Monello’s design and decor mirrors a typical Milanese eatery complete with the downtown vibe of the San Diego bay and the familiar Italian neighborhood.
Sophisticated, modern and rustic-chic, Chef Fabrizio Cavallini says it is one of the few Italian restaurants that dares to serve traditional home-cooking in a modern urban setting, similar to a restaurant you would find in Milano, Italy. “We undressed Italian dining of its obsolete and stereotypical look and taste,” he says. “We had a new menu in mind, our tradition is so rich. But we had no room for it at our Bencotto restaurant. So when the space next door became available, our heads were exploding with ideas after Valentina and Guido’s trip to Italy. When they go there, they eat twenty-four-seven and come back with a ton of new ideas.”
The largest Italian festival on the West Coast will welcome over 120,000 visitors from around the country to celebrate authentic Italian and Sicilian culture with entertainment, food and Gesso Italiano.
The Little Italy Association of San Diego is proud to host the 22nd annual FESTA!, the largest Italian cultural festival in the Western U.S., on Sunday, Oct. 9, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The streets of San Diego’s Little Italy neighborhood will be filled with over 120,000 visitors from all over the world to pay tribute to the Italian heritage and culture that created this iconic neighborhood. The event will feature Italian food, al fresco dining, authentic Italian music on three difference stages, a Sicilian flag procession, street stickball and bocce ball tournaments, Gesso Italiano (Italian Chalk) and more.
“FESTA! is not only a celebration of Little Italy San Diego’s historic past, but also a time to recognize the hard work the Little Italy Association has put into making San Diego’s Little Italy a coveted neighborhood—transforming it into one of the top neighborhoods in the country,” said Marco Li Mandri, Chief Executive Administrator of the Little Italy Association. “FESTA! is also a time to celebrate our future and each other—all the Little Italy residents, community members and business and property owners that take pride in our neighborhood. We want to showcase our community’s success and Italian love with everyone and FESTA! is the perfect event to do just that.”
Most San Diegans can attest to the fact that tacos are typically pictured alongside a salt-rimmed cocktail or an ice cold cerveza, but this August the Cohn Restaurant Group is shaking things up with the debut of a new perfectly paired sip. Enter COSTA TIERRA, the first Baja wine produced in partnership with a U.S.-owned restaurant group. Cohn Restaurant Group’s Beverage Director (and notable wine stud), Maurice DiMarino intended the red blend to be drank as an easy, approachable sipper that pairs perfectly with carne asada tacos—and what’s more, he created the blend with one of the oldest and most revered wineries in all of Baja, the beloved Bodegas de Santo Tomás.
Starting August 29th, the Cohn Restaurant Group will be offering COSTA TIERRA by the bottle at five of their local CRG establishments including Coasterra and Island Prime on Harbor Island, Indigo Grill in Little Italy, BO-beau kitchen + garden in La Mesa, and Vintana in Escondido. Select locations will also offer by the glass pours, and the bottle will be available for retail sale at Island Prime, Coasterra and Vintana.
Don’t miss the 2nd Annual VanGo! S.T.E.A.M. Festival on State Street in Front of Washington Elementary S.T.E.A.M. Magnet School in Little Italy on Saturday, June 11th from 12 – 6 p.m.
The creativity of local students comes to life with the S.T.E.A.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) Festival, a FREE community event that features silly soap box car races; live musical and visual arts performances; interactive S.T.E.A.M. activities, a fine art exhibit; local vendors; food; and a beer and wine garden. Washington Elementary integrates their community partnerships with their curriculum by having local businesses sponsor the cars and together with sponsors, students and teachers; they design, engineer and build rolling sculptures!
Perched on the corner of Date and India Streets, Napizza is not only one of the newest establishments in Little Italy, it also has a new concept that is gaining attention.
Green certified and committed to utilizing locally sourced, organic ingredients with no preservatives or chemicals, this is not your typical pizza joint. But that new philosophy is underscored by one of the oldest traditions in pizza-making techniques. Pizza la taglio, a centuries-old art of utilizing special four, yeast and water, and allowing for a slow rise to create a product with no equal. The large, square-cut pieces are familiar to anyone who’s sampled street food from Italy’s larger cities.
Civico 1845, the Little Italy eatery that features traditional Italian flavors with a modern spin, is bringing renowned Italian/vegan chef Luca Zannoni to San Diego to help design its new Spring-time vegan menu. With a resume that includes creating menus for restaurants and hotels across the globe including the Grand Hotel Rimini, Harrys Bar in London and Il Bacco Ristorante in New York Zannoni has cultivated an international reputation as an expert in organic, vegetarian and vegan cooking.
Our vegan menu has been a major differentiator for us and a huge part of the restaurants success, said Pietro Gallo, who serves as Civico 1845s vegan chef. I have known Zannoni for years and am excited to work with him to create dishes our customers will love. Our partnership will help Civico 1845 become the standard for vegan Italian cuisine in San Diego.
Dishes on the spring vegan menu will include new items and updated versions of the restaurants classic offerings, such as the lasagna and ravioli. New additions include Polpettine di Miglioin Tre Salse (vegan meatballs in three sauces), Risotto al Radicchio (risotto with radicchio lettuce, cabbage and caraway seeds) and Crostata di Nocciole e Amarene (a cherry and hazelnut tart).
On Wednesday, Feb. 24th, the restaurant will unveil the menu and donate 10 percent of the days vegan proceeds to The Humane League, a national organization with a San Diego chapter that reduces animal suffering by inspiring change at all levels for farmed animals. Reservations for this one-day event are encouraged, as seats are likely to fill quickly. Visit www.civico1845.com for more information.