Birthday Dinner at Monello in Little Italy

I’m just about ready to post my yearly edition of free birthday food but first – a recap of my birthday dinner at Monello. I picked Monello because I love pasta and they make their pasta daily. Fresh pasta makes such a difference!

Sweet Vermouth at Monello - San Diego, CA

We got there on a Sunday afternoon and pretty much had the place to ourselves. That was nice since we could all hear each other! Our waiter gave us all samples of their housemade sweet vermouth. I liked it, but not enough to want more. This little sample was actually enough to give me a slight buzz… what can I say, I’m a lightweight!

Menu at Monello - San Diego, CA

Here’s the menu for Monello.

Menu at Monello - San Diego, CA

They also have pizza!

Fried Calzone | Monello - San Diego, CA

Someone ordered the Panzerotti [$11] and while I didn’t take a photo of the full plate, I did photo one half that I took to munch on. The cheese is oozing out! 

Misto Sampler | Monello - San Diego, CA

A few of us shared this Misto [$16] dish which I thought of as a “sampler platter”. It’s got fried shrimp, fried zucchini, and calamari all in one dish. Yum!

Monello with Spaghetti | Monello - San Diego, CA

I had a really hard time choosing what I wanted to get. Everything sounded so delicious but I ended up choosing the Monello with Spaghetti [$19]. They have six different sauces to choose from if you want “Pasta Your Way” and the Monello sounded like the best of the bunch. It had marinara, cream, and applewood smoked bacon. It almost looks like just a regular old meat sauce but once you have a bite of the pasta you’re hit with the smokiness of that bacon! The sauce was incredibly delicious and I loved the flavor and smoke. The pasta was perfectly cooked as well. I was only able to eat about 1/3 of the pasta since I had appetizers first. That wasn’t a bad thing though since I enjoyed the pasta for lunch the next day. Hells yeah! 

Squid Ink Pasta with Octopus | Monello - San Diego, CA

Alyssa chose to get the Spaghetti Nero Con Polipo [$22] aka “squid ink pasta with octopus”. It almost looks like a Halloween dish! 

Saffron Spaghetti with Shrimp | Monello - San Diego, CA

Laura got the Spaghetti di Zafferano Con Gamberi [$25] which is saffron spaghetti, shrimp, lemon zest, and prosecco cream sauce. She gave me a little bite and it tasted similar to the dish I got at Bencotto a few weeks ago. I like that they put in whole shrimp plus cut up bits of shrimp to maximize the shrimpiness of the dish!

Lasagna Monello | Monello - San Diego, CA

Jake and David both got the Lasagna Monello [$20] which I ALMOST ordered because I love the lasagna over at Bencotto. But spaghetti won for me that day. Jake gave me a bite of his lasagna and man it was good. Delicious layers of meat sauce + besciamella sauce and SO MUCH CHEESE. Oh. It’s cheesy pasta heaven!

Spaghetti Carbonara | Monello - San Diego, CA

Allison got the Carbonara with Spaghetti [$19] which is a mighty fine choice. I’ve had this before and it does not disappoint! 

Caramelle | Monello - San Diego, CA

Maile chose to get the awesomely rich Caramelle [$22] pasta which is a mushroom and truffle lovers dream. It’s so darn rich and full of creamy goodness. 

I could have sworn I took a photo of Stacey’s pasta but meh… I can’t find it! Frank got the same thing as me so he was the only one who didn’t have their food taken away from them before they could eat it. Ha. 

Pannacotta | Monello - San Diego, CA

A few of my friends ordered this Pannacotta al Cioccolato [$8] which is a chocolate custard dessert with a bunch of whipped cream on top. It tasted like a really luscious chocolate pudding. Totally better than that Jello in a cup stuff.

Apple Pie | Monello - San Diego, CA

I ordered the Torta di Mele [$8] which is a like a fancy apple pie. There’s no crust on top, just pretty apples and powdered sugar, and there’s custard in the pie as well. The crust was soft and there were tons of thinly sliced apples inside!

Birthday Gelato | Monello - San Diego, CA

If I had known they would bring out a scoop of gelato for me I might not have gotten that apple pie! I felt like a hobbit having second dessert. 

Friends | Monello - San Diego, CA

Thanks to my wonderful super duper awesome friends for coming out to have dinner with me for my birthday! And thanks to Monello for having incredibly delicious food!

Monello
750 West Fir Street
San Diego, CA 92101
(619) 501-0030

Author: Mary

Mary is a San Diego native and has been a food blogger for 11+ years. She is an avid reader, a lover of puppies, and loves trying new food. Foods she loves: sweets, peanut butter, pasta, Triscuit crackers with cream cheese, and extra nuts on top of her sundaes. Food she dislikes: pickles, really spicy food, runny eggs, olives, and too much arugula.

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