Great restaurant in little Italy
Excellent food and pleasant friendly staff at reasonable prices. The pasta dishes were exceptional. Best carbonara and squid ink pasta in San Diego.
4/8/2013 4:00:00 PM
A very interesting menu.
A very interesting menu. All dishes for our party of 4 were well prepared. The server was excellent, as well.
4/17/2013 4:00:00 PM
What a wonderful find!! Food and variety was outstanding. Owner even made a good joke about texting during dinner. Heading there for brunch next weekend.
4/17/2013 4:00:00 PM
Nice trendy place. Very enjoyable
Nice trendy place. Very enjoyable with good food but maybe not as good as the big brother.
4/18/2013 4:00:00 PM
Great place in Little Italy.
Great place in Little Italy. Ideal for small groups who want to pick at each others food--I.E. share your meals.
4/19/2013 4:00:00 PM
This was our 2nd visit in
This was our 2nd visit in a week. I find the menu very interesting and look forward to trying different things with each future visit. We particularly liked the pizzas (picante and Monello). My pasta vongole was outstanding (even better than what I make at home). The other couple shared a branzini and thought it was wonderful.
4/24/2013 4:00:00 PM
A perfect night out!
My husband and I came for a very rare night out on our anniversary. We were spoiled from start to finish. The hostess was warm and seated us early. The owner greeted us upon arriving and checked on us part way through the meal. We ordred 2 of each course and found everything to be delicious (albeit the Ragu was a tad salty even for me and I am NOT afraid of salt). We were treated to extra dessert by the energetic, funny, sharp, witty Alex. Our server, Eddie, was knowledgable, kind, and generous with suggestions. The food came out quickly and spaced out so we had time to focus on all of it without feeling hurried. Prices are SO reasonable for the quality and creativity of food you are served. I HIGHLY recommend The Girls Cabernet!
4/26/2013 4:00:00 PM
Just outstanding food. I ate way too much, took home leftovers, and had a feast the next day.
Share the orders.
5/11/2013 4:00:00 PM
This place is a true gem. Wonderful food with fantastic flair. Amazing service!! The staff is very knowledgable with preperation of food as well as ingredients. Home made vermouth, BIG HIT!!!
5/13/2013 4:00:00 PM
Lunch at Monello
Salad was hearty and healthy. Pizza nice. Zinfandel very good. Inside, the place looks just like the one next door. I was hoping for something more warm and cozy.
5/16/2013 4:00:00 PM
Monello First Impression
Our first visit to Monello so we decided to sample the menu and ordered a salumi platter, fritti misti, the carbonara, the neri, squid ink spaghetti with lobster and octopus and the coppa arrosto, roast pork neck. The food was very good. Service was attentive without being bothersome or intrusive. Overall a good first experience with the new restaurant. Different experience compared to Bencotto. The two restaurants offer similar types of dishes, but the foof at Bencotto seem to have more "depth," while food at Monello tend to be more "casual." Try both restaurants and compare for yourself. You will not be disappointed with either.
5/16/2013 4:00:00 PM
Fun and fabulous
Had read about Monello and am already a huge fan of Bencotto. The staff is super attentive (but not obnoxiously so) and friendly. They offered explanations and great recommendations from drinks to apps to main meal items. Two of us shared a couple of dishes from the mini calzones (I'm from New York and these rate up there) to the delicious arugula salad and the pasta dish. All so fresh and delicious. Can definitely tell the pasta is homemade and fresh. Loved the hip but unpretentious atmosphere and can envision going back and recommending over and over again. Will have to flip flop between the sister restaurants.
5/20/2013 4:00:00 PM
The menu had some very different Italian/Roman street food. It was all very good.
5/29/2013 12:00:00 AM
Most food was good but one entree
Most of what we ordered was pretty good; however my wife ordered chicken and it was rather mediocre.
6/2/2013 12:00:00 AM
Service with a smile
I was visiting my best friend for the week and she introduced me to is Italian gem. Alex the manager is quiet the entertainer and the food all around was fabulous. Don't miss on the fettuccine, the black truffle pizza, the bombonis and the black octopus spaghetti. Seriously though, you can't go wrong with anything that you order from Monello. I will be back.
6/4/2013 12:00:00 AM
A Testament to Good Food
I happened upon Monello the first time by accident for lunch right after they opened, sat at the bar and had such a good experience I keep dragging people back when I am in San Diego. Hip and modern décor blend perfectly with the updated Italian Street Food inspiration of the menu. This truly is a testament to doing a few things and doing them excellent. One type of hand made pasta, but oh, what they do to it is just heaven. Pizzas crispy, fresh toppings, perfect. They are also the only restaurant in America importing Raspa Dura cheese. They shave this cheese on everything from warm pasta to hot pizzas--truly worth the effort. Not quite as strong as parmesan cheese, it adds a wonderful flavor and a silky creaminess. Excellent! A Must Try!
6/6/2013 12:00:00 AM
Monello is a good complement to its sister restaurant Bencotto and a nice addition to the Little Italy casual dining scene.
6/8/2013 12:00:00 AM
Our waiter was very attentive
Our waiter was very attentive and had very good recommendations. It was a nice evening.
6/11/2013 12:00:00 AM
Best new restaurant, best new pizza, worst new bread. What the heck is with the stale tortillas (or whatever Italians call them)? The only glitch in otherwise excellent new San Diego restaurant.
6/22/2013 12:00:00 AM
Great seabass and calamari
My calamari was grilled to perfection and the sea bass was superb
6/27/2013 12:00:00 AM
Those huge cheese wheels caught my eyes and I had to try it. The service was exceptional! Our waitress was very attentive and made the dining experience wonderful. The wine selection was not extensive but our selection was delightful! Bottle of wine plus dinner did not break the bank either! Bellissimo!!
7/2/2013 4:00:00 PM
Good but not great
While the food here was good, and the service was good, the selection was limited (unusual) and a tiny bit pricy, and didn't come with any of the amenities you would expect, like bread on the table (unless you want to pay $3 more).
Even before the crowds arrived, it was too noisy (echos) to make a simple phone call to let my son know how to find it.
7/6/2013 12:00:00 AM
Everything ordered had attention paid to detail and unsurpassed flavors. Fantstico!
7/7/2013 12:00:00 AM
Off the main road in Little Italy..
is a great restaurant called Monello. There are three of us who have been lunching once a month for over 10 years now and we're always looking for a new experience. Monello certainly fit the bill. The service was excellent and we never had to ask for a thing. The food was absolutely delicious and cooked to perfection. We all felt it was a bit pricey for lunch ($75 including tip, only water to drink), but the experience was terrific.
7/24/2013 12:00:00 AM
great spot for trendy Italian food!
very stylish, popular spot with delicious food! They were gracious and flexible with our lateness. The management made a point of visiting our table several times, the owner too: that was very welcoming! Noisy and the server seemed stretched a little thin.
Would definitely eat there again but steer clear of Saturday night.
8/17/2013 12:00:00 AM
We loved our evening at Monello
We loved our evening at Monello and will definitely be back!! Great service and fabulous food!
8/17/2013 12:00:00 AM
First time we had eaten here.
First time we had eaten here. Delicious small plates, fun atmosphere and packed. We will be back.
8/17/2013 12:00:00 AM
Great food, and a great waiter!
My friend and I stopped in for some brunch. The initial service was a tad slow, but once our waiter noticed us he was totally attentive and very sweet. He suggested great drinks! My friend's lobster bisque eggs benedict was delicious, my frittata was a little less so. But we got a croissant and a bomboloni (filled with custard... OMG!) and those were absolutely splendid. Overall, a really great late morning meal. The restaurant was quiet and bright, the table settings were simple. I'd love to live across the street and go there for breakfast, lunch and dinner if I could. Great place.
8/18/2013 12:00:00 AM
Great food and location and service
We stopped for an early dinner and caught the happy hour as well. Sat outside, had a view of the ocean, and received very attentive and helpful service. The happy hour freebies (three small bites with every drink order) were fun and delicious. We also ordered two pizzas - which were thin-crust charred perfections - and dessert gelatos and sorbets that were just the right finishing touches. One of the pizzas came with raspa dura - an Italian cheese not commonly found in the US but should be. It's like a slightly sweeter and creamier parmigian, shaved into long and thin ribbons and placed on top of the finished pizza so it slightly melts from the heat. Delicious!
8/25/2013 12:00:00 AM
Can't Wait To Get Back...
The food here is great. I usually go to Bencotto (next door), but thought we would try their "other restaurant". You won't be disappointed -- I can't wait to go back. Everything we had risotto to pizza was so good. My favorite veggie was: Finocchi Gratinati. It is garlic roasted fennel with cheese sauce au gratin. This is dangerous... omg.... I need to go back for the Finocchi G.
8/31/2013 12:00:00 AM
Thursday Night Pizza
Thursday night is Pizza night with our family and being new to San Diego we are having fun trying out all the great Italian places. We have come to Monello's three time and so far it is one of our favorites. The atmosphere is trendy-casual with a small outdoor seating area and cozy location. Start your night with a bottle of the Super Tuscan or have a Vecchio Stile (bourbon)- drink up with an order of Raspa Dura (young parmesan shaved cheese), Prosciutto Toscano (it is not on the menu, you have to ask for it), and the wild boar salami. For dinner our favorite pie is the Tartufo which has truffles, mushrooms and then we add their delicious sausage. Be sure to check out the big wheels of Raspa Dura and Prosciutto in the hallway. Enjoy!
9/5/2013 12:00:00 AM
Have wanted to try this place since it opened and finally made it during restaurant week. The SDRW options were a nice sampling, but was tempted by their regular menu items. So happy we did. The grilled octopus was so delicious! It wasn't overcooked and tough, it was just simple, clean flavors. The polenta options were all attractive, but ended up with the yellow polenta with short ribs at the server's recommendation. The highlight though was the black squid-ink pasta served with octopus in lobster bisque. The bisque wasn't ladled over the noodles, just with the octopus and it was perfect, not overwhelming the dish. Great portion size as well. I am still thinking about that pasta dish two days later :-)
9/17/2013 12:00:00 AM
Monello's - Italian comfort food
I have heard people rave about Monello's but I was never exactly sure where it was,being that it's in Little Italy but not on India or Kettner. Even knowing the address, I actually walked by it and somehow didn't see it. But it's worth making note and searching it out because it's a real find. Restaurant week lunch is what brought me there. I started with a nice minestrone soup, had a delicious and large portion of spaghetti cacio e pepe, and followed it up with delicious pistachio gelato. Service was excellent and attentive. The waiter shared a sample of the house made vermouth as an after lunch treat. Who knew I loved vermouth? I will definitely return. I hear that happy hour is quite lively here so I'd like to try that, too.
9/18/2013 12:00:00 AM
AMAZING. We went for the great
AMAZING. We went for the great pizza but tried almost everything on the menu. All amazing and fresh. No food hangover in the morning.
9/19/2013 12:00:00 AM
We have dined at Monello several times and have always been very impressed with the quility of the food and the service. We were there this Friday after visiting Balboa Park and our discovered it was restaurant week. At other restaurants, the rush of people taking advantage of discounts can be detrimental to quality and service - not so at Monello. The food was still perfect. My husband and I agree that we have never had better pasta, pizza or calamari! Add to this clean, modern decor and a possible view of the ocean if you have a window seat and face in that direction, and you have our favorite eating location in Little Italy.
9/20/2013 12:00:00 AM
another great Littly Italy restaura
My BF and I went there for Restaurant week. We ordered the Raspa parm ribbons, and it's a must if you go there... velvety ribbons of young parm that melts in your mouth.. rather sensual if you ask me! He ordered the minestrone, and the mushroom black truffle pizza; i had the mushroom polenta (huge portion), argula/fennel salad with grilled octopus. we both had the amazing hazelnut gelato.
Please visit and spend some time there !
9/26/2013 12:00:00 AM
We accidentally found this restaurant on our last trip to San Diego for breakfast. We were so excited to get a reservation for dinner. My boyfriend had the chicken and potatoes which was delicious. I had the spaghetti vongole which was also delicious. I was surprised at how many clams were on the plate. The spaghetti was cooked to perfection. We went back the next morning for breakfast. I had the polenta and eggs and a Rossini. I savored every bite and every sip. I could eat at Monello everyday!
10/5/2013 12:00:00 AM
The sweet vermouth drinks will not disappoint! The free apertivo is just a bonus!! We had a great time!
10/12/2013 12:00:00 AM
Third Time's A Charm!
Third time's a charm...and the other two as well! I've been here three times and each time has had both great food and fun! The bar is great because the bartenders are very personable and their appertivo hour is fantastic -- three small appetizers with each drink you order. The dining room is also a pleasant experience and I recommend sitting along the window for a view of the surrounding blocks and people walking by. I've tried their appetizers, cheeses, pasta, pizza and gelato -- all combine simple and delicious ingredients! The chef is the same chef as Bencotto and recently was awarded The Q Award, and now both restaurants are the benefactors of such an honor. Congratulations!
10/12/2013 12:00:00 AM
Great service, very good food!
I was a weekend in San Diego celebrating my recent engagement and decided to go Monello. I made a reservation on open table and wrote a little note explaining. When we got there, they had everything ready, the host was really nice and naturaly happy for us. She gave us a great table. We had a good wine, the food was very good, and the service was outstanding. When we left the manager gave us a little bottle of olive oil as a souvenir.
Definitely recommend this place for a a good dinner, hang out with friends or have an special occasion.
10/19/2013 12:00:00 AM
This was my friends and I's first brunch visit to monello and we loved it! The breakfast pizza was amazing and the pastry with Nutella in it was excellent. We wanted iced coffees but they weren't on the menu and our server whipped up her own version for us. It was great!
10/20/2013 12:00:00 AM
Very pleasant experience. The tomato ragu was as flavorful as any I've had even in Italy.
The service was even better! Very swanky and amenable location but it took me 25min to find parking at 1 on a Sunday!
10/27/2013 12:00:00 AM
I taste the soup at a restaurant to see if it' s good. Good cooks know how to make good soup.
Soup was delicious and the sandwiches and pizza were really great too. The people are kind and service was tops!
10/30/2013 12:00:00 AM
My husband and I went to Monello
My husband and I went to Monello Friday night and it was very busy but we got right in with our open table reservation. We had a very helpful waitress that gave us recommendations. We started with the wild boar salumi and peppered pork with honey and crostinis they were all small plates and very tasty. Then we shared the yellow polenta with mushroom and the porchetta pizza it was all delicious! We will be back to try more wonderful things and the wine and vermouth specialty drinks were all a nice pair with the food.
11/1/2013 12:00:00 AM
Trendy, modern Italian
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!
11/11/2013 4:00:00 PM
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!
11/15/2013 4:00:00 PM
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.
11/21/2013 4:00:00 PM
Great Lunch Spot
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!
12/2/2013 4:00:00 PM
Party of 9
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!
12/3/2013 4:00:00 PM