story & photos by Alexis Ann
he Italian word “ballo” means “dance”—and that makes it the perfect name for this amazing new restaurant at Mohegan Sun for many reasons. First, your taste buds will dance when you try their exquisite food. Second, you will want to dance with joy when you eat there because it’s so good. And third, you’ll be able to do just that, because the restaurant allows guests to literally dance on the tables!
BALLO Italian Restaurant and
Social Club is the latest restaurant owned and operated by the award- winning John J. Tunney III, known for his high-profi le, always-packed dining establishments in NY, CT, Las Vegas and Atlantic City. The 16,000-square-foot restaurant had its grand opening on September 22 and I had the privilege to be there for a sneak-preview meal that I can honestly say was the best food I have ever eaten! The fi rst tasty morsels that
we sampled were fi gs wrapped in prosciutto stuffed with warm goat cheese served with a taste of honey. Then we moved on to Caprese, a tomato salad named after the beautiful Italian Isle of Capri. This was followed by crispy artichokes with arugula and lemon; meatballs with broccoli rabe and ricotta salata; a sweet sausage pizza with roasted peppers and caramelized onions; ravioli with ricotta and mascarpone cheeses and basil pesto; tagliatelle pasta with prosciutto cotto and parmigiano cheese; fi let mignon with heirloom tomatoes, radicchio, and arugula—and to top it all off, fabulous cannolis with chocolate chips and crushed pistachios. As we dined, John explained that everything is made on-premises—the pastas, the sausages, the desserts. It was obvious with every bite that his Executive Chef Matthew Adler and Chef de Cuisine Shaun Golan use only the fi nest, freshest, local ingredients. “Our ingredients are the freshest of the fresh available—right from local farms,” John remarked. When one diner commented about the delicious fl avor of the wines we’re enjoying, John noted that, “The wines are wonderful values. They only taste expensive!” John offers not only exceptional Italian food and wine, but also a comprehensive experience of Italian culture. BALLO’s design was inspired by San Galgano, a Gothic abbey in the hills of Tuscany that was built in the 12th century. “San Galgano represents
(l-r) John J. Tunney III, Owner, BALLO, Shaun Golan, Chef de Cuisine, emphasized, “We use the best ingredients, touched the least amount of times by the ‘best hands.’”
October 5 ~ 18, 2011 the Resident 860.599.1221 www.theresident.com
BALLO Opens at Mohegan Sun – and When You Try It, You Will Dance!
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Jason Barlow, General Manager, explains that BALLO features a signature drink called “Ballo Limonata” that contains Spirit Vodka imported from Italy.“We like our drinks, just like the food, to be made with the highest quality ingredients.”
4 Langworthy Road, Westerly, RI Call 1.800.423.7210 Ask For Bruce
BALLO Bartenders –are ready to serve YOU!
(l-r) Andrea Briggs, Groton, Kyle Rockett, New London, Jacquie Brooks, Norwich celebrate opening night of BALLO Italian Restaurant and Social Club, Mohegan Sun.
all that is spectacular about Italy—the history, the passion, the fortitude of the country,” John explains.
Guests can enjoy the cathedral- like lounge complete with Italian decor, socialize at one of the largest Carrara marble bars ever built, dine in the main dining room, or one of the private rooms, each with a beautiful marble fi replace and private butler’s pantry.
After guests have eaten, the
dancing fun begins! Every night at 11:00, a rehearsed set of servers at BALLO carry out a portion of the dining-room furniture and guests can
dance on tables, just like they do in Italy. How’s that for fun? BALLO can be found in the Casino of the Earth. “We’re very excited about this new venture,” says Mitchell Etess, CEO of the Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority. “BALLO is a unique concept that will further enhance the experience we offer our guests.”
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