James Beard Award Winner to Open New Restaurant at Sahara


James Beard Award winner to open restaurant at Sahara | Best Of Las Vegas

Before you read about the iconic resort continues $150 million transformation elevating guest experience with addition of McClain’s new Italian concept ‘Ballo’, you can make your reservation at Italian Restaurant at ventunoitaly.com.


As record-number crowds plan their return to Las Vegas this summer, SAHARA Las Vegas is revving into high-gear, accelerating the resort’s $150 million transformation with the announcement of Ballo, a new dining concept from James Beard award-winning Chef Shawn McClain, and the unveiling of the resort’s new Azilo Ultra Pool.

“As Las Vegas continues to evolve, we plan to be on the forefront of that evolution as we continually refine and enhance the guest experience at SAHARA,” said Paul Hobson, senior vice president and general manager of SAHARA Las Vegas.

Joining the resort’s award-winning culinary lineup is Ballo, a new Italian concept from James Beard award-winning Chef Shawn McClain and partners Richard and Sarah Camarota of MC Hospitality.

With Ballo, the group will use their acumen for redefining established genres to create an experiential, high-energy destination restaurant featuring seasonal Italian cuisine representing a number of Italian regions.

Ballo promises to offer everything you know and love about Italian cuisine made bold and fresh in a vibrant setting that celebrates Italian culture and la dolce vita.

Signature dishes will include Ballo’s selection of aperitivos, handmade pastas, Roman pizzas, an array of fresh seasonal vegetable dishes and salads, and rustic fire-roasted meats and fish, as well as a Euro-centric, eclectic wine list, unique cocktails and playful desserts featuring espresso liqueurs.

The restaurant design will boast bold contemporary Italian art to create stylized spaces for authentic gatherings for both intimate and sizeable social parties. Ballo will also feature a live-action kitchen complete with a pasta-making window and a takeaway deli.

No stranger to Las Vegas, Chef McClain is an outstanding restaurateur who has opened multiple renowned and critically acclaimed restaurants in Chicago, Las Vegas and Detroit.

His portfolio consists of both fine dining and casual restaurants each offering ingredient-driven cuisine served in chic, high-energy atmospheres. Winning both critical acclaim and establishing smart, sustainable businesses have been the hallmarks of his career.

“We’re entering this next phase in Las Vegas with renewed gratitude, energy and purpose,” says McClain.

“We are inspired by Alex Meruelo’s vision for SAHARA and are so excited to join the culinary line up and work hand in hand with this amazing property team to bring our vision to life.”

“We are continually seeking to set the standard with our culinary program,” said Anthony Olheiser, SAHARA Las Vegas vice president of food and beverage.

“Shawn is both a highly-decorated chef and a clever operator, making the perfect addition to our exceptional restaurant portfolio. We can’t wait for our guests to explore all Ballo has to offer when it opens later this year.”

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