Meet San Morello, one of the residents that moved into the Shinola Hotel on Woodward Ave right in the heart of Downtown Detroit. Chef Andrew Carmellini and his team opened San Morello in December 2018. San Morello presents upscale Italian fare through a diverse blend of old world classics and creative components. Dishes include My Grandmother’s Ravioli, and the King Crab Wood-Fired Pizza featuring vodka sauce, lemon, and chili.
San Morello has a decent amount of vegetarian options, even more meatless selections if you eat fish and seafood. With a Southern Italian influence, the menu is broken down into sections, including antipasti, wood-fired pizza, and pasta to name a few.
Smokey Eggplant Dip
Charred onion, yogurt, pepperonata (Italian dish of stewed peppers). Outstanding! The flavor combo of smokey eggplant, cool spiced yogurt, and sweet pepperonata was delicious. So good, that I tried to recreate this dish at home. Close, but no cigar. I’ll let the chef’s do their thing and stick to ordering it from San Morello.
Sheep’s Milk Ricotta Dip
Hot honey and garlic chips. Served with fresh, warm bread.The honey wasn’t spicy as the name would imply, but provided a warm element to the dish. The ricotta was creamy and fresh. The garlic created a bridge between savory and sweet. Who doesn’t like crispy garlic??
Yea, so, what? We got two dips. Our server recommended both and we couldn’t choose. Good move on our server’s part because these were our top two dishes. Well played, Sir!
Robiola crema, candied walnuts. Colorful, but lacking flavor. These root vegetables needed some seasoning. And a tang to balance out the sweetness of the candied walnuts.
Favas, arugula pesto, opal basil. I wanted to like this dish, but instead was disappointed. Let’s start off with the Opal basil, which was a good choice. It’s sweet and mild flavor was subtle and went well with the burrata. The favas were accompanied by an assortment of diced vegetables which provided texture and color, but not much flavor. Olives were in the mix and I was hoping they would add a salty element to complete the dish, but they didn’t. All of the components provided minimal flavor, which resulted in an overall mediocre dish.
San Morelli’s dining room has a modern vintage feel, open and bright with gorgeous high ceilings and natural light pouring through the windows. This is a nice, refreshing change from traditional, dimly lit Italian restaurants. Leather and patterned fabric cover the seats and neutral checkered design for the floor.
Our server was good, providing honest recommendations based on our interests instead of claiming “everything on the menu is amazing” as a lot of servers are guilty of. Even steering us away from some dishes that didn’t reflect our likes. Additionally, our server was friendly, attentive to our needs, providing a pleasant experience.