Sahara Las Vegas will soon welcome, at last, the fourth Las Vegas restaurant from Shawn McClain, James Beard Foundation winner of Best Chef Midwest in 2006. Originally expected to open in 2021, the restaurant has undergone some delays, as well as name change from Ballo to Balla Italian Soul. (The name is a different conjugation of the Italian word for dance.)
It is unknown what other changes this might entail. What Now Las Vegas reported last year on a menu that would feature a selection of aperitivos, handmade pasta, 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.
These details were originally announced in a press release, framing the opening of the restaurant as part of a $150 million transformation at the Sahara, which included a new pool.
“We’re entering this next phase in Las Vegas with renewed gratitude, energy, and purpose,” McClain said in the press release. “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.”
What Now Las Vegas reached out to McClain for follow-up on the news of the name change this week. McClain declined to comment except to remark the restaurant is now expected to open in June 2022.