Opening Date Set for Chef Shawn McClain’s Las Vegas Restaurant at Sahara – uBetMobile.com

Dave Petchy
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Opening Date Set for Chef Shawn McClain’s Las Vegas Restaurant at Sahara – Casino.org

Opening Date Set for Chef Shawn McClain's Las Vegas Restaurant at Sahara

Posted on: August 31, 2022, 02:16h. 

Last updated on: August 31, 2022, 02:28h.

Chef Shawn McClain has set Friday, Sept. 30 as the opening date for his anticipated Balla Italian Soul restaurant at Sahara Las Vegas.

McClain, winner of the 2006 Best Chef Midwest award from the James Beard Foundation, announced the eatery last year under a slightly different name, Ballo, which is the masculine form of the same Italian word loosely translating as dance. 

Balla Italian Soul, from Chef Shawn McClain, opens at Sahara Las Vegas as part of a $150M conversion of the casino hotel’s Strip-facing exterior into a restaurant row. (Image: saharalasvegas.com

“We really love that word, and the connotation of energy and creative spirit,” McClain told the Las Vegas Review-Journal last year. “We often use that behind the scenes for how we interact with our guests. It is a dance, that symbiotic energy.”

What’s For Dinner?

McClain’s eatery, open only for dinner, will offer a regional, seasonal take on light Italian surf and turf. Dishes will include sea bream with lemon, a 22-ounce bone-in ribeye, and pork Delmonico with black garlic. Hand-crafted pasta will include linguine with crab, chilis and summer squash, squid ink shells with puttanesca sauce, and agnolotti with cured pork lardo. And the Roman-style pizzas will include a wood-fired ‘nduja sausage selection with confit potatoes and smoked cheese.

“We’re doing Italian a little differently, focusing on aperitivo culture and well-prepared, wood-grilled flavors, while keeping pastas and pizzas close to our hearts,” McClain told Eater Vegas.

Desserts will include Italian cookies, panna cotta with limoncello, and baked crostata tarts with pluots (a plum with a bit of apricot hybridized in) and goat cheese gelato. The beverage menu will be  a cocktail party of Italian Negronis and spritzes.

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A Las Vegas Strip-facing location off the Sahara’s Casino Floor will invite guests into the restaurant’s open kitchen, featuring a pasta-making window and takeaway glass deli, where they can watch their food being prepared. Olive trees and Italian-inspired murals and photographs will adorn the main dining room, which seats 120.

No Longer Dancing with MGM

Balla Italian Soul, which McClain is opening with business partners Richard and Sarah Camarota, will be the celebrity chef’s first Vegas venture outside the orbit of MGM Resorts International. McClain, originally from San Diego, arrived in town a baker’s dozen years ago to open Sage at Aria. Both Sage and McClain’s more casual Five50 Pizza Bar at Aria closed during the COVID-19 shutdown. (Sage converted to MGM’s in-house Moneyline Pizza & Bar brand.) Libertine Social, McClain’s gastropub at Mandalay Bay, is still reportedly thriving.

Balla Italian Soul joins Chef Guoming “Sam” Xin’s Noodle Den and Philadelphia’s Chickie’s & Pete’s as part of a nearly complete $150M conversion of the Sahara’s Strip-facing exterior into a restaurant row.

Balla Italian Soul will open for dinner 5-10 p.m.  Wednesday through Sunday.

 

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, Opening Date Set for Chef Shawn McClain’s Las Vegas Restaurant at Sahara – uBetMobile.com

About Post Author

Dave Petchy

I am a passionate, dedicated guy who's been living in London for 10 years now. I love good food, being creative, cycling and having fun. I'm a firm believer that anything worth achieving is worth working hard for and that you should always challenge yourself to be the best version of you possible. I work as an editor at Petchy Media – the award-winning news site that makes quality journalism accessible to everyone. I've also written for The Guardian and worked with brands like Nike, Adidas and KFC on content production projects.
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