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Reserve at Monello
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750 W. Fir St.
San Diego, CA 92101
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$30 and under
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Hours of Operation:
Tuesday - Sunday: 11:00am - 5:00pm
Tuesday - Thursday: 5:00pm - closing; Friday & Saturday: 5:00pm - closing; Sunday: 5:00pm -closing
APERITIVO-ITALIAN HAPPY HOUR (complimentary bites with drinks) 4 pm to 7 pm all week
Saturday & Sunday: 10:00am - 3:00pm
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
Italian, Pizzeria, Comfort Food
Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Counter Seating, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Takeout, Weekend Brunch, Wine
MTS Transit Trolley Stop Green Line: County Center/Little Italy
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.
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Way too noisy! Could barely
converse with our friends. Parking also nightmare. Would not drive downtown again for dinner."
Dined on 3/6/2014
My friends from Canada were in
town and wanted to have a REAL GOOD ITALIAN dinner. Where to go? As a former County employee and worked at the County Administration Center on Pacific Highway for many years and was familiar with the restaurants in Little Italy, and although many are good, I wanted to treat my friends to a dinner that they would remember once they were back in the 30-below weather in Alberta...From the moment Paul came up to the table we had a wonderful experience. He surprised us with a delicious infused vermouth (who knew?) and was a joy bringing us little tidbits about Monello and giving us a "tour" of the cheese fridge...LOVED MONELLO and felt the love in the service and the food. I will be referring everyone I know there."
Dined on 3/4/2014
Took a friend there for his
birthday on Sunday. The place was empty and the staff took a "turn 'em and burn 'em" approach to our service. True, we just order pizza, salads, and apps, but they had us out the door within 45 minutes. The pizza was good, not excellent. The $6 salad had four pieces of lettuces and 3 tomato slices on it. The portobello mushroom slices were good, probably the best thing we had. Drinks were absolutely awful. All 3 of us sent them back. Rather than ask us if we wanted something different, server just whisked them away and had them remade, which upgraded them from awful to okay. $100 and 45 minutes later, I felt my money would have been better spent at Newport Pizza for a whole pie and some pitchers."
Dined on 3/2/2014
My husband and I have eaten at
this lovely restaurant many times and always enjoy the experience."
Dined on 3/1/2014
From inception, our experience was
superb! Valentina listened carefully to our needs and proceeded to eliminate stress, accommodating our every request. We began with cocktail hour, sampling the inventive homemade Vermouth cocktails. We then moved to our individual tables for a multi-course family-style dinner with a menu showcasing the Milanese fare. We enjoyed sampling the numerous delicious menu items. Special menus for dietary needs were also served. But what really stood out was the impeccable service. The staff was attentive and congenial, even offering places to visit while in town. Many of us praised the intimate atmosphere provided. I HIGHLY recommend Monello for any event! I hope to return soon to enjoy their regular menu!"
Dined on 2/4/2014
Monello serves up some delicious
food.. from Italian street style dishes to authentic pastas. Wonderful! Also, they take pride in handcrafted cocktails and make a delicious sweet vermouth."
Dined on 2/22/2014
My wife and I, her son and his
wife, were the foursome at Monello this past weekend. We were seated promptly, waited a bit to get wine, but everything else went smoothly. The highlights (and I find this more and more at various restaurants) were the appetizers. There were several wraps in flatbread ("rolled bites", ours was burrata cheese, arugula, and prosciutto) that were excellent. The pizza margherita (with mushrooms) was very good (for California), but I would have sauteed the mushrooms in butter, and added them prior to baking, as opposed to putting raw mushrooms on the pizza after it was removed from the oven. Overall, a nice experience."
Dined on 2/21/2014
we live in the neighborhood and
always enjoy ourselves... brought in friends from out of the area and they felt the same... will continute to return."
Dined on 2/16/2014
This place is very happening. It
was crowded and vibrant at 7:30 on a Sat. nite. The menu had a bunch of nice cheese and salami appetizers and some other fried fare. The server was a very nice young man who was seemingly overburdened, as he had two assistants serving drinks waters for him. I asked for a refill beverage, but it was never delivered. When we finished our appetizers, the waiter asked if we wanted to order something else. We said we were still deciding. Ten minutes later, he had not returned, so we got dessert elsewhere. This gets a rating of good, but not more unless the service improves. There are too many places in Little Italy to visit on a Saturday night."
Dined on 2/15/2014
Our fifth or sixth visit here.
Always tasty, always great service."
Dined on 2/15/2014
The restaurant was a favorite and
deserves high marks. My experience was not what I have come to expect of this establishment due to a lapse in judgment by the management. The restaurant failed to honor a printed promotional placed on each table and was unwilling to over any alternative. My party enjoyed their experience and I limited my individual purchases to a drink. I would have preferred to spend the additional $80 on some of my favorites which are very good, but I am unwilling to conduct business with an establishment that fails to honor its offers to its patrons. I suspect the incident was limited to the strain of a holiday evening and incomplete planning and is not customary, but I will not be returning to Monello."
Dined on 2/14/2014
Wanted to try Monello's during
restaurant week, but missed it by a day. Saw a picture of their pizza and wanted to try it, so we gave it a shot. We were very disappointed. Thought it was overpriced for mediocre food. They offer no bread, so we ordered breadsticks that tasted like dried pizza dough that wasn't baked & charged $5.00. My pizza was disappointing in that there was barely any toppings and the dough was not like the picture I saw and too thin. My friend ordered seafood lasagna and, for the price, it was not good at all. My husband ordered the carbonara and he got the best meal of the 3 of us. Service was great and we had a great time, but will not go back as the food is better and less expensive right across the street."
Dined on 2/1/2014
Hamilton went out of his way to
move us to an outdoor table after we had already ordered...a little too loud for our older ears. Excellent pizza....thin crust, charred and chewy rim, and the Raspadura out of this world. Truffle pizza bursting with ingredients which are often skimpy with these little designer pizzas...but not at Monello's."
Dined on 2/14/2014
Many authentic dishes and some
good chef creations. Really like the thin sliced potatoes served under the fish."
Dined on 2/14/2014
This restaurant was the bomb!!!!
My wife and I can't say enough good things about it. The staff service and meal were outstanding. I'm from Brooklyn NY and its about time we finally have a restaurant that hits all the notes of my (Homeland). The added bonus is lounge music in the background and the restaurant lighting is dim giving it a more romantic flare."
Dined on 2/8/2014
Service was great. From the wait
staff to the host and management. Always nice to dine somewhere when people take pride in what they do. Had Octopus Carpaccio - very original in way the pressed the fish. Zucchini Carpacio is very delightful too. My daughter had the Gnochi with ragu - outstanding. I forgot how delicious fresh ones taste. Better the Buena Forchetta. Food came out super fast, almost too fast. Noise level almost too loud. Great overall. Will return."
Dined on 1/31/2014
This was my 2nd time dining at
Monello in Little Italy, (1st time was attending a company sponsored holiday party). I've dined at a lot of Italian restaurants having relocated from Boston and Chicago. Monello is a special place with a unique dining experience. The restaurant offers the option of being seated in the main dining area or 'al fresco'. Being Restaurant Week, I sampled the Caesar Salad (presented in wedges), Lasagna (served with spinach pasta--baked to order) and pistachio sorbet. The entire meal was fabulous as only the freshest ingredients were used. To sum it up...Monello has great food, friendly wait staff, and is a choice spot to meet up with friends to enjoy good food and company! Hidden Gem in Little Italy! :)"
Dined on 1/26/2014
I have been to almost every
restaurant in Little Italy and this I have to say is one of the best. The Veggie Pizza was great. I would recommend this place to anyone."
Dined on 1/17/2014
Quality ingredients and attention
to detail made our meal PERFECT! We loved everything. We had fresh pasta and the best lasagna ever. House made gelato is no joke!"
Dined on 1/24/2014
Went for Restaurant Week lunch-
wonderful pizza, gnocchi and salad."
Dined on 1/24/2014
Every Restaurant Week we pick a
new place in San Diego to try. With the growing trend in Restaurant Week is either smaller portions or a deal that is not really a deal, I was pleasantly surprised with Monello, which offered full portions. All three lunch courses would have been well over $30, but they were charging only $20. From the vegetable soup to the fresh spinach lasagna to a scoop of chocolate gelato, everything made me want to go back again. I always have heard the pizzas are excellent, and I am looking forward to trying it in a future visit. The key with this place is fresh ingredients and preparation of their pastas. This makes the difference!"
Dined on 1/24/2014
Excellent food, just like we got
in Italy!! Excellent, friendly service. I recommend this to everyone."
Dined on 1/10/2014
went for brunch - food was good -
had a breakfast dish but I don't like to pay for bread at breakfast"
Dined on 9/8/2013
If you are looking for authentic
Italian food and flavors, then look no further. The food is fresh and inventive. The staff is knowledgeable, accommodating and friendly. I am from Sacramento but work in San Diego, I eat at Monello at least once per week and have never been disappointed."
Dined on 1/3/2014
We probably won't go back because
of the limited menu, and because we barely drink, but the pizza was fabulous!"
Dined on 1/1/2014
We just returned from Italy and
were in need a of a solid dining experience until our next trip. Monello didn't disappoint us with authentic dishes and ingredients. This is something San Diego needs and I hope Monello is here for the long run. Thank you!"
Dined on 12/28/2013
We came here for dinner on
recommendation from a friend. The food was good, but what really stood out was the service. We were given samples of their homemade vermouth, a number of staff dropped by the table to fill water or bus plates or to ask if we needed anything. Really, they were very friendly and we were quite impressed with that. As I said, the food was good. It wouldn't say it was amazing, but we all liked what we ordered and we would definitely come back and recommend to friends."
Dined on 12/27/2013
This is the little brother to the
Italian place next door which is EXCELLENT. Monello's is good too but different. More casual feel and more casual menu too. We ordered the truffle pizza which was excellent. Probably one of the best pizzas I've had in San Diego. We also had the gnocchi and squid ink which were both very good as well but the pizza was our fav. The chocolate pannacotta was more like a chocolate mousse but still yummy. All in all, would definitely come back!"
Dined on 12/22/2013
I'd heard about Monello's
house-made vermouth in Edible San Diego and wanted to find out what the real deal tasted like. We took a friend from out of town who is a wine enthusiast and Italophile. None of us were disappointed. The gnocchi were perfect and the vermouth was oh so tasty. My companions shared a bottle of Barolo that was outstanding and everyone cleaned their plates. It set a new bar. We had excellent service, little treats to take home as a gift and a follow up call the next day to provide constructive feedback. This restaurant cares! Go go go."
Dined on 12/21/2013
I chose to come to Monello due to
it being San Diego Magazines Readers Pick winner and me and my guest were not disappointed. Everything was top notch especially the food. To stand out among the many great places in Little Italy is saying something."
Dined on 12/17/2013
We just love dining at
Monellos...... The food,the service the drinks .......always to the highest standards!"
Dined on 12/14/2013
I'm italian and I shoudl listen my
wife when she say don't go to ieat italian in USA. The food was very disappointing, I guess is good for american that never had italian food. The panzerotti look like something frozen you buy at whole food, the finicchi completely full of cream, impossible to eat, cozze gratinate so drie, the pasta ai frutti di mare supposed to be fresh pasta, was testing old fresh pasta and very very piccante, almoast like asian food! I will never come back or raccomand this place.the waitress was very sweat and the place looks amazing, I guess if you go there for happy hour and aperitivi is ok. Don't waist your $ here."
Dined on 12/12/2013
We had never been to San Diego
before and went for our wedding. We chose Monello based on location and reviews. Everything we ordered was wonderful and we were made to feel very special because of the occasion. We would definitely go back and ask for our server, Dasha!"
Dined on 12/6/2013
Decided to choose this place for
our department luncheon. The restaurant is tucked away in little italy San Diego. Parking can be a challenge but I do believe there is $15 valet for the building. We ordered wine, cocktails, appetizers, and items from both dinner and lunch menus. Our hostess was very attentive and knowledgeable of the menu items and had really good recommendations. It was our first time dining there and everyone loved it. The service was on point and the food delicious. The mini calzones were divine, one in our group had the black ink squid pasta with lobster and it was delicious. Pizzas, pastas, salads. No one was disappointed. I will definitely come back with my spouse and even a girlfriends dinner! Enjoy!"
Dined on 12/4/2013
This is my fourth trip this
restaurant and I am never let down. A business associate and I had lunch here last week and they have changed their menu slightly. $15 buys you a great Caesar salad, Starch of your choice and a beautiful well prepared piece of salmon. During the week the restaurant is quiet enough to carry on a business conversation. However in the evening during high dinner hour the sound level is "robust". I especially like their sausage Polenta which unfortunately they only serve in the evening now. The chef and the owner source their food only from the best sources from the East Coast and Italy. Can't wait to go back!"
Dined on 12/3/2013
The picante pizza was amazing, I
can't wait to go back and try the others. Carbonara was also delicous and not too heavy. Service was was very attentive. Only complaint was the $6 charge for water."
Dined on 11/22/2013
Did not have good service, our
waiter was scarce and never brought what you asked for until you asked a second or third time. It took forever to get our coctails, every drink came out separate. The restaurant was very loud, there were 4 of us and I could not hear the person next to me half the time. Pizza was delicious. Will not go back."
Dined on 11/22/2013
We had dined at Monello's big
sister, Bencotto, a few times and always adore their fresh pastas and sauces. Last Saturday night we took an out-of-towner. The woman who greeted us, seated us, and introduced all of the specials, tableside beans, and how the pastas work was a GEM! So enthusiastic, sweet, and informative. Then we had a few others assist with beverages, but unfortunately, our lead server was nonexistent after we placed our order. We would have ordered another bottle of wine but never had the chance. It did not ruin our evening by any means, and we were later approached by the owner who turned out to be the same woman who greeted us with such charisma! Valentina makes the place. We recommend going back!"
Dined on 11/16/2013
I'm not sure who gives Bencotto
and Monello good ratings. Both places are sorry excuses for Italian food and the service at Monello is the absolute worst. The Carbonara at Monello was so yellow, it was scary... I've never had such yolky grossness! The beans they offer the table taste sulphury and just inedible. The homemade vermouth has a nice spicy edge but is way too sweet. Pizza was ok, but a little raw. Hoping for better!"
Dined on 11/13/2013
We enjoyed the trendy, mod
atmosphere at Monello. Our server was extremely friendly and attentive. We order the buratta, fried zucchini and split an order of homemade gnocchi and enjoyed all 3!"
Dined on 11/12/2013
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