Sitting on the patio as the sun sets over the palm trees on Westheimer, it's easy to see the appeal of Up Restaurant. The restaurant has a beautiful view in a city where any view at all is rare. The look isn't dated or retro or vintage, just a last hurrah of what Audi commercials once dubbed "old luxury," with wood paneling at the entry, recessed seating, a wall-mounted fireplace and a large white marble bar.
The menu, too, seems vaguely New American with some Mediterranean thrown in; it runs the gamut from steaks and seafood to salads and raw dishes. For the crowd that Up is courting — River Oaks types who want comfortable surroundings and familiar food served a certain way — this place could be everything they want and more. Adventurous eaters should look elsewhere, but with that breezy patio and the purple sunset over the palm trees, a bottle of wine and an order of steak tartare at Up doesn't seem like such a bad idea.