In my previous job I used to travel to Las Vegas every winter for a client's annual conference in Las Vegas. Each year the leadership team would have breakfast at Mon Ami Gabi at the Paris Hotel and Casino and return to the convention center raving about their meal. I had always wanted to try it, but never had time until my most recent trip.
On our final morning in Las Vegas we woke up to the sun shiny and a light breeze. Knowing we'd have to board planes back to the arctic tundra in a few hours, we wanted to soak up as much vitamin D as possible.
We made a reservation for brunch at Mon Ami Gabi by calling the night before. You are not able to request patio seating when you make a reservation, but you can ask when you arrive.
One of the reasons this restaurant is so popular is because the outdoor patio sits right on Las Vegas Boulevard. The people watching views are superb and the Bellagio fountain is directly across the street.
Let me tell you a quick story about the photo above. Whenever I snap the exterior of a restaurant, I try to get a shot with no people in it or walking by. Sometimes I have to wait five or ten minutes, but I can usually get my desired outcome. Taking a people-less photo outside Mon Ami Gabi was impossible. I waited and waited and even accidentally snapped a photo of two men dressed in Transformers costumes, who proceeded to run over to me and demand to be paid for the picture I had taken of them. After being accosted, I gave up.
We arrived for our 10:30am reservation and were given a buzzer. We were told a table on the patio might take a few minutes. We perched at two slot machines a few feet away and our buzzer lit up within two minutes. We were shocked, but rather than ask why, we just handed it back over and let ourselves be escorted to our table.
We had the most spectacular view! I was facing the famous Paris hot air balloon.
Fun fact: on my first-ever trip to Las Vegas in 2009 I ordered a frozen margarita in a novelty glass in the shape of this balloon. In those days, the vessel was ceramic (not plastic) and I loved it so much that I wrapped it in my sweatshirt and stuffed it in my suitcase for the flight home. I now use it to store jewelry (scroll down to resolution #10).
We couldn't get over the view and gushed about our good fortune for a solid 10 minutes. Our waiter appeared, apologetic for keeping us waiting, and handed each of us a menu.
We flipped right to the back, which listed the brunch cocktails.
My travel buddy ordered a traditional mimosa (with orange juice) and I went with the cranberry - campari forest.
The brunch menu at Mon Ami Gabi has so many enticing choices from bananas foster waffles to smoked salmon platters to crepes (six kinds - sweet and savory). We were still a bit stuffed from all the eating we had done the day before - brunch at Herringbone, dinner at Olives and dessert at Momofuku Milk Bar - so we tried to pick items that were tasty, but reasonable.
My friend decided on the mushroom omelette with brie and chives. She made a special request to add sausage and our waiter happily obliged. It was served with two pieces of toast, jam, butter and a sprinkling of blistered cherry tomatoes.
After a few bites she said, "I don't think I have ever had brie in an omelette before and I love it! By adding the sausage I was able to create a killer flavor combination - saltiness from the sausage, creaminess from the brie and earthiness from the mushrooms. The chives also added a nice kick."
She could see me eyeing her second piece of toast and admitted, "This toast leaves a little something to be desired. Even with the butter and jam, it's still too dry."
I opted for the spinach and artichoke eggs benedict. I was a little bit skeptical because I don't love artichoke as the star of a dish (I prefer it buried in spinach dip). Thankfully the artichoke pieces on this benedict were cut teeny tiny, giving me just the right amount.
My favorite element of the dish was the Hollandaise sauce. It was exactly the right consistency and had that rich, buttery flavor you expect from a benedict. I had a bit of trouble getting those roasted cherry tomatoes onto my fork, but when they popped with each bite it was worth the struggle!
We also ordered a side of hash browns to share, which came served like a potato latke. Though the portion size was small, we loved every crispy forkful.
It doesn't really matter what you order at Mon Ami Gabi because the view is the star. Sitting on that outdoor patio was pure bliss and the perfect way to end our long weekend in Las Vegas.