First Look: Oliveti and Spread, Two New Seaside Venues From The Bar Lune Crew

Photo: Tabitha Lawless
Photo: Tabitha Lawless
Photo: Tabitha Lawless
Photo: Tabitha Lawless
Photo: Tabitha Lawless
Photo: Tabitha Lawless
Photo: Tabitha Lawless
Photo: Tabitha Lawless
Photo: Tabitha Lawless
Photo: Tabitha Lawless
Photo: Tabitha Lawless
Photo: Tabitha Lawless
Photo: Tabitha Lawless
Photo: Tabitha Lawless
Photo: Tabitha Lawless
Grab a katsu eggplant sandwich or beef and pickle number at Spread to take down to the beach. Then roll in off the sand to laid-back pasta bar Oliveti for blue swimmer crab hash browns, puffy gnocco fritto, and duck ragu rigatoni.

One month after opening sandwich bar Don’s Deli, Embr Hospitality – also behind Bar Lune, Dolly, Spread and Fine & Fettle – has added two more venues to its portfolio: Italian restaurant Oliveti and a second Spread site next door.

The 100-seat Oliveti, which opened in Glenelg last week, is named after Villa Oliveti, a tiny town in Abruzzo in central Italy, where co-owner Tom James-Wallace’s family (on his mum’s side) is from. However, the menu skirts all regions, with some wider Mediterranean influence. “We’re flirting between a pasta bar and a steakhouse,” says co-owner Sam Worrall-Thompson.

You might start with gooey burrata and eggplant, hash browns ferrying blue swimmer crab, or puffy gnocco fritto with mortadella before moving onto spaghetti vongole, duck ragu rigatoni or curly gigli pasta with zucchini, peas and ricotta salata. (The kitchen will eventually supply its house-made pasta to all Embr Hospitality venues.)

Mains include a half roast chicken with romesco, grilled cabbage with labneh and tahini, and three steak options – a scotch, porterhouse and rib eye – served with smoked tomato and bone marrow. “I don’t feel like there’s a lot of places around there to get a steak,” says Worrall-Thompson. “We’re using quality produce. Our favourite at the moment is Aldo’s … He’s so good: service-wise and product-wise.”

The seaside setting also means oysters with cucumber and chilli oil, anchovy with sago fritti and salsa, chargrilled octopus with guindilla peppers, and a requisite kingfish crudo.

The former IGA supermarket, which was destroyed by a fire in 2021 (“this is the second venue we’ve picked up that caught on fire,” says Worrall-Thompson, referring to the Bar Lune site’s former incarnation as Saha), has been transformed by Aube Projects into a light, bright, laid-back space with arches and curves, white tiles and terracotta tones. “We’re playing on the Amalfi Coast a little bit with soft pastels and white,” says James-Wallace. “We want to tie it in with the coastline that’s a couple hundred metres down the road.”

“It’s pretty schmick but without being too much of a wanker,” adds Worrall-Thompson, who didn’t want the space to be intimidating to casual beachgoers. “If you’re rocking up in shorts from the beach [we want you to feel like you can] come and grab a bowl of pasta and a glass of wine. It’s relaxed service.”

So much so, the team wants to introduce family nights and “gnocchi with nonna” mid-week. “We’re looking to bring some fun, playful concepts,” says James-Wallace. “We’ve already had a function with pasta making … we’re embracing the playful spirit that comes with Italian food culture.”

An Italian meal isn’t complete without wine, and Oliveti is pouring a concise, Italian-leaning list assembled by Sam Taylor of Mitcham’s Edinburgh Cellars – “his knowledge is incredible. He gets first access to so much product,” says Worrall-Thompson – plus cocktails by business partner Tony Bales, like a fresh Mint Swizzle with blanco rum, yellow chartreuse, house-made verjuice and citrus. Groups ordering the chef’s menu might also score complimentary limoncello shots before or after dinner.

The venue mirrors the pairing of Dolly and Spread in Unley, with a second Spread site next door to Oliveti. The Glenelg sandwich bar is geared towards takeaway, with the same menu as its Unley flagship (including the likes of an eggplant katsu sando, chicken cotoletta with vodka sauce, and a beef and pickle number).

Oliveti
43a Broadway, Glenelg South
(08) 7095 1580

Hours:
Wed 4pm-10p
Thu to Sun midday–11pm

oliveti.com.au
@oliveti_adl

Spread
43a Broadway, Glenelg South
08 7095 1929

Hours:
Mon to Sat 7am–3pm
Sun 8am–2pm

spreaddeli.com.au/
@spread_adl

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