• Fun at Mohegan Sun: BALLO & Johnny Rockets

    December 4, 2011

    Just in case you missed it, here’s the first part of our adventures at Mohegan Sun: Fun at Mohegan Sun: Hotel & Happy Hour.

    After enjoying a cocktail at Bar Americain, Mal and I headed to BALLO Italian Restaurant and Social Club for dinner.

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    Inspired by San Galgano in Tuscany, BALLO’s décor was designed to replicate an Italian cathedral with its huge arches, stone walls, and dim lighting.

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    Later in the evening, servers remove the furniture in the dining room, so guests can literally dance on tables. The architecture of the restaurant was designed with a party atmosphere in mind, so there are various dancing surfaces— from tabletops to window platforms— all over the space. Mal and I didn’t stay for the dance party, but it sounded like a lot of fun!

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    Our meal started with fresh bread + butter and BALLO-filtered water. The restaurant actually has a state-of-the-art water filtration system for both still and sparking water, so they never need to buy the bottled variety for guests. Neat, right? How environmentally-friendly!

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    Up next was wine. Mal and I both enjoy white wine, but we weren’t sure what to order, so our server suggested a bottle of Pio Cesare Arneis.

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    The wine was light, crisp, slightly fruity, and really nice to drink. Mal and I both loved it. Great recommendation.

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    The wine also paired really well with stinky cheese. Again, our server suggested a number of selections from the Salumi E Formagi menu, including thinly sliced prosciutto, Boschetto (sheep’s milk truffle cheese), and Parmigiano.

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    The Boschetto was to die for—actually, both of the cheese selections were amazing—and the wine enhanced all of the flavors so much.

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    Mal and I were in heaven eating this appetizer.

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    Roasted tomatoes in olive oil and ricotta-stuffed hot peppers were served on the side.

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    The entrée section on the menu had three main options: pizza, pasta, and secondi. I was tempted to order pizza since the ingredient combinations were so creative (ex: Taleggio, egg, guanciale + wild mushrooms), but I ended up ordering the Scallop and Scampi. It was served with black lentils, spinach, and sopressata. The shrimp in it were massive! I don’t think I’ve ever seen them so large! The scallops tasted fresh and the black lentils had lots of flavor. Overall, it was a great dish.

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    The Brussels sprouts , however, were the highlight of the meal for me. Oh, the Brussels sprouts! I don’t think I will ever forget this side dish. They were served with pancetta and honey for a sweet + savory flavor combination. Mal said the flavors sort of reminded him of charred sweet and sour Chinese food. SO GOOD!

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    We ate every last one.

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    At this point in the evening, Mal and I were sufficiently full, so we passed on dessert… until the table next to us ordered a round of Espresso Milkshakes (espresso poured over vanilla ice cream with sweet vermouth). The smell alone motivated us to ordered one to share. Holy yum! We already have plans to recreate these at home!

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    Over the years, Mal and I have eaten some really great meals at Mohegan (Todd English’s Tuscany and Bobby Flay’s Bar Americain), but BALLO is definitely the place to eat if you visit Mohegan. The food and wine, of course, were outstanding, but the entire dining experience was truly wonderful. Our server was really knowledgeable about the menu and restaurant and very attentive. I thought maybe Mal and I were receiving special treatment since I was reviewing the restaurant, but I watched the other servers on the floor and they were just as responsive to their tables. Overall, Mal and I were thrilled with our experience at BALLO.

    This morning, I woke up feeling like I wanted to die hungry for breakfast, so Mal and I headed down to Johnny Rockets. A diner breakfast was exactly what I needed.

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    I ordered eggs with bacon, homefries, and a toasted English muffin.

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    I also grabbed a soy latte at Starbucks before leaving Mohegan. The combination of food + caffeine made me feel quite a bit better.

    Mal and I forgot to snap a photo of ourselves all dressed up at dinner last night, so we took a quick one before checking out of the hotel this morning.

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    Thanks for the fun times, Mohegan!!

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    { 53 comments… read them below or add one }

    Sara @ The Foodie Diaries December 11, 2011 at 11:35 am

    That looks like so much fun! When we went, we went to Margaritaville. It was a blast! There was a live band so we grabbed some drinks, sat down, and even did a little dancing to the band :)

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