Closer Look: Osteria Acqua and Farina

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Italy once had strict classifications for restaurants. Ristorante, the most formal of these, was used for fine-dining establishments. Less formal, the trattoria included moderately priced local food and wine. An osteria was the least formal. Originally, osterie were guesthouses with food and drink. Over the years, the term has taken on some different meanings. These days, it can mean taverns that serve only drinks or a small restaurant serving wine and simple foods. No matter how you define osteria, Fort Lauderdale's Osteria Acqua & Farina is not a traditional member of its category. It is not an inn, but the food is relatively simple. The small interior is packed with patrons chatting away at white-clothed tables covered with a thin layer of white paper for protection — from red sauce and red wine. Read the full review