UNCASVILLE, Connecticut (CBS) — Big, bold, and beautiful–that’s the best way to describe the food, flavors, and everything else at Ballo.

Located inside Mohegan Sun Casino, Ballo is undoubtedly one of the biggest and best Italian restaurants in all of New England, where the pastas are made by hand, the recipes are deliciously authentic, and the atmosphere is simply jaw dropping.

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“Their mouths open up, they can’t believe how big it is,” General Manager Jason Barlow says. “They say ‘wow, we feel like we’re not in a casino.'”

That’s because this 16-thousand-square-foot space features stone columns and soaring arches reminiscent of a Roman cathedral, One of the largest Carrara Marble bars ever constructed, and a large yet intimate dining room where Barlow and his staff treat every customer like a VIP.


“Something that we hear from our guests on a consistent basis is how you’ve gone into this big beautiful restaurant and you felt like you were family,” Barlow says.

When it comes to the food, Executive Chef Shaun Golan has a simple philosophy: Find great ingredients and let them shine.

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“We buy the best that we can, we treat it simply, and we don’t take short cuts,” Golan says.

Especially when it comes to the pastas, where the dough is stretched, filled, and cut by hand, then turned into outstanding dishes like this goat cheese and bacon filled ravioli topped with grilled corn, hazelnuts, charred scallions, and brown butter.


Or, a bright and fresh Tagliatelle tossed with shrimp scampi, lemon, and roasted garlic.


“We really put a lot of emphasis on doing those pastas the best way that we can,” Golan says.

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Watch Phantom Gourmet on Saturdays and Sundays at 10:30 and 11 a.m. on myTV38.