Examiner.com - Construction sneak-peek: BALLO Italian Restaurant and Social Club at The Sun

By Don Church and Tony Schillaci

Restaurateur John Tunney III recently invited members of the press and Mohegan Sun executives to don bright red hard hats and visit the construction site of his new restaurant, BALLO, scheduled to open in September.

The name, BALLO, meaning ‘dance’ in Italian, might aptly describe the atmosphere of the dining spot and social club, where John says “at around 11pm nightly, the designated wait staff will move the tables from the dining room floor to create a dance floor, leaving only a few tables a the perimeter, where we invite our guests to jump up and dance on the tables if they get energized enough.”

Walking through the 16,000 square foot space – inspired by the 12th century Tuscan Gothic abbey San Galgano – John enthusiastically exclaimed “the magnitude of this project fits perfectly with all that is spectacular about Italy – it’s history and passion – and what could be a better place than BALLO to worship the food of Italy, which will replicate it’s culinary mastery.”

After introducing the Executive Chef, Matthew Adler, the Chef de Cuisine, Shaun Golan, and General Manager Jason Barlow, John spoke of the teamwork that makes all of his restaurants, (including Besito Mexican in West Hartford CT and Roslyn and Huntington, L.I.) by saying “The excitement that fuels us is when we blow your mind with service, value, and, of course, the food. This project is gigantic – it’s my baby!”

Freshness and simplicity will be featured in the BALLO menu. The chefs will present the“best possible ingredients touched by the least pairs of hands the least amount of times” A sample appetizer of Burrata cheese, a form of soft mozzarella, topped with a freshly made pesto and served with tiny grape tomatoes was offered to all members of the hard-hat tour in the sparkling stainless steel kitchen.