Fratelli La Bufala

Since 2005, that’s what it says when you arrive and also go on their website. In other words, they’re an institution on South Beach. The no-nonsense, white cloth table, simple Italian eatery is as homemade as it comes.

It’s so difficult to pick from their extensive menu but the pizza is a must and so are any of the pastas.

Fried mozzarella

Forget all those mozzarella sticks you’ve had and get to Fratelli La Bufala for their fried mozzarella. It’s pure, fresh mozzarella cheese, lightly  breaded and served with homemade marinara sauce. They cooked that sauce all day and imported the mozzarella from Italy. There are three to an order, but you’re going to want to have more.

We then moved on to the pizza, which is a must here (just like the pastas). With a thin crust that’s obviously made in a wood fired oven, evidenced by the perfect char in certain spots, it’s the perfect vehicle for authentic toppings. The fresh tomato sauce tops the crust, followed by fresh layers of sliced mozzarella cheese and that’s topped with generous strips of salty prosciutto. It’s hard to only have one slice.

But…I tried to resist knowing I wanted to try the bucatini carbonara. The portion was perfect, enough for one person without being overwhelming, especially since carbonara can be quite rich. This one however, was decadent but not over the top. The pieces of pancetta are the perfect addition.

Finally, we got to dessert and for these we kept it classic. My son and I decided on the tiramisu and cannoli. The tiramisu was light with just the right amount of chocolate and coffee with layers of cream and ricotta. Simply delicious, as were the two mini cannoli, stuffed with fresh ricotta and topped with a hint of chocolate sauce.

With food like this, it’s no wonder they’ve been in the same location for 13 years. At Frateli La Buffala they’re dishing up authentic Italian dishes served up by several Italians on staff.

Frateli La Buffala, 437 Washington Ave., Miami Beach (305) 532-0700

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