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Ballo Italian Restaurant & Social Club

Restaurant Review - Mohegan Sun, CT

By Mark B. Oliver | February 15, 2012

Scallop and Scampi
The Lamb Special
Black Ink Squid Risotto
The Striped Bass Special

Mohegan Sun is one of the destination venues in Connecticut, whether it is for concerts, the first-class spa or the casino. Now dining can be added to the list thanks to Ballo.

The Bar

I must confess to being skeptical that Ballo could offer a first class dining experience - based purely on its location.   Mohegan Sun is undoubtedly popular for many reasons, but the noise from the casino floor seemed incongruous with a relaxing dinner with friends and loved ones.

However the same team that launched the exceptional Besito are behind this new venture (which opened in the Fall of 2011) and that alone was sufficient incentive to visit.

I was the first to arrive and as I was shown to my seat, I passed a bar that wouldn’t be out of place in the latest Manhattan nightspot.   Whatever your drink of choice, it’s to be found at Ballo.

As I sat waiting for my friends, I glanced around at the decor.   High ceilings with dramatic arches that separated the space, created a cozy feel despite the size of the restaurant.   Like Besito the lighting is pitch perfect, neither too bright nor too dark creating a charming ambience.

Inside Ballo

I could neither see the casino floor nor hear any noise from it.   Ambient music was playing in the background (which varied widely over the course of the evening, but always seemed to suit the prevailing mood) and while laughter and voices could be heard from nearby tables, the conversations of my fellow diners couldn’t.   Clearly a great deal of thought has gone into the acoustics at Ballo and it’s a masterful triumph.

Executive Chef Matthew Adler, and Chef de Cuisine Shaun Golan, have crafted an exquisite and extensive menu.   As we perused the many choices, including numerous specials, I tried their signature cocktail - Ballo Limonata ($10).   Very smooth and refreshing, care must be taken not to order too many of these as they slip down very easily indeed.

The wine list left this novice at a loss, but the knowledgeable wait staff are happy to help.   Bottles of wine range from $26 to well over $400, but most offerings are in the $30 to $50 range.

As there were five of us, we chose a selection of appetizers.   The Black Ink Squid Risotto was a special available as either a starter or entree.   Don’t let the fact that it is pitch black deter you, this dish is a knockout.   The flavor is unique and hard to describe.   What it isn’t is fishy - a buttery taste with a hint of salt and a spicy kick combine well with the texture of the perfectly cooked rice. Fresh chili peppers garnish the dish, but if you like your food a little cooler simply ask for these to be omitted.

Chicken Francaise

The Assaggi ($24) is a dish meant to be shared, and is served on a large wooden board.   Comprising prosciutto, salami, a selection of cheeses (the talegio, a soft cheese with a firm rind, was the clear favorite), together with roasted tomatoes and ricotta stuffed peppadews. The ricotta was a delightful accompaniment to the peppadews which were quickly devoured.

The Mercado de Pesce (the market fish of the day) was locally caught striped bass with Livornaise Sauce (roasted tomatoes, roasted peppers, olives, onions and capers) and chickpeas ($26).

The fish was moist and flavorsome and the light broth enhanced the flavor of the striped bass with overpowering it.   The chickpeas maintained a slight crunch, which while unexpected, worked well.

The Chicken Francaise ($21) was served with broccoli rabe and grilled lemon.   The chicken breast had been pounded flat increasing its tenderness, yet the chicken remained juicy.   The lemon was extremely subtle but sufficient to lift the dish out of the ordinary.

A Selection of Desserts

The Scallop and Scampi ($33) was easily the most colorful dish of the night.   Served over black lentils (with spicy sausage) and spinach, the scallops were cooked to perfection with a slight buttery taste, and the portion was generous.

Another dish was the Lamb Special.   Individual ribs of lamb were served with a wine reduction which added a sweetness to the savory and a well prepared mix of onions, tomatoes and potatoes proved to be an excellent accompaniment.

All of the desserts are $8, and you should save some room for these indulgent delights.

If you have never had Affogato before you should try it at Ballo.   This sublime treat - vanilla gelato over which a mixture of warm espresso and sweet vermouth is poured at the table - is not to be missed.

Ballo serves excellent food in a fast class environment.   Highly recommended.

TELEPHONE(860) 862-1100

Ballo Italian Restaurant & Social Club
1 Mohegan Sun Boulevard
Uncasville, CT 06382

E-MAIL: info@balloitalian.com

WEBSITE: https://www.balloitalian.com/index.php


Daily: 11:30AM - 3PM

Sun - Thu: 4PM - 10PM
Fri & Sat: 4PM - 11PM

Late Night Menu:
Fri & Sat: 11PM - 1PM

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