Anthony Scutella and Alison Foley’s Nicholson Street restaurant, Scopri, is well-loved for its satisfying, classic Italian fare like calamari fritti; fettuccine with duck ragu; sweet, layered apple sfoglia; and panna cotta.

The restaurant – a Carlton staple for over 14 years – was inspired by a trip Scutella and Foley took to Piedmont. It’s the kind of neighbourhood restaurant you want to visit multiple times a week – except it’s almost impossible to get into.

This week, Scutella and Foley open Bar Olo, a laid-back 40 seater less than a minute’s walk down Nicholson Street from Scopri – and where walk-ins are, thankfully, welcome.

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The new bar is heavily influenced by Piedmont in north-western Italy – it’s named after the region’s wine-producing commune of Barolo. The opening menu features regional dishes such as vitello tonnato (cold sliced veal in a creamy tuna sauce) and agnolotti del plin with sugo d’arrosto (pint-sized ravioli with a sauce made from drippings).

The warm, inviting space recalls a cosy enoteca. Behind a red-framed door in the unassuming shopfront, there’s a curved wooden bar and wood-panelled walls decorated with still-life paintings of tables topped with butter, bread and, of course, wine.

The wine list highlights Piedmont producers, including Conterno Fantino, Monte Maletto and Crotin, with a few drops from elsewhere in Italy. There are also a couple of options from Australia and France, plus a few classic cocktails.

They pair well with snacks like prawn tramezzini (crustless sandwiches on pillowy white bread), rock oysters on ice, or more substantial plates like spoja lorda (cheese-stuffed pasta) with duck-and-porcini ragu.

Bar Olo
165 Nicholson Street, Carlton
No phone

Wed to Sat 4pm–late