Osteria Acqua e Farina, Fort Lauderdale Italian Restaurant

The pizza is simply divine!
The pizza is simply divine!

I have a competition on Monday, so I’ll be carbo-loading on Sunday. let’s get Italian food!” This request came via email from a friend, and really, who am I to pass up a good excuse to eat pasta? We looked for a good Italian restaurant in Broward county, and came up with a few choices, but the photos of the pizza at Osteria Acqua e Farina tipped the scales. 

Wood-burning pizza oven!
Wood-burning pizza oven!

Having read some positive reviews, we looked forward to trying it out. We started with a bottle of Argiano Rosso di Montalcino ($45 on the wine list), as well as a glass of prosecco, as we perused the menu. Although in the corner of a strip mall, the interior is small, charming, and casual, with a wood-burning pizza oven in the kitchen, visible to the restaurant.

I noticed a pizza en route to another table and decided that we should have one for the table as an appetizer. Really, when is pizza a bad idea? Never. The crisp, thin crust was topped with a zesty, flavorful tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella, and a healthy dose of basil. They did bring crushed red pepper, but there was also a spicy olive oil on the table, so I opted for that to top the pizza. It could not have possibly been any better.

Fresh and flavorful corn salad is a must.
Fresh and flavorful corn salad is a must.

Next up, appetizers. (What? Yes, I know we already had a pizza. Whatever.) One friend had the corn salad, served warm with wild mushrooms, walnuts, and arugula, and it was outstanding. The mushrooms made the entire dish. Next, Brussels sprouts au gratin, as well as eggplant parmigiana, both of which were also delicious. At this point, I was impressed with everything we’d eaten. I was optimistic that there would be no regrets ordering the pasta, either.

Linguine al vongole, garlicky and delicious.
Linguine al vongole, garlicky and delicious.

Finally, the main courses arrived: spaghetti and meatballs for one friend, garganelli with sausage for another, Corvina Livornese for FKGuy and linguine al vongole for me. Everyone was pleased with their choices. Any time a bowl of pasta is set down and the first thing I smell is garlic, I am a happy camper. The pasta was perfectly cooked, the clams juicy and fresh, it was divine. I also snagged a taste of the Corvina, which was flaky, nicely cooked, and the tomato sauce was flavorful and tangy.

Corvina Livornese was fantastic.
Corvina Livornese was fantastic.

They do cook many dishes in the pizza oven – Brussels sprouts, a salmon dish and others, and I am looking forward to trying some of the other offerings next time. There most certainly will be a next time.  Osteria Acqua e Farina is located at 1145 South Federal Highway, in Fort Lauderdale, just north of Davie Boulevard, and are open for lunch and dinner Monday through Friday, and dinner on Saturday and Sunday.

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