Long-Anticipated Charleston Restaurant to Shine Spotlight on 'Coastal Carolina' Bounty
In June 2018, F&W announced that Galatoire's chef Michael Sichel would be heading up north to Charleston to open a new concept at Hotel Bennett. Later this month, Sichel's now-named restaurant, Gabrielle Charleston, will finally open, bringing a bit of New Orleans energy to the city's historic Marion Square.
While Sichel made a name for himself working at one of NOLA's most storied restaurants, he tells Food & Wine that moving to Charleston was "the opportunity of a lifetime," and at Gabrielle, he hopes to channel the hospitality of Galatoire's and celebratory feel of his former city.
"The menu flows seasonally and is inspired by product, but I learned in New Orleans that good food is just part of the equation. Galatoire’s offers a unique brand of hospitality that took a hundred years to cultivate," Sichel said. "As soon as you hit the door at 209 Bourbon Street, it’s a reason to celebrate. When guests feel recognized, appreciated and are served like family, that hospitality fuels a culture of celebration and that I want to bring to Gabrielle Charleston. Fine dining doesn’t have to be serious."
The Gabrielle Charleston menu centers around "the bounty of Coastal Carolina." Entrées veer French with signatures dishes like duck à l'orange with roasted turnips and orange segments; red fish barigoule with sweet basil broth; "Lamb Journey" with minted cracked wheat cous-cous; and "hand-grooved" potato gnocchi with clams. You can also expect to see an array of steak cuts sourced from local producers and dishes inspired by regional seafood, as well as riffed-on classic desserts like apple tatin with nougatine chantilly. The restaurant claims to offer the first outdoor dining terrace in the city to directly open onto Marion Square.
In addition to overseeing the kitchen Galatoire's for seven years, the Top Chef alum opened its sister restaurant, Galatoire’s 33 Bar & Steak. He began his career at Gotham Bar and Grill in New York City, under the leadership of Alfred Portale, and worked in kitchens from San Francisco (Rubicon) to Provence (L’Abbey de St. Croix).
Sichel, who has been working on Gabrielle Charleston since August, has been enjoying the city's dining scene with his wife.
"From our house in the Westside, we can walk to Little Jack’s Tavern for a burger at the bar or to Xiao Bao Biscuit for the cabbage pancake with pork candy," he says. "We pick up pies at Luke’s Craft Pizza and think Josephine Wine Bar is such a cool spot to meet after work. For dining, you really can’t beat FIG."
Gabrielle will be open for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and Sunday brunch.