Mon Ami Gabi: A French Kiss on the Strip
You can always count on a good friend, and that’s just what Mon Ami Gabi’s become during its 11-year run in Las Vegas. The saucy little bistro with the red umbrellas and al fresco seating, spilling out from the Paris Resort and Casino is doing just fine.
The restaurant has three different levels of ambiance for guests depending on where they are seated. There’s the formal dark-wood, high ceilinged interior, the light and breezy outer solarium room, bright enough to encounter some guests wearing their sunglasses indoors; and the outdoor patio, home to the familiar red umbrellas over white tablecloths where diners go to have an elegant nosh in the sun, a superb place to people watch and be seen themselves – and not without a bit of envy from passersby.
No matter where you are seated, the food remains a singularly excellent experience, presented like culinary artwork with a flair of understated elegance. My companions and I were there for a Wednesday morning breakfast (not all Mon Ami Gabi locations offer it, but the one in Las Vegas began on 3/12) and a Saturday brunch (also available on Sunday) where patrons get to choose from two different menus.
The French bistro & steakhouse specializes in classic fare including crepes and quiches. Don’t let the French part intimidate you. Dining is a casual affair, with the formal factor left up to patrons. You can have your Trout Grenobloise while wearing a t-shirt, your Pain au chocolat in pinstripes or your brioche in a baseball cap.
Breakfast ambience is calmer, less hurried. Bottles of fruit juice and champagne fill a metal ice chest. Mimosas and Bellinis grace breakfast tables populated by a mixture of both tourists and locals, and the more-than-occasional celebrity. On this morning it was Peepshow’s Holly Madison in a pink hoodie.
A new breakfast menu features familiar specialties like French Toast, Waffles & our Big Skinny Pancakes (crepe-like, oui?). For those with more adventurous palates, try the Crab Cakes Eggs Benedict (15.95) perfectly poached eggs nest on a lump crab cake perched atop an English muffin with a side of hash browns. The velvety, buttery hollandaise sauce covers both mounds, but you order it on the side.
A variation of this dish was offered as a daily special and consisted of thin slices of tender roast beef as a nest for the eggs, perfectly complemented by a horseradish hollandaise sauce. The beef was both a savory departure and a welcome inclusion in the dish. The classic version made with Canadian bacon, as well as a gluten-free variety is also available (14.95).
The Chocolate-Bacon Waffle (11.95) is crispy and fluffy at the same time, with tiny bacon bits mixed into the batter. There’s a rich chocolate sauce presented in a tiny glass bowl. Fresh whipped cream is served on the side. It doesn’t stay there for long.
Brunch items contain both breakfast and lunch selections like the Fruit Bouquet with fresh mint syrup (9.95) and the Onion Soup au Gratin (French, of course, and seemingly bottomless) baked with gruyere cheese (8.95). A divine Seafood Crepe dish incorporates scallops, shrimp, and peas blanketed by a flavorful cream sauce (13.95).
Our brunch’s Soup du Jour was an excellent Porcini Mushroom (7.50) that had three spoons dipping into it at once. This one rivals the French Onion (an eternal favorite) for flavor and presentation. You’ll just have to order it to see what I mean.
Even the simple Cheeseburger is elevated by the application of Brie, Blue or Gruyere cheese (12.95) comes with shoestring potatoes (from French shoes, of course) served in a cone. My companion chose the blue variety, a succulent marriage of flavors that will make it hard not to Pac-Man your way through the meal (and then look for more).
There’s nothing like a good salad for brunch; a great one is even better. The Grilled Salmon & Spinach Salad (17.95) also contains avocado, blueberries, and walnuts, topped with a citrus dressing. That might sound like an odd flavor symphony at first, but just might end up being one of your favorite sea and garden creations after just a few bites.
With Breakfast/Brunch prices ranging from 2.95 for a side of breakfast potatoes, to 31.95 for a Filet Mignon in red wine reduction, it shouldn’t be difficult to find elegant entrees that please both wallet and palate.
Spirits abound at the well-stocked, wall-sized bar, but they’re also on wheels. French wines are served by the glass or the bottle from a rolling wine cart.
Reservations are taken for indoor seating, while those wishing to dine under the sun or stars (and red umbrellas) on the patio are seated on a first-come, first-served basis.
Even the wait staff, hostesses and assorted servers you’ll encounter on your visit are well-seasoned, ensuring that any time of the day that you choose to visit Mon Ami Gabi, you’ll be met with a smile and dine with delight. And that’s just what you’d expect from a good friend.
For further information:
Mon Ami Gabi
Paris Resort & Casino
3655 Las Vegas Blvd. South
Las Vegas, NV 89109