Saturday night, Michelle and I had dinner at Fratelli La Bufala (FLB) located on the corner of Washington and 5th Street in South Beach. The restaurant has a great location. They are located next to Tuscan Steak and across the street form China Grill. We’d been excited to eat there for quite awhile.
I wanted to like the place, but was somewhat disappointed by the lack of choices on their menu. They have lots of pizza and pasta, but only 4 entrees to choose from. And of these 4 entrees, 3 of them are “Bufla” which the menu says is water buffalo.
I order the one entree that wasn’t “Bufla”; a $23 “beef” steak which I enjoyed very much. The steak was very tender and filled with flavor. My dish also came with cubed rosemary potatoes and a small green salad on the plate.
Michelle had an $11 Tagliatelle Bolognese pasta which she also enjoyed.
We also had 3 glasses of wine, and shared a Mediterranean salad.
The restaurant added a 17% tip. Our bill came to $75.72 including the tip, and a %10 Miami Visitor Pass discount.
Considering South Beach prices, and the restaurants prime location, $75.72 is not very bad.
But what stood out the most was the service. The waiter wasn’t bad. On the contrary, he was very attentive, and kept our water glasses full, but you could tell he wasn’t comfortable speaking English, which caused him to not say very much, or make any recommendations.
Many people who visit Miami Beach will run into this type of service. You can find it at restaurants on Lincoln Road or Ocean Drive. If you do, don’t jump to the conclusion that this waiter sucks. Take a minute and think if there might be a language barrier. If there is, it’s okay to ask the waiter questions, or ask to speak with the manager and see what he knows. When I go out, I like to speak with the restaurant manager, and pick his brain. You can get a very accurate picture a restaurant by talking with the manager. Sizing up restaurant managers is a good topic that should be discussed in more detail.
To sum up, if you are dying for some authentic buffalo mozzarella , some low-fat water buffalo, pizza, pasta, or a great view of South Beach, give FLB a shot. Reservations are not necessary
If you want to learn more about FLB, Miami Hearld has also rewied this Buffalo-centric restaurant on Jan. 19, 2006.