Little Italy's Naughty Boy Offers The Perfect Start To Your Weekend | Monello Expands Brunch

Monello's Nutella pancakes
November 15, 2015

Little Italy's Monello, which means 'naughty little boy' in Italian, recently added some delicious dishes to its weekend brunch, offered every Saturday and Sunday. We stopped in to sample some of the new treats and enjoyed fantastic offerings that blend American-style favorites with Italian flair.

Monello is the little brother of neighboring Bencotto, both owned and operated by Milanese husband and wife Guido and Valentina, as well as Executive Chef Fabrizio Cavallini. Monello is inspired by Italian culinary traditions and the upscale street food found in Milan - simple dishes prepared with high quality ingredients.  At Monello, take comfort in the fact that if it is not sourced from Italy, it comes from local markets, with most ingredients prepared in house - from the mozzarella to the bread and pasta to the sweet vermouth.

Monello is located on a quiet street in Little Italy with a European-style, dog-friendly patio, featuring glimpses of the San Diego Bay and harbor.  Described as "trattoria chic," the ultra modern interior boasts stamped concrete walls, a bakery display for prepared piattini and a sit down bar stocked with wines and spirits.  On a saunter to the restrooms, be sure to take notice of the refrigerator display cases where cured meats and cheeses are described and marked with their location of origin.

Cornetto al San Danielle
To set the mood, we ordered one of each of the brunch signature cocktails - an Italian version of the Parisian Mimosa, the Bellini combines peach puree with Prosecco, while the Rossini combines strawberry basil puree with the Italian sparkling white wine ($10).  Both were refreshing and definitely featured the delicate wine rather than their fruity additions, making a not-too-sweet complement to a savory meal.

Start your meal with Patate el Salto - locally sourced sausage, rich cheese sauce and three eggs served over easy atop a bed of roasted potatoes. Or for those interested in a lighter dish, opt for the Cornetto con Frittata or Cornetto al San Danielle ($13), both include most delicious roasted potatoes and your choice of bombolone. The Italian take on the American breakfast sandwich, these light and flaky croissants are stuffed with a variety of produce, meats and cheeses sure to satisfy any appetite. A great option for sharing is the Brunch Piadina - rolled bites of traditional Italian flatbread filled with eggs, applewood smoked bacon and fontina cheese, served with a side of roasted potatoes and arriabbiata sauce for dipping.
Pistacchio bombolone
Brunch Piadina
For those who prefer to start the morning off a little sweeter, Monello has added thick and fluffy Nutella Pancakes to its list of offerings. These whole wheat pancakes are what dreams are made of, served hot and topped with sliced almonds, bananas, fresh strawberry coulis and a generous side of nutella. There are also ricotta pancakes and pumpkin pancakes, all which can be purchased in increments of 1, 2 or 3, and mixed and matched for some variety.
Single nutella pancake - $5
Brunch at Monello is offered 10 am to 3:30 pm on Saturday and Sunday. For more information, visit