The Restaurant People

Forbes: Giselle

What do you do when you’ve already turned it up to E11EVEN? You keep going.

Glamorous new restaurant Giselle will open on the rooftop of illustrious nightclub E11EVEN Miami on Friday, February 3. Giselle, where executive chef Gustavo Zuluaga will weave together global flavors in dishes like whole crispy snapper with aji amarillo aioli and Peruvian salsa criolla, is brought to you by E11EVEN and hospitality group The Restaurant People.

Giselle’s menu is purposefully over-the-top, with luxurious items like bluefin tuna truffle cones topped with 24-karat gold leaf. There’s also truffle toast, flaming lobster thermidor, Peking chicken, Japanese A5 snow-aged wagyu, a flaming Australian wagyu tomahawk, caviar, seafood towers, oysters with Champagne mignonette granita and other extravagant offerings.

Zuluaga is cooking with French and Asian influences, along with South American and Mediterranean flavors. This makes sense, given his background, which includes stints at Miami’s L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon, Zuma, Komodo and Juvia before he became executive chef of Laurent Tourondel’s Dune in Fort Lauderdale.

“We did a nice combination of several flavors,” Zuluaga says of the food at Giselle. “For example, our bluefin tuna cones are dressed in a truffle ponzu and we have crème fraîche with wasabi. And we top those off with some fresh truffles. … We have a hamachi that we cure in different citruses, and it has a coconut reduction that has that South Florida feel.”

As for the whole crispy snapper: “That’s our South American flair,” Zuluaga says. “And it’s very eye-catching for social media as well.”

Cocktails at Giselle include the highly Instagrammable Head Over Heels with E11EVEN Vodka, sparkling rosé, raspberry and lemongrass, served in a glass stiletto and big enough to share. (Yes, E11EVEN is a lifestyle brand with its own line of vodka, along with a forthcoming high-rise hotel/condo development, an NFT membership club and a music label, among other ventures.)

And the indoor-outdoor restaurant’s design, spearheaded by Tristan du Plessis, has no shortage of flashiness and whimsy.

Tim Petrillo, CEO and cofounder of The Restaurant People, is excited for guests to be surprised when they walk into an outdoor setting after the elevator door opens on the rooftop.

“We wanted to create this really crazy point of entry,” he says. “There’s this beautiful tunnel that you walk through and you go into an open-air venue.”

There’s a retractable roof atop the 6,000-square-foot Giselle, which offers panoramic views, a marble bar (with a digital art display), a lounge/terrace and a central dining area. And then there’s the transporting Dream Room, the main dining area with a white backdrop, French lace, baroque details and elaborate wood carvings.

The enclosed Dream Room will give visitors a more intimate experience than the open-air areas. Giselle is all about different kinds of experiences in one restaurant.

“The space allows us to transition through the night at Giselle,” says Petrillo, whose hospitality company runs hot spots including Fort Lauderdale’s YOLO and O Lounge, S3, Boatyard and Rosa Sky. “As the night progresses, the vibe can amp up to a bigger party, which will then match what might be going on downstairs. A guest at 6 to 7 o’clock could have a dramatically different experience than at 11 o’clock. And we wanted that because I think there is a market for both.”

As E11EVEN operating partner Daniel Solomon points out, the downtown location Giselle inhabits is part of a massive wave of development. The skyline is changing, and there are plans for the E11EVEN Hotel and Residences (with two 65-story towers) to be completed in the next two-and-half to three years across the street from Giselle. This is less than half a mile away from the massive Miami Worldcenter mixed-use development.

“We knew we wanted to create a restaurant space in the heart of downtown Miami,” Solomon says. “With the huge expansion of condo towers, shopping and restaurants, we knew that we needed something that would complement the area. And this is definitely a bold statement [for both E11EVEN and The Restaurant People].”

So now this powerhouse team is ready to show guests at Giselle a great time.

“Their focus on the guests is similar to ours,” Petrillo says when asked about The Restaurant People’s partnership with E11EVEN. “I’ve never been to a club like that where they say ‘welcome home’ every time you walk in.”

“It’s about being friendly, being attentive and prioritizing service to the highest extent,” Solomon says.