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Bencotto Italian Kitchen introduces its little brother

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From the family behind Bencotto Italian Kitchen in Little Italy, now comes Monello -- which translates to "naughty little boy" -- a restaurant of Milanese street food cuisine led by Executive Chef Fabrizio Cavallini.

"The name and concept came about organically, as we kept referring to the new restaurant as Bencotto's younger, lovable and mischief-making sibling," said Valentia Di Pietro, co-founder and PR manager of Monello and Bencotto. "The naughty nature of Monello lies in the contrast between our respect to Italian heritage and adventurous spirit."

Monello will serve breakfast, lunch, dinner and weekend brunch, as well as aperitivo, an alternative to happy hour.

The Little Italy Association's annual Tree Lighting and Christmas Village, will take place from 4 to 8 p.m., Dec. 1, at the Piazza Natale (corner of W. Date & India).

The public is invited to attend the festivities, which includes free Italian cookies, cider and coffee, vendors and various musical and dancing groups.

Last week, the Gaslamp Quarter Association held its 18th annual Lamplighter Awards, Dinner and Auction, which honors businesses and merchants who have made a positive impact on the Gaslamp Quarter through dedication to excellence and enthusiastic support of the National Historic District.

"Best of the Gaslamp Quarter" awards went to Gaslamp Quarter Association President's Award, San Diego Padres; Special Recognition for Community Leadership & Generosity, Chris Cramer of Karl Strauss Brewing; Milestone Award, Café Sevilla for 25 years in business and Special Recognition for Commitment to the Gaslamp Quarter, Michael B. Kelly, Young's Market Company.

Additionally, coming up on Sunday, Dec. 9, the annual Gaslamp Holiday Pet Parade & Pet Expo will take place from 1 to 5 p.m. The parade will be a jolly walk through the Gaslamp Quarter, under the archway and the expo will take place at Gaslamp Hilton Park.

Pre-registration to participate in the parade is $15 (which includes a goodie bag for the first 300 entries) and $20 on the day-of. Also, it is free to observe from the sidewalk along the parade route or while eating lunch on a Gaslamp patio.

Visit gaslamp.org for more information.

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