photo credit: Craig Denis Creative
We have come to accept E11even. The club is an amalgamation of all Miami nightlife’s most depraved characteristics rolled into one fortress of bad judgment. It stays open 24/7 Thursday through Sunday, and sometimes at 4am Rick Ross pops out of nowhere and starts rapping. Is it a shitshow? Of course. But it’s our shitshow. Making awful decisions and spending way too much money is, after all, what the mainstream nightclub is for.
But while E11even feels like a logical part of Miami nightlife, Giselle, its rooftop restaurant that boasts a view of mostly construction cranes, feels like an unnecessary addition to a city that already has way too many clubstaurant clones.
The Least-Awful Clubstaurants In Miami
What Giselle is good at is the club part of the clubstaurant formula. The crowd has the upbeat optimism of a high school house party where every fidgety soul wants to believe that this could be the start of the best night of their life. Music plays at a volume that leaves you just shy of shouting. Mirrored and marble surfaces combine with pink neon lights to make the outdoor space sparkle like a clean kitchen counter.
What Giselle is very bad at is the restaurant part. A reservation here is both necessary and useless. Even if you show up five minutes early, you may spend an hour at the bar waiting for your table while dodging the jagged elbows of roaming bachelor parties. The "Asian, Mediterranean, and French-inspired" menu is mostly none of those things—but rather a predictable mix of fancy-sounding stuff like A5 wagyu, caviar, and truffle that is sloppily deployed yet quite effective as a metaphor for Giselle’s style-over-substance philosophy.
The Head Over Heels. photo credit: Courtesy Giselle
The Dream Room.photo credit: Craig Denis Creative
Truffle toast.photo credit: Courtesy Giselle
photo credit: Craig Denis Creative
The flaming lobster thermidor flames with all the enthusiasm of a dollar store sparkler. The two-foot tall glass stiletto is filled with a cocktail that tastes kind of like flat orange soda. And its consumption results in a hangover that will make you wonder if wasps built a nest in your frontal lobe while you were asleep.
It is possible to have fun here, particularly if you’re not paying for any of it. But the clubstaurant needs to combine the energy of an exploding champagne cork with the hospitality of a restaurant. Giselle doesn’t put much effort into the latter. Instead, it puts its guests through the kind of headaches only a nightclub—not a clubstaurant—can get away with. And at some point during dinner, you'll wonder why you're not just downstairs wasting money in a slightly more fun way. So just eat at a better restaurant in Downtown, save your money for that $395 bottle of Captain Morgan at E11even, and enjoy the better kind of shitshow.
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We’re not sure what makes the calamari Szechuan, because it sure isn’t the too-sweet orange sauce, which coats only about 75 percent of the calamari on your plate. The rest are dry and sauceless.
Standing Mac & Cheese
The issue with the standing mac is, among other things, gravity. There’s a layer of charred cheese on top, but the rest of the cheese runs off the vertical rigatoni and pools on the bottom of the dish. The result is mostly dry noodles.
These three skinny pieces of toast arrive with an umbrella of pretty sad truffle slices that prevent you from seeing the sorry excuse for raclette and cremini duxelles that’s allegedly underneath. It just tastes like Wonder Bread wiped through room temperature cream cheese.
Flaming Lobster Thermidor
We’ve never seen a sadder flambé than this. The halved lobster is sprayed with some sort of flammable substance, but only stays aflame for like eight seconds before it’s extinguished by a gloopy cognac and dijon mustard sauce. The $125 maine lobster is also brutally overcooked.