Ballo in Mohegan Sun: Great Italian in a Stunning Space
There’s no shortage of spectacular dining options at Mohegan Sun, from casual options like Bobby’s Burger Palace and Frank Pepe to upscale spots like Todd English’s Tuscany and Bar Americain. But if you’re visiting the resort and only have the time or budget for one fine-dining meal, I suggest you visit Ballo. I had the opportunity to dine there at the invitation of the restaurant, and was legitimately blown away by both the meal and the space.
The restaurant itself is sprawling, with an expansive bar/ lounge area dominated by high stone vaulted ceilings reminiscent of a Gothic cathedral. The main dining room behind it is equally inviting. The wide menu includes appetizers, salads, pizza, pasta, secondi, and contorni, sticking to a traditional Italian approach, and it’s hard to go wrong.
We started with the arancini, which were crisp, not greasy, and full of flavor (and short rib). The Sopressata pizza had a perfectly chewy crust, and the toppings of spicy salami, smoked mozzarella, caramelized shallots, and chiles were properly distributed and balanced. It’s a pizza that’s impossible to dislike. Make sure you pay attention to the specials, because their special ravioli, filled with butternut squash and ricotta and tossed with a brown butter sauce, was fresh-made and was literally as tasty as any of the best pasta dishes I’ve ever had, including ones at New York’s Babbo (Pay attention to the specials, they’re devised daily using fresh seasonal ingredients). Chicken francese was golden brown and a spot-on traditional interpretation of the classic dish; and the zuppa di pesce, brimming with lobster tail, calamari, shrimp, clams, and mussels in a rich tomato broth, was hearty and comforting. Don’t miss the fresh homemade cannoli for dessert. Service was friendly and professional.
If you’re at Mohegan Sun and looking for a traditional Italian meal, look no further than Ballo.