Thursday, November 14, 2013

Ending This Vegas Trip on a High Note?

Mon Ami Gabi
3655 Las Vegas Blvd. S.
Las Vegas, NV 89109

Our last night in Vegas we usually like to go pretty big, but this trip, we did not do as well as we would have liked gambling wise, so we had to scale back our plans a bit. Not to worry though, we had been wanting to come to Mon Ami Gabi for a long while now. The last time we were in town, there was a big wind storm, and we could not make it in, so this restaurant stayed on our list of places to hit until now.

Mon Ami Gabi is located appropriately enough at the Paris Resort and Casino. This French named restaurant fits right into the French vibe that Paris is trying to accentuate. I was surprised to learn that this is not the only location for Mon Ami Gabi. They have four other restaurants, (two in Illinois, and one each in Maryland and Virginia). In fact this restaurant is run by a pretty big restaurant group, Lettuce Entertain You. They run four other restaurants in Las Vegas as well. They operate the Eiffel Tower, which is also at Paris, El Segundo Sol, Stripburger at El Segundo, and Joe's Seafood, which is at the Forum Shops at Caesars.

Mon Ami Gabi is of course their most well known restaurant in Vegas. They are listed as the number one restaurant in the city on Urbanspoon, a good majority of their 3,000 plus reviews on Yelp are four and five star ratings, and their patio is often mentioned as one of the best places to eat on the strip, with stunning views of the fountains at the Bellagio. It was a cool night, so the patio would have to be for another time, but we did have an 8 o'clock reservation, so we were sat right away.

Whenever we walk by Mon Ami Gabi it is always packed. This particular Thursday night was no exception. We were given a little two person table, backed into a corner next to a large wedding party that spoke with English accents. The restaurant is pretty dark, and loud. It kind of felt to me like a slightly more upscale version of the Cheesecake Factory. Our waiter Francois spoke with a French accent that we could not detect if it was authentic or not. Nonetheless, he was right on top of things, and even though it was busy, we never felt he neglected us. The dinner menu here is not too large, and is mainly dominated by 11 varieties of steaks, with some fish ad chicken options thrown in. I was surprised to see no Coq Ca Vin on the menu of this French bistro, but we had no problems making our decisions. Let's see if Mon Ami Gabi is worth all of the hype.

Right after we were done ordering, they brought out this amuse bouche from the chef. It was carrot and something else that I did not write down in my notes. Not the best thing ever, and it kind of reminded me of this carrot and raisin salad that my mom made when we were little, minus the raisins of course.

At Mon Ami Gabi they do not worry themselves with a breadbasket, they fittingly provide a full loaf of French bread. This bread came out warm, and when combined with the softened butter, it was a winning combination. It had a hard crust on the outside, while the inside was nice and soft. I had a hard time sharing this bread with Katie.

So you hear that this is a French bistro, so naturally you have to order some Onion Soup Au Gratin ($9.95). The downfall of a lot of onion soups are that they can be very salty, which was not the case here. This one had a sweetness to it, which I attributed to the plentiful amount of onions in here. The top of the soup was layered with Gruyere cheese, which was good, but there could have been more of it. Of course I say that almost all the time when it comes to cheese, you can never have enough. This was one of the better onion soups that we have had while writing this blog.

I have become pretty predictable when it comes to ordering salads, so it is probably no shock to loyal readers that I selected the Caesar Salad ($11.95). I liked this Caesar because it had plenty of dressing and cheese, while the romaine was very fresh. I am not a big fan of the large thin crouton they use here, I'd rather have normal size croutons that are easily incorporated into the salad. All in all, a better than average Caesar.

Steaks are featured prominently on the menu at Mon Ami Gabi, so both Katie and I selected one. She opted for the Steak Bordelaise ($25.95) as her entree. This pretty good sized steak was served with caramelized onions and a red wine sauce. Katie likes her steak well done, so I did not really try this, but she felt it was tender enough, and the wine sauce matched up well with the onions and the steak. The steaks here are served with traditional frites, which kind of have a french fried onion quality to them. They are very thin, and they vary greatly in crispness. I would have rather of had regular fries.

I had asked for my Steak Roquefort ($25.95) to be medium rare, and they got it right on. This steak was cooked very well, and was more tender and juicy than I was expecting since it was under the $30 mark. This slab of meat was topped with a dollop of blue cheese sauce, but it need more of it. I also expected the blue cheese to be a little more flavorful, this was a very mild tasting sauce. They really piled on the frites, but if you read the above paragraph, you know I was not too big of a fan of them.

What I was a fan of, was a recommendation from our waiter Francois. He advised us to try the Whipped Cauliflower ($5.50). I will admit that on veggie trays, I almost always avoid cauliflower, but after eating this I might have to rethink the hierarchy of the veggie platter. This was very smooth, with a great creamy flavor. Very comforting, and a must get when coming to Mon Ami Gabi.

Even though we were pretty full by this point, it was our last night in Vegas, so we had to have dessert. There were a good number to choose from, but the Profiteroles ($8.95) really caught both of our attention. These pastries were filled with vanilla ice cream and drizzled with a hot fudge sauce. Kind of like cream puffs, but with ice cream in the middle instead of cream. I liked the ice cream and fudge, but wish the pastry portion a was a little softer. Not a bad finish to the meal.

Mon Ami Gabi was a very nice last meal for us in Vegas. We left the restaurant very satisfied with the food, and the prices were not overly outrageous. I can see why this restaurant is one of the most popular on the strip. We look forward to coming back and sitting on their famous patio next time. Also, we were clued in about their breakfast, and have added that to our list for next time as well. We may not have done so good gambling on this trip, but we hit the jackpot when it came to the food that we ate. Until next time Las Vegas.

Out of five lights, (because of course Paris is nicknamed the city of light), five being best to zero being worst, Mon Ami Gabi gets 3.5 lights.

To find out more about Mon Ami Gabi, go to their website here:

Mon Ami Gabi on Urbanspoon

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