445 N. Dearborn St.
Date of Last Visit: Thursday, October 26, 2006
The Victims: Too many to mention.
The Damage: A lot!
The Background: We wanted to take a bunch of people out to someplace fun. Ballo came recommended as just that. Oh boy, what a let down! (Sorry for spoiling the plot so soon! Blame Ballo, not me.)
Ballo is a loud Italian place. Very loud. And I’m a low talker. At one point, they cranked the music up so loud that the water glasses vibrated on the table. Not very relaxing. The menu is pizzas, pastas, and salads, and then there are also some "secondi" meat dishes. The clientele is older and most likely divorced. (Ouch! Did I just write that? I am evil.)
We Ate: We nibbled on a bit plate of antipasti that was supposedly for two, but easily fed eight. And we barely made a dent. And I’m glad I didn’t double up on the fried calamari because that bowl of calamari had to have weighed five pounds. It was delicious, but the tomato sauce was all the way over on the other side of the table and well, with the gluttonously HUGE platter weighing five pounds, nobody wanted to pass it around. Sadness.
And We Drank: I was totally bummed about the wine list. There were maybe two bottles of red less than $50 a bottle. And nobody wants to order the cheapest bottle. I kinda felt ripped off. I believe in good values. There were none to be had.
And Then We Ate Some More: Flora’s bowl of pasta was bigger than her. It could have easily fed a family of six and a very hungry dog. My eggplant parmiagiana was seriously an ENTIRE eggplant. Yes, an entire eggplant. And it was lukewarm. Uggh. I like eggplant, but not a huge slab of not-so-warm eggplant.
The Service: Our server kept calling me "doll." This was cute at first. But just at first.
The Verdict: Pricey wine, overly loud music, cold food, an overly familiar server…eh. I felt like an terrible glutton, and an uncomfortable one at that. Pass.