Kirbie's Cravings


Monello 1
I’ve heard great things about Monello, an Italian restaurant specializing in street cuisine. I’ve heard especially good things about their pizza and happy hour.

So this past weekend, Mr. K and I went to check out both.

Between 4-7pm, they serve Milanese Aperitivo, which is their version of happy hour, at the bar and on the patio. For each regular-priced cocktail you order, they give you three complimentary small dishes.

Meals start with complimentary Lupini beans.
Monello Restaurant
Lightly salted, these are similar to edamame beans. You pop them in your mouth and throw out the shell.

Sweet Vermouth (rock & twist)
Monello Restaurant

The vermouth is made in house and I absolutely love it. I tasted it once before and have been wanting to get a full size version ever since.
Monello Restaurant

Monello Restaurant
Mr. K chose this version which is sweet vermouth mixed with club soda. We both preferred the rock & twist version I ordered because the club soda diluted the sweet vermouth and made the drink more bitter.

Potatoes, Saffron bread pudding, Panini

For our complimentary small bites, we were served potatoes, bread pudding and panini. We each got a set of the three plates and the variety changes daily. With each additional round of drinks, you get three more different ones. Unfortunately, we’re both light weights so one drink each was enough. These were alright, but nothing particularly stood out. My favorite was the potatoes.

Still, for $8 (that was the price of the drink I chose)  you got a drink and three small plates, which isn’t a bad deal.

Bencotto Pizza

We’ve been on the hunt to find pizza as good as the ones we ate in Italy. Our favorite so far has been Pizzeria Mozza so we are eagerly anticipating the opening of the San Diego branch in a few weeks. We heard good things about Monello so we had to give it a try. Normally, we stick to margherita pizza, but my research told me Bencotto is their most popular one.

We enjoyed the sauce as well as the thin, crunchy crust. I liked the pizza, but not nearly as much as Mozza.

We had a good time here and the staff was friendly. I do want to come back and explore more of the menu.

Lunch menu

Dinner menu

750 W Fir St
San Diego, CA 92101
Monello on Urbanspoon

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4 comments on “Monello”

  1. I like the 3 complimentary apps w/ a full price drink! I’ve never had vermouth straight up like that (or w/ twist of anything). I think when I’ve tried it, it tasted a bit medicinal and harsh? So maybe this place will change my mind about it. Pizza looks good too.

    • This sweeter version tastes really good straight up. I usually find vermouth too strong and medicinal too but I really like it here.

  2. This was going to be my fourth stop when I hosted a cheese crawl but everyone was too full to make it to the fourth stop! They happy hour deal is pretty good considering you get food and drink for $8. I think I wanted to check out their brunch on the weekends. I’m also looking forward to Mozza! I haven’t been to the LA location but it sounds so good.

    • The brunch sounds good too, I definitely want to try it.
      Mozza is really really good! I would stick to the pizzas though. They have entrees which get a bit pricey and I honestly though they were just okay. But I love the pizzas, specially just the simple margherita pizza.

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