Edit ModuleShow Tags


The "naughty little" spinoff of Bencotto opens today


Bencotto took Little Italy by storm. Amid traditional wicker-basket red sauceries, Bencotto was pure Milan—clean lines, modern, and pasta made daily with Northern Italian sauces. In short, it's a fantastic restaurant. Today, owners Valentina DiPietro, Guido Nistri and exec chef Fabrizio Cavallini open Monello next door. The name translates to "naughty little boy." I won't BS you here. Below is pure press release material (I sifted out the essential facts for you). The owners have politely issued a restraining order on me for a week or so. Opening a restaurant is chaos on scale with PIcasso's Guernica.

Still, you should go, be kind about minor hiccups, get a glimpse. This trio knows how to do restaurants.

THE FOOD: Milanese and Northern Italian street fare. Fresh-baked breads and pastries, polenta dishes, homemade spaghetti, flatbreads, pizza, roasted meats and seafood, gelato, sorbet and baked desserts all made in-house.

APERITIVO: The way Milanos do what we Yanks call happy hour. Every day from 4-7PM, buying a cocktail, beer or glass of wine will get the customer a gratis piattini (small bite), made differently each day.

HOUSEMADE VERMOUTH:  In-house mixologist Jennifer Queen makes her own vermouth—a 27-ingredient juggernaut. "Holy **** it was good," says SD Mag ed-in-chief Erin Chambers-Smith. Bar also includes small-batch wines on tap.

DESIGN: Handled by Dianne Harsch of Studio Emphasis. They're calling it "trattoria chic," which sounds like a nifty marketing term for what I'm sure is nifty design. While Bencotto was concrete, white and black... Monello is warmer, more "residential." Yet still modern as you can see by the photo.

YELP: Already has one review! FIVE STARS! Bet that person wrote it in the bathroom prior to intermezzo. Fresh out of conquistadors, the world has replaced the esteem of discovery with "First Yelp Review!"

THE VIDEO: Yep, they made one. Fancy. 


Edit ModuleShow Tags

More »Related Stories

Sell Outs!

First Saint Archer sold to MillerCoors. Now Ballast Point has sold to Constellation Brands for one billion dollars. Is San Diego's craft beer scene being co-opted? Are we sell-outs?

Holiday Classes at Bake Sale Bakery

‘Tis the season! Learn how to make seasonal sweet treats at the East Village dessert spot Bake Sale in San Diego

FIRST LOOK: The Crack Shack

After the huge success of Juniper & Ivy, chef Richard Blais and owner Michael Rosen launch all-day, ethical-chicken breakfast joint called The Crack Shack. Could this be the McDonald's for the food- and ethics-conscious foodie generation?
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module

Subscribe to the Blog

Edit ModuleShow Tags

SD Food News

The hottest thing in San Diego food right now just might be Tijuana.

About This Blog

Restaurant reviews, food trends, top cocktails, wine, beer and generally the best eats and drinks in San Diego, by Food Editor and general good guy Troy Johnson.

Recent Posts

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags


Win Dinner for Two at Black&Blue Steakhouse

Win dinner for two at Black&Blue Steakhouse and $25 in Free Slot Play at Valley View Casino

MADE IN AMERICA — Craft Icons of the 50 States

MADE IN AMERICA is the last exhibition in Mingei International Museum’s American Icons series, celebrating 100 years of folk art, craft and design from coast to coast.
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags