Experienced Italian restaurateur Luca D’Angelo, one of the founders of Miami Beach’s first and oldest Neapolitan pizzerias Fratelli La Bufala, announced the official opening of Casa Bufala in Miami’s Sunset Harbour neighborhood. The modern 2,500-sq. ft. restaurant expands the initial Fratelli La Bufala concept into a first-class Italian trattoria and pizzeria complete with a hand-crafted cocktail bar.
Designed to evoke the welcoming spirit of traditional Italian casas, the 100-seat restaurant is divided between 60 seats indoor and another 40 seats nestled on the intimate outdoor patio. Casa Bufala draws guests in with its warm, honey-toned woods, plush leather banquettes, industrial ambient lighting and hand-painted, contemporary Italian artwork by Neapolitan artist Antonio Montariello featuring rich colors such as Italian sky blue, Schiaparelli pink, siena, Naples yellow and Pompeiian red.
The dining room is complemented by a 14-seat cocktail bar and large open pizza kitchen anchored by a beautiful mosaic-tiled oven where guests can watch their wood-fired pizzas being masterfully prepared. The restaurant also offers a semi-private dining space for parties up to 20, perfect to celebrate every occasion.
“Sunset Harbour has been welcoming to our growing brand, and we look forward to making Casa Bufala the new culinary anchor of the neighborhood serving both the highly-coveted residential blocks nearby as well as visitors to South Florida,” says D’Angelo. “At Casa Bufala, we aim to create memorable experiences for every guest with a warm, easygoing atmosphere and the highest-quality ingredients imported daily from Italy. Our ambiance and carefully curated menu was designed to whisk guests away on a trip to their favorite nonna’s house.”
D’Angelo played a vital role in establishing the Fratelli La Bufala concept in Italy in 2002, placing traditional Campanian products at the heart of its offerings, particularly buffalo mozzarella, buffalo meat and Neapolitan pizza. The restaurant brand has since expanded globally, including to Miami Beach in 2005, where it’s been the benchmark for Neapolitan pizzerias in the U.S. for the last 18 years. The Casa Bufala concept in Sunset Harbour is the first of many with brand expansions underway including a West Palm Beach location in 2024.
Casa Bufala invites guests to feel at home with antipasti staples including Tartare di Manzo ($22), finely chopped, grass-fed rump steak drizzled with Worcestershire, lemon, fresh scallions and Dijon sauce and served with a crispy crostini and poached quail egg; Fiori di Zucca ($22), lightly-fried, stuffed zucchini flowers with creamy lemon ricotta and aioli mint; Bruschette Crema di Tartufo ($20), toasted Italian bread topped with a creamy Parmesan sauce and black truffle paste; and Vellutata di Zucca ($10-$14), classic Italian pumpkin cream soup with croutons with fried speck and a truffle oil glaze.
Pasta lovers can indulge in Pappardelle ai Funghi Porcini ($28), featuring sautéed porcini mushrooms, cheese, garlic, parsley and thyme; Mezze Maniche Alla Carbonara ($26), pasta tossed in a creamy egg sauce with crisp bits of guanciale and sprinkled with Pecorino Romano, Parmesan and black pepper; Gnocchi All’Aragosta ($40), homemade ricotta cheese gnocchi served with lobster in a rose cream sauce; or Spaghetti Alle Vongole ($28), featuring clams tossed in a garlic olive oil wine sauce. Guests can also opt for gluten-free spaghetti or risotto. Main courses include Tagliata di Pollo Marinato ($36), chicken thighs with porcini mushrooms and truffle sauce; Veal Milanese ($55), panko-coated veal served with fresh arugula, cherry tomatoes and saffron aioli; Trancio di Salmone ($38), seared, almond crusted salmon with smoked carrot cream; and Branzino Sotto Sale ($48), salt crusted Mediterranean sea bass with lemon vinaigrette drizzle.
Casa Bufala serves a selection of gourmet wood-fired pizzas, freshly prepared in-house with buffalo mozzarella. Specialities include Porcini e Salsiccia ($28), caramelized porcini mushrooms and sausage topped with fresh basil; Reale ($26), San Marzano tomato sauce and smoked mozzarella complete with ricotta, Parma prosciutto and basil; Quattro Stagioni ($25), sweet salami, artichoke, mushroom, ham, basil and black olives; Suprema ($26), a meat lover’s dream with mini meatballs, sausage, Italica bacon and basil; and Bolognese ($26), a house favorite with Casa Bufala’s signature Bolognese sauce and smoked provola.
Two family-inspired specialty calzones further enhance the menu: the Ripienone ($25), stuffed with ricotta, smoked mozzarella, sweet salami, tomato sauce and fresh basil, and the Cornetto di Bufala ($25), stuffed with ricotta and mozzarella, garnished with Parma prosciutto, cherry tomatoes and shaved Parmigiano cheese, and topped with basil and arugula.
Daily happy hour specials pay tribute to the cultural ritual of aperitivo in Italy and are available daily from 4-7 p.m., with an expansive list of bar bites ranging from $5-10, $6 beers, $8 wines by the glass and $8 cocktails including their signature Aperol Spritz, Martini, Margarita, Negroni and Basilicjito, a unique twist on the classic mojito. Other cocktail favorites include the Amalfi Breeze ($16), made with Bombay Sapphire gin, Luxardo Maraschino liqueur, tonic water, lemon juice and fresh rosemary; La Casa ($16), with brandy, triple sec, Maraschino and lemon juice; Hugo Spritz ($16), a woodsy floral and dark spritz made with elderberry syrup, prosecco, soda water, cucumber and mint; and the Shakerato Martini ($16), made with Kahlua, vodka and Passalacqua espresso, one of the top purveyors of Neapolitan coffee and espresso in Italy.