Foodette Reviews - Press Preview of Ballo at Mohegan Sun Casino, Uncasville, CT
In the heart of Mohegan Sun’s Casino of the Earth, new kid on the block Ballo’s sprawling, exuberant scale may appear to be as over the top as any Vegas establishment, but is a perfect example of big things coming in big packages. This is a quality that restaurant maverick John J. Tunney III, owner of Ballo, emphasizes in his cuisine and brainchild. At a press lunch this afternoon, we got a chance to experience Ballo’s menu and see the newly finished restaurant in the flesh.
Ballo has come a long way in two months, transforming from a nervously piecemeal jumble to a polished, stately restaurant. Long expanses of artificial greenery and red accents make a bold statement in the otherwise dark casino. Immense Gothic arches and wood-carved columns fill the 16,000 square foot expanse, serving as a persistent theme throughout the restaurant.
As we tour the restaurant, the boyish Mr. Tunney points out in a flustered, yet noticeably pleased manner, the pieces of the restaurant that were recently finished yet appear as though they took months to create. The name of the restaurant spelled out in carved metal on the floor. The slender decorative touches on the Corinthian columns. All small details that make a big splash in the atmosphere of Ballo.
The restaurant is segmented into bar areas and dinner areas, dance floors and private rooms, but not in a way that makes the eater feel separated from any one area of the restaurant. Rather, Tunney wishes to have these alcoves as ways for diners to experience the restaurant through many lenses under one roof.