Since 1969, restaurant, hotel, travel & other witty reviews by a handpicked, worldwide team of discerning professionals—and your views, too.

Italian street fare from a passionate Milanese family.


Lunch Tues.-Sun., Dinner nightly, Brunch Sat.-Sun.

* Click here for rating key

Monello, San Diego, CA

Operations may be disrupted due to COVID-19. Be sure to contact the restaurant to find out its current status and offerings.

Monello Restaurant Review

: Monello means "naughty little boy" in Italian, and the playful moniker befits this Little Italy eatery, co-founded by husband-and-wife Guido Nistri and Valentina DiPietro, along with talented chef Fabrizio Cavallini. Sister to Bencotto Italian Kitchen, Monello sits next door and offers up a portal to Milan’s aperitivo culture. The concept of social dining in a casual, inviting ambience rings true here, and the menu features upscale street food. House-made vermouth is a signature beginning, as there’s a 27-ingredient version --- best served on the rocks with a simple twist of orange rind or enjoyed in a Negroni. Tasty Lupini beans, to be popped open like edamame, appear to whet the appetite, as does a paper cone of thinly shaved young Lodigiano cheese called “raspa dura.” For salumi, we suggest the finocchiona (fennel salami) and soppresata di cinghiale (wild boar). Cavallini’s thin-crusted pizza excels, especially the truffle, mushroom and cheese, as does his trio of spaghettis. For a heartier approach, order up the coppa arrosto, roasted pork neck with mashed potatoes. And, yes, as one might guess, there’s artisanal gelato for dessert, as well as affogato, sorbet or gelato drenched with vermouth or espresso. Check out the farmers market brunch on weekends.

Best Kosher Wines
Best Kosher Wines

Check out GAYOT's list of the Top Kosher Wines.