Monello
Monello

Monello

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://www.lovemonello.com/
  • Phone: 6195010030x
  • Hours of Operation:
    Lunch

    Tuesday - Sunday: 11:00am - 2:30pm

    Dinner

    Tuesday - Thursday: 2:30pm - closing; Friday & Saturday: 3:00pm - closing; Sunday: 5:00pm -closing
    APERITIVO-ITALIAN HAPPY HOUR (complimentary bites with drinks) 4 pm to 7 pm all week
    Brunch

    Saturday & Sunday: 10:00am - 3:00pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Italian, Comfort Food, Pizzeria
  • Executive Chef: Fabrizio Cavallini
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Counter Seating, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Takeout, Weekend Brunch, Wine

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Kettner
  • Public Transit: MTS Transit Trolley Stop Green Line: County Center/Little Italy
  • Parking: Street Parking
  • Parking Details: The Little Italy Association offers valet parking Tuesday through Sunday at the corner of India St. and Fir St. (in front of Influx) for $8.00 beginning at 5:30pm.

    Limited street parking is available. Metered parking is free after 6:00pm until 6:00am Monday through Saturday and all day Sunday.
A word from Monello
Bencotto's younger brother is born and who knew Italians could be so naughty? Monello-literally "little devil"-is a term of endearment used for little boys when they're misbehaving. We're intrigued by their naughty nature and positively entertained by it. Monello's offerings embody our Northern Italian heritage with unleashed passion, unafraid and unapologetic with its own playful twists on the most beloved, street-inspired fare of our hometown Milano.
UNABLE TO FIND A TABLE? CHECK OUT OUR BROTHER RESTAURANT BENCOTTO NEXT DOOR - SAME CHEF!
Continued
Foodspotting photos
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerItalian
  • Diners' Choice WinnerFit for Foodies
Monello reviews from OpenTable diners
86 reviews since May 2, 2014
Overall Rating4.5
  • Food4.5
    Service4.5
  • Ambiance4.4
    Noise LevelModerate
93% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
fit for foodies (57)neighborhood gem (57)special occasion (34)hot spot (33)romantic (28)great for outdoor dining (25)great for brunch (24)good for groups (24)great for lunch (21)vibrant bar scene (19)late-night find (17)scenic view (14)notable wine list (13)kid-friendly (8)Show More
  • BelleFerrari
    Dined on 8/28/2014
    meal was excellent. The fresh pasta was thoroughly enjoyed.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, late-night find, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • you won't be disappointed
    marpoz
    Dined on 8/22/2014
    Even though Monello's big brother restaurant Ben Cotto gets all the hype, don't miss a chance to try Monello. It's slightly more casual but the quality of the food is just as worthy of praise. The energetic atmosphere makes even the most casual diners feel at ease.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Another wonderful meal!
    CeehVIP
    Dined on 8/22/2014
    Took my parents here and they adored this restaurant! Every item on the menu is delicious, but we're found that the specials are not to be missed! Can't wait to visit again!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, scenic view, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • interesting
    richbham
    Dined on 8/19/2014
    Nice selection of beers and wines, the cocktails looked like they would be great too. Homemade vermouth they let us sample.
    Special Features:
    romantic, great for lunch, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Amazing place!
    JayelmVIP
    Dined on 8/15/2014
    Thank you, Monello, for making another memorable evening. The food (seafood cannelloni) and the service (Megan and Lance) we're phenomenal. This is a premiere restaurant destination in Little Italy lost definately, but it deserves a place in the premiere eateries in Sand Diego!
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, late-night find, scenic view, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Bdinesout
    Dined on 8/2/2014
    The service is very attentive and welcoming, but not intrusive. The food is really well flavored and the presentation is beautiful. Hamilton was our waiter and he couldn't have been more professional and yes friendly. We love this place.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Delicious!
    EnJoyVIP
    Dined on 8/2/2014
    From to start to finish our meal transformed us back to Italia! We're still dreaming of the grilled octopus starter, the perfectly fired pizza with raspa and spinach, and Monello's 'cacio y pepe' is the best we've had here in the States!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Awesome
    JerryVIP
    Dined on 8/2/2014
    Unique menu with excellent food! Will come back again and again as we have already!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Mouthwatering!
    vptwins
    Dined on 7/22/2014
    This gem in Little Italy was quite a find! We made a reservation for our party of 10 and finished sight-seeing an hour early. We expected to be told that we would have to wait, but the friendly staff said that it was no problem and we were seated in less than 5 min.the waiter made excellent recommendations and we all enjoyed the food immensely. The wood fired pizza reminded of the pies in Sorrento and Naples...thin, fresh, and delicious. The lasagna special had a fantastic meat sause and soonach layer and I would highly recommend starting with the mini calzones. You can't go wrong with anything on the menu!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • YUM!
    teenVIP
    Dined on 7/18/2014
    so good, so creative, so satisfying! a treat at every meal!
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great food and ambient.
    Lillocode
    Dined on 7/17/2014
    Quality and authentic Italian food. One of the best Restaurant in Little Italy.
    Special Features:
    special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • One of my local fav's
    denisesd
    Dined on 7/13/2014
    We went here Saturday for brunch. Celebrating my son's birthday. Never disappointed! Food and service amazing.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, late-night find, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Perfect Little Italy Experience
    CeehVIP
    Dined on 7/11/2014
    This was our first visit, and I think we will be regulars from here on out! Service was excellent and food was extraordinary! Loved the seafood lasagna! Fresh mozzarella was delicious, and our dessert (tiramisu) equally fantastic. Can't wait to return to try another round of dishes!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, scenic view, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Shelley
    Shelsxl
    Dined on 6/27/2014
    The food is always excellent! The service is awesome and everyone is very friendly.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great food!
    drummerboy
    Dined on 6/21/2014
    Try the seafood lasagna or the seafood pizza - they are super yummy.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Delicious
    sunnySDdiner07VIP
    Dined on 6/21/2014
    Monello is fabulous! From the fresh fish, homemade pasta, delicious sauces and wonderful service! I completely recommend this restaurant. Great food, great time!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Just OK
    MarkVIP
    Dined on 6/15/2014
    Pizza great but "homemade pasta dishes were uninspired. Pasta was rubbery on both pasta entrees. Nice waitress.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • A Must
    CitizenRob
    Dined on 6/14/2014
    Gotta go for weekend brunch, the Bomboloni and Cornetti are even better than we had in Italy. Can't wait to go back for happy hour and try their house made vermouth.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • TropicaleVIP
    Dined on 6/7/2014
    It took our server over 20 minutes to appear at our table, but bus staff was very attentive.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, late-night find, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Fun experience
    Youngatheart
    Dined on 6/6/2014
    This was our first time at Monello's and it was packed. Great vibe and the service and food were very good. Paul was our server and on the spot with everything we needed, and more. Great time and we can't wait to return to try more of their food........Lively and a lot of energy there with a great bar...
    Special Features:
    great for lunch, late-night find, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Terrific!
    JefeB
    Dined on 5/30/2014
    This place is really doing things right! Very innovative menu items. My seafood lasagna was flavored with saffron and just plain delicious. Everyone at our table was most impressed with their entrees. We received a complementary taste of their homemade sweet vermouth and a take home biscotti. The service was top notch
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • OurFaveItalian
    Dined on 5/29/2014
    The pasta dishes were excellent. The carbonara was perhaps the best I've had and I've had it a lot, in fact, I make a pretty good one. The mushroom pizza also very good.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • JerryVIP
    Dined on 5/25/2014
    As always, outperformed the previous visit; beyond the expected and fantastic service!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great Service
    Chip
    Dined on 5/18/2014
    Jen, our server was awesome. She did everything right & the place had wonderful food. True Italian:-)
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, good for groups, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Bravo, Monello!
    Bionda
    Dined on 5/17/2014
    Loved everything about this restaurant! Made a reservation for a busy Saturday night, and were immediately seated when we arrived. Sat down and our waitress treated us to a complimentary taste of the house-made sweet Vermouth over ice (which is delicious). Split a bunch of appetizers - burrata, calamari, zucchini (highly recommend). Also tried the Monello pizza and the aglio, olio, pepperoncino spaghetti. Although the latter was not authentically prepared, it was actually better than I've had in Italy (and spicier). Waitstaff is highly attentive and friendly. Will definitely be back!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, late-night find, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Excellent
    Shelsxl
    Dined on 5/16/2014
    Excellent food! Just like the food we got in Ialty! Excellent service, everyone is so helpful and friendly! If we lived closer, we would definitely eat here more often!
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, kid-friendly, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Consistently delicious
    HanselNGretel
    Dined on 5/14/2014
    We are regulars at Monello and every time we dine here we find something new to love. The specials rotate on a weekly basis offering new amazing options faster than I'm able to try them. I've never had anything I didn't love at this restaurant. It genuinely feels like a European cafe. The chef is great, the ambiance is fun and the wait staff is knowledgeable.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, scenic view, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Everything, but..
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 5/11/2014
    The only thing that I might want to correct is really very minor, but when I had a Mother's Day's brunch my credit card was placed in a glass container rather than a typical check folder, bottom line my credit card got left behind and I could not pick it up on Monday as you were closed. It is not that it erased all the good food, good service and great atmosphere it is just that I feel that it could have been easily avoided.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, kid-friendly, fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Crown Jewel in Little Italy
    JayelmVIP
    Dined on 5/8/2014
    Monello calls to you; It says, come and eat on my patio, or in my dining room. I find the restaurant friendly and charming. I have eaten here numerous times and each time has been an event. I usually dine alone, as I'm traveling for business, and I've found that the staff is eager to carry on a conversation during their many visits to the table during dinner. The food is unusual in content and in it's quality. I've had octopus and a number of their vegetarian dishes. I've also sampled their pizza: a winner, IMHO. Please look at the more unusual items on the menu. The Neri pasta dish is excellent. It pairs lobster bisque and octopus with a squid ink spaghetti. It was beyond good. Try it.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, late-night find, scenic view, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Milanese style in SD
    YazminLuv2Eat
    Dined on 5/7/2014
    Monello has been a go-to spot for apertivo time here in SD, introducing their Italian (Milan) take on it here in the states. With every drink for purchase, you receive little enjoyable tastes straight from the kitchen. The service has always been up to par, just the seasoning sometimes is a little off, but the food has been 7 times out of 10 really good. I'll still keep coming here, because the view, drinks, service is great and hoping for the food to meet their potential!
    Special Features:
    great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 56 ratings-only reviews submitted since May 2, 2014
    • Overall Rating4.3
    • Food4.4
    • Ambiance4.3
    • Service4.5
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The following 119 reviews are from the Monello reviews archive.
  • Solid dining experience
    CitizenJon
    Dined on 4/26/2014
    Good food, good recommendations and specials. Service was excellent, attentive. Good home-made vermouth!
    Special Features:
    Kid-Friendly, Fit For Foodies, Great for Outdoor Dining, Romantic, Late-Night Find
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Not impressed
    Margherita
    Dined on 4/24/2014
    The prosciutto appetizer was sliced very thick. This may be a style choice, but it was not good - too tough for this cut. The gnocchi "ragu" was very strong and greasy and left a terrible after taste. I liked the carbonara, but later was killed by the presence of garlic that should not have been in the dish at all.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Exceptional
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 4/20/2014
    Been 3 times all amazing going back again this Sunday...
    Special Features:
    Great for Brunch, Fit For Foodies, Romantic, special occasion, Great for Lunch, Notable Wine List
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • atmosphere - no, food very good!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 4/20/2014
    Went for the Easter Italian Brunch. Very nice egg and polenta dish and ricotta pancakes. Music should be Italian. Service excellent. Would go back and recommend.
    Special Features:
    Romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good food and drinks
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 4/19/2014
    We really enjoyed our evening at Monello. The food and drinks were fabulous and we were well taken care of. The drinks were the highlight, Daniel the bartender made me a drink called the Paper Plane which I LOVED. We really enjoyed the burrata dish and I loved my seafood pasta. So many delicious treats mixed together with pasta. I'm sorry we weren't able to enjoy the leftovers the next day, they didn't survive the car ride.
    Special Features:
    Fit For Foodies, Romantic, Late-Night Find, Neighborhood Gem, Notable Wine List
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Good food
    Fernanda
    Dined on 4/19/2014
    Good food, great service, but TOO many kids dining at around 8:30 pm on a saturday. Once the groups with kids left the noise level went down (by a lot!). We ordered the bencotto pizza with sausage (very good choice). My favorite was the caesar salad- amazing presentation.
    Special Features:
    Fit For Foodies, Good for Groups, Great for Outdoor Dining, Neighborhood Gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • WOW!!!!
    JackJ75
    Dined on 4/19/2014
    Benocotto does it again! Everything we ate was spectacular. Pizza crust made me fel like I was in Italy. Vermouth drinks are to die for. Definitely put this at the top of your list in Little Italy!
    Special Features:
    Fit For Foodies, Good for Groups, Romantic, special occasion, Neighborhood Gem, Hot Spot, Notable Wine List
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Authentic Italian Food!
    fiori4u
    Dined on 4/15/2014
    If you're looking for the "real" Italian cuisine experience, check out Monello! I've always had great food there! My favorite cheese on their menu is "raspa" that they shave thin and serve in a paper cone for everyone at the table to try. You can easily share dishes (like awesome pizza!) on the menu and you're encouraged to do so!
    Special Features:
    Great for Brunch, Fit For Foodies, special occasion, Great for Lunch, Neighborhood Gem, Vibrant Bar Scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Monello On a Weekend Night
    DineOften
    Dined on 4/12/2014
    This is not the restaurant for a weekend night. It was so loud we could not hear ourselves talk sitting across the table. The interior is solid concrete or glass so there was nothing to absorb the noise. The service was a mishmash. We started with one waiter who said he would be right back. Eventually one of us had to get up and speak with the hostess/manager; she took our order. The waiter returned surprised. The entrees did not come out at the same time. We waited for the last entrée to arrive (brought by someone completely different) and had to return the other entrée for a reheat. For this experience we paid over $160 for two. Don't know when others who rated this so highly might have dined; weekend nights is not the time.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • My wife, mom and I went to
    Dcycle
    Dined on 4/12/2014
    My wife, mom and I went to Monello on Saturday. First if you are wanting what the norm is in local Italian dining this is not the place for you. What they serve here is something very fresh and appears to be less American influenced. We had an appetizer that consisted of fresh made mozzarella,hot bread, arrugala, tomatoes and spices. It was good but of all the items I think it was overpriced. For dinner we each ordered an item and asked for plates to share. We ordered the Monello pizza (not like any pizza Ive had), The special Lasagna made with spinach crepe's for the layers. The highlight was the carbonara gnocchi. OMG this dish was amazing and if you look at the refrigerator case you know why (its in the hallway). This place we will keep.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.