up of 6 sections: bites (2-3 “bites” of something), soup & salads, small plates (appetizers), sandwiches, plates (main courses), and desserts.
Considering the simple decor and feel of the place, I thought the price points would be slightly lower. I didn’t do a deep dive into the menu and order several bites and small plates like I wanted, but went with a menu go-to: meatloaf. Only this meatloaf was made with short rib and came as a sandwich with a fried egg and pickled onions on top.
I was terribly excited for this dish because I LOVE meatloaf. And was briefly disappointed when it arrived due to how sad the plate looked. Sandwiches come with fries but they were seriously the saddest looking skinny fries I’ve ever seen. Plus they were cold and over-cooked. The sandwich made up for that sadness though. I skipped the top of the bun and attacked it as an open-faced sandwich with a knife and fork (it’s beach season, people!). While the “put an egg on it” trend doesn’t seem to be dying anytime soon, it was a nice touch to this sandwich. And was cooked nicely with the yolk running just enough to not overpower any bite.
My dining companion had a lobster and shrimp rock roll. I thought it was going to be served in grilled, top-split bun. Wrong. It was like a crispy grilled hot dog bun that was split apart and topped with lightly dressed big chunks of shrimp and lobster. This “sandwich” was also accompanied by those sad, sad fries. It was good. That is all.
While I wasn’t blown away by the sandwiches I sampled, I do want to go back and get several of the small plates and bites, as those seem to be big hits with the Urbanspoon crowd. If you’ve been to ^Up let us know your thoughts and what dishes we should try next time in the comment section below.