Top Chef Alumnae Carla Pellegrino’s Touche Rooftop Lounge & Restaurant recently opened it’s doors above downtown Miami.

In a beautifully designed indoor/outdoor 6,950-square-foot space, Touche offers breathtaking views of the Miami Skyline. Located atop the decadent 24-hour nightclub E11even, this location is central to Miami’s Art & Entertainment district and mere steps from the American Airlines Arena.

Complete with a retractable roof, waterfall wall, fire pits,  communal tables LED screens and lounge seating, Touche’s vibe is relaxed yet luxurious at the same time. The menu features upscale Italian and Japanese fare such as Veal Saltimbocca or Halibut Usuzukuri.

I was recently invited to Touche’s Special VIP Ladies Night featuring Chef Pellegrino’s hand selected Prix Fixe Menu. Upon approaching the venue I was promptly redirected around the burgeoning club crowd by the stone faced club bouncers to a discreet elevator which took me straight to the roof.

Stepping off the elevator I was slightly shocked by the change in atmosphere from the  wild party scene downstairs. The lighting was low and seductive, not so dark you can’t see your food. The decor understated and classy. A reserved looking maitre’d led me through well dressed and diverse clientele to a private little nook with low comfortable sofas and fire pit table.

The view of the skyline and the soft music being piped through invisible speakers was inviting. From the Chef’s special menu, I ordered the Caprese Salad , Pad Thai Chicken skewers and a chocolate mouse cake. My dining companions ordered the ham hock croquettes,  margherita pizza and the strawberries in ganache for dessert.

As we sipped our wine (complimentary with the prix fixe menu) we were treated to the sounds of Face2Face, a cover band specializing in R&B, Funk, Pop and even Latin hits.  Some of the laid back crowd was inspired to make an impromptu dance floor while most others just enjoyed the show.

My first course arrived and I almost sent it back. I was not expecting avocados in Caprese Salad and I am not an avocado fan. In the spirit of adventure, I gave it a try and was blown away. The salad was simple fresh and delicious. My Pad Thai chicken was authentic, and the mousse was a rich decadent treat.

In my opinion Touche is a welcome addition to the downtown fine dining scene. The ambiance and eclectic menu combined with a excellent locale makes Touche the place to be.