Monello – Italian Coastal Cuisine

Standard
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MotorettaCarpano Bianco, Genepy, Gin, Orange Bitters -$8

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RED PRAWN – Charmoula & Ramps -$15

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GRILLED OCTOPUS – with Pine Nuts, Paprika & Grilled Cucumber -$18

She loved it! The octopus, understandably, reminded her of calamari. Then came our pasta courses. All the pasta is made fresh and in-house here! You have the option of ordering a small or large portion. Sally and I both went with smalls because we had our starters.

FAZZOLETTI with Poached Lobster, Hazelnuts & Saffron 12/19

FAZZOLETTI – with Poached Lobster, Hazelnuts & Saffron $12/$19

Sally said she wanted something with a rich sauce, but the fazzoletti dish wasn’t rich at all. I think he may have recommended it because it was a brown butter sauce and perhaps one of the “richest” on the menu.

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RICOTTA TORTELLI – with Preserved Lemon, Ramps & Asparagus $11/$18

Ryan and I both ordered the Tortelli. The difference between the small and the large was four versus eight tortelli, respectively. You can’t see the beautiful tortelli in this photo, but it was phenomenal – fresh-made and delicate with pillowy ricotta inside. The sauce was like a pesto. This was my favorite dish of the night… and pretty much everyone else’s, too!

Rob had a large serving of pasta for his main course. There wasn’t much on the menu he could have, being that the focus at Monelli is on seafood. Have you noticed how beautifully plated everything is? I felt like we were on Top Chef.

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AGNOLOTTI with Roasted Beets, Goat Cheese & Sweet Sausage $12/$19

I was surprised that Rob ordered this dish because of the goat cheese, of which he is not a fan. He expected a few little clumps of it. However, the dish tasted very much of goat cheese because the agnolotti were filled with it. He said he could still appreciate the perfectly cooked pasta. Unfortunately, he only had three little pieces of sausage. Although he did like this dish, he much preferred my pasta to his.

When you are at a restaurant that prides itself on offering Italian Coastal Cuisine, get the seafood, right?! I really wanted the scallops, even though the description sounded a bit boring.

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SAUTEED SEA SCALLOPS with Zucchini, Tomato, Eggplant & Red Wine Vinegar $29

And it really was. The scallops were cooked nicely, but the rest was just… boring. Sally ordered the same. I still liked the crispy basil on the top. And I’m very glad I got a few different courses so that I discovered something I really liked. {The pasta!}

Plus, I asked for a wine pairing recommendation to go with my scallops and got to try a new-to-me varietal! Timorasso, Colli Tortonesi-Derthona La Colombera 2011 ($15) – described as a “rare varietal from the Piedmont that delivers an umami hit like a secret handshake.” Yes, it was a unique white wine!

While the tortelli seemed to be the star of the entire night for all of us, Ryan said his steak was right on par.

GRILLED BEEF TENDERLOIN with Morel Mushrooms, Romanesco & Red Wine 35

GRILLED BEEF TENDERLOIN with Morel Mushrooms, Romanesco & Red Wine $35

So when in doubt, I’ll go with the steak and pasta here. Monello has received many, many rave reviews. I can see why! While I didn’t love everything I ordered, it’s probably just because of my not-completely-refined tastes. Everything was delicately plated and there was so much attention to detail. The service was top notch, too. Recommendations were always offered and each dish was described as it was delivered.

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