Casadonna – a first-of-its-kind partnership between Groot Hospitality and TaoGroup Hospitality – has officially opened in Miami’s Edgewater neighborhood alongside Biscayne Bay. The destination, which totals 20,000 square feet across indoor, outdoor and bar seating, features a sophisticated, storied atmosphere and an expansive, inventive menu designed around coastal Italian cuisine.
Accommodating up to 366 patrons, Casadonna’s Riviera-style Italian cooking takes center stage as the gentle teal of Biscayne Bay–and Miami Beach’s iconic skyline–shimmers in the backdrop. The menu features the freshest local and imported-from-Italy ingredients, with signature dishes including Crispy Young Artichoke, Royal Dorade Aqua Pazza, Bistecca Fiorentina, and a selection of handmade pastas including Campanelle Bolognese, and more. Recipes are based on classic culinary techniques found in seaside towns such as Naples, Taormina, Bari, Positano and Gaeta, yet each is presented in a contemporary and global fashion. A comprehensive crudo bar including Langoustine Ceviche, Tuna Carpaccio and Caviar elevates the aperitivo offering in tandem with traditional antipasti starters. Bespoke cocktails and an extensively curated wine cellar complete the spirit of seaside dolce vita.
“Casadonna is unlike anything we’ve ever done before,” says David Grutman, Founder of Groot Hospitality. “In partnering with Tao, I cannot wait to see our synergies take hold and for our guests to experience the unique magic we’ve created. From the fresh Italian menu to its unbeatable waterfront views, we see Casadonna bringing something new to Miami dining–and we know it will be unforgettable.”
“This is our first foray into the Miami market,” says Noah Tepperberg, Co-CEO of Tao Group Hospitality. “It’s an honor to be in such an important landmark within the city, and it’s exciting to have partnered with Groot Hospitality on this venture. David and his team know Miami deeply, and with our combined strengths, I have no doubt Casadonna is going to become an instant classic.”
Located in a waterfront landmark building that houses the Miami Women’s Club, Casadonna’s name pays homage to the restaurant’s site. The moniker’s compound elements–“casa” and “donna”–translate from Italian to English as “home” and “woman.” While the Miami Women’s Club was founded in 1900–making it one of the oldest formal organizations in the city–the current Mediterranean-revival structure opened in 1926, and was added to the U.S. National Register of Historic Places in 1974. The Miami Women’s Club has been instrumental in supporting educational programs and promoting community stewardship in and around the Magic City. Its members have also helped with state-shaping policy and activism. Among their most notable achievements: The Miami Women’s Club took a prominent role in the founding of the State Federation Royal Palm Park. The Royal Palm would evolve and be absorbed into none other than what is now Everglades National Park.
“We delved deep into the history of Miami architecture and this building, and we landed on a shared vision that added the grandeur of nearby Vizcaya and the exotic allure of the Long Bar at Raffles in Singapore,” says designer Ken Fulk. “We then inserted modern luxuries and really leaned into a slow reveal of spaces, which is a hallmark of the Groot and Tao experiences.”
Spearheaded by Fulk in collaboration with Groot Hospitality and Tao Group Hospitality, Casadonna’s visual realization provides a highly transportive experience. A double-height Courtyard Bar welcomes guests–this stands in the building’s original atrium. Lush flora and a retractable roof give the space the feeling of a grand secret garden, replete with arched windows, open sky exposure and a second story arcade. As guests move further into the restaurant–with Biscayne Bay coming into view–a number of distinct chambers unfold, from The Garden Dining Room, which is designed to feel like a classic, plaster-finished conservatory, to the Loggia Dining Room, which boasts parquet wood floors, a coffered ceiling, detailed millwork, custom blown-glass chandeliers and breathtaking views of the Bay through the building’s original windows. The experience concludes at the Ocean Bar, which is composed of intimate lounges and al fresco dining areas that span the length of the bay-facing terrace. As guests move through this progression of rooms, the seductive waterfront views become more and more pronounced.
Casadonna will be open for dinner on Thursday, October 26th and for weekend brunch beginning on Saturday, November 11th 2023.