Just beyond Fitzroy’s Brunswick Street, along the 112 tram route.PROFILED BY DE GROOTS MEDIA
While the wood-fired pizzas are still the signature of this cosy and warm neighbourhood favourite, classic yet simple Italian dishes like the homemade spinach ricotta gnocchi with a rich bechamella, or the Calabrian-style melanzana risotto with a delicate tomato sauce and fresh parmesan are equally as impressive and fast becoming crowd favourites. The week’s menu is split in two sections, and while the Friday to Sunday menu boasts a few extra special antipasto and risotti options that are worth the weeklong wait, the traditional pizzas are available seven days and the classics are as good as ever. Don’t leave Red Olive without trying a slice of the prosciutto pizza topped with Asiago and mozzarella cheese. Delish. The mains range from $18 to $29 and BYO is available with a per bottle charge if you can’t find a suitor from the well-compiled wine list, which includes local and international drops alike.
The impressive mosaic tile art of Antonio and Susan Balletta remains the restaurant’s centrepiece, while Red Olive’s open fireplace, not to mention the roaring wood-fired oven at the centre of the space, woos wintered souls in from the Melbourne cold. The outdoor area is a perfect option for balmy summer evenings.