Female. Lives in United States/Illinois/Chicago, speaks English. My interests are Food, Restaurants, Cooking, Baking/Travel, Dining Out, Raising Children.
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United States, Illinois, Chicago, English, Female, Food, Restaurants, Cooking, Baking, Travel, Dining Out, Raising Children.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

French Bistro Fare at Mon Ami Gabi

Win’s sister recently gave him a gift card for Mon Ami Gabi. She lives in Maryland and has dined at the Bethesda location a few times, always enjoying it. As such, she thought it might be a good place for us to try.

Mon Ami Gabi is part of the Lettuce Entertain You restaurant group. This group includes establishments such as Ambria, Maggiano’s, Tru, Brasserie Jo, Café Ba-Ba-Reeba, Vong’s Thai Kitchen, Wildfire and Everest. While I’ve mentioned before that I usually prefer smaller, independently operated restaurants to those owned by large corporations or management groups, I must acknowledge that Lettuce Entertain You does an excellent job with their restaurants and Mon Ami Gabi was no exception.

Mon Ami Gabi feels like a bustling French bistro. Its lovely interior is full of leather banquettes and cozy tables covered in crisp white tablecloths. The walls are lined with signs written in French and other art to try and convey a French feeling.

Mon Ami Gabi served warm baguette with an interesting sliced carrot “tapenade.” I don’t really know what to call the sliced, seasoned carrots accompanying the bread, so I’ll use tapenade as the closest thing I can think of to describe it.

For an appetizer, I ordered Steamed Mussels Mariniere. They were delicious. Fresh seafood served in a flavorful broth.

Win selected Onion Soup au Gratin for his appetizer. It was a large portion of really outstanding, cheese-laden onion soup.

Filet Mignon with Mushrooms in a Red Wine Sauce was my entrée. It was a nice cut of meat with a pleasant sauce. The red wine and mushrooms created a very effective flavor combination.

Win’s entrée was Pork Tenderloin Wrapped in Bacon and Served with Gratin Dauphinois, Dates, Raisins and Cider. He really enjoyed this dish.

Despite being quite full, we couldn’t pass up dessert. Win selected Mon Ami Gabi’s Profiteroles and I opted for a special dessert that evening, their White Chocolate Rice Pudding. The profiteroles were really good, as would be expected of such a classic dessert for this kind of restaurant. The white chocolate rice pudding was rich, creamy and really good, but I couldn’t detect as much chocolate favor as I would have liked. It was very good, but it kind of left me wondering how many additional calories this white chocolate was adding to my meal without really contributing that much to my tastebuds.

We enjoyed our night out at Mon Ami Gabi. The food was good, the service pleasant and helpful and the atmosphere comfortable and charming. Their menu features mostly French bistro classics, so if you are in the mood for that type of food you will not be disappointed. If you are looking for something French with offerings beyond the more traditional chicken, fish, and red meat types, I’d also suggest checking out Café Matou.

Mon Ami Gabi
2300 N. Lincoln Park West
Chicago, IL 60614
Telephone: 773-348-8886
Web Site: http://www.monamigabi.com