Going Solo at Mon Ami Gabi

This entry was posted in Restaurants on by .

Mon Ami Gabi is one of those dining spots in Las Vegas that has long held an allure to me. There aren’t a lot of restaurants on the Strip that can claim alfresco dining at the base of the (fake) Eiffel Tower, overlooking the Bellagio fountain show. I’ve been wanting to try it for years, but. . .I kept putting it off. Why? Because when I go to Las Vegas, I’m usually solo. Dining as a solo at what seems like such a romantic spot caused me quake in my boots. (There, I said it. I’m not always so brave, you know.) Oh sure, I could have performed my usual solo dining trick of sitting at the bar. But who doesn’t want to eat out on the terrace overlooking the Bellagio fountain show? That’s as much the reason for dining there as the food!

Paris Las Vegas

Paris Las Vegas

During my Christmas trip to Las Vegas, I finally had an opportunity to eat at Mon Ami Gabi one night when I had no other plans. I was staying at Planet Hollywood and thought I’d just grab a bite at the hotel. But Yolo’s (Mexican) wasn’t open. I’d eaten at PF Changs the night before.The line for the Spice Market Buffet was about three light-years long, and I’m not very patient when I’m hungry. I decided to exit the hotel and wander up to Paris to see what was available there.

It was 7pm when I walked up to the hostess at Mon Ami Gabi, who could not have been more pleasant and welcoming. “Would you like to eat inside or outside?” she asked. I was surprised there was something outside available without a wait. How could I pass on the opportunity? I couldn’t, so I let myself be led out to the terrace.

I was a little worried about how cold it would be (since it was December, after all), but they had these terrific heaters set up that put off just enough heat to keep us all nice and warm without setting anyone’s clothes on fire. I settled in at my table to look over the menu and was pleasantly surprised to hear a trio of girls on the sidewalk out in front of the hotel playing Christmas carols on violin. They were very good; not professional good, but good enough that it was a pleasure to listen to them. So I got two shows for the price of one–the violinists and the Bellagio fountain show.

Chicken Paillard

Chicken Paillard (photo taken at night with cell phone)

Service was impeccable. My waiter was an older gentleman and truly professional. I wanted for nothing. The food was better than I expected. I ordered the herb grilled chicken paillard. The chicken seemed a little tough to cut into, and I was sure it was going to be overcooked and dry, so I was surprised when I popped a piece in my mouth and it was as tender as could be. Perhaps the knife was dull? The green beans and fennel salad that came with the meal were also good. I also had a yummy cocktail (ironically, I ordered The Romance — it had Malibu rum, cranberry juice, and pineapple juice with a bit of amaretto). Total cost for the meal: $33.40 before tip.

What was it like dining solo in such a romantic spot? Well, here’s the funny thing. I was so busy people-watching and listening to the girls playing violin and watching the Bellagio fountain shows that I didn’t even notice who else was dining on the terrace until I was almost done my meal. There was a couple next to me with a little girl, three women at the next table, two couples at the one after that, and beyond them, more couples and groups. Obviously, it wasn’t uncomfortable being the only solo diner, if I didn’t even realize I was one until so late in the game!

And the truth is, it was a truly special meal. It really put me in the Christmas spirit to be serenaded by those violinists (which was pure serendipity). It was the kind of experience I don’t have on a regular basis. So. . .my thanks to the 500 or so people in line at the Spice Market Buffet for forcing me out of Planet Hollywood for dinner that night. And my thanks to the staff at Mon Ami Gabi for the very warm welcome, great food, and professional service.

Where: Paris Las Vegas, 3655 Las Vegas Boulevard South

When: Breakfast 7am-11am, Lunch 11:30am-4pm (M-F), 11am-4pm (S-S), Dinner 4pm-11pm or midnight. Weekend brunch 11am-4pm.

For online reservations, click here.

10 thoughts on “Going Solo at Mon Ami Gabi

  1. Tracy Antonioli

    Mon Ami Gabi is quite possibly my favorite Vegas restaurant–in fact, it is the only Vegas restaurant that I’ve returned to (after all, there are so many great places to eat in Vegas, why repeat any of them???) While I have gone there with my husband all three times (and I have to tell you, it wasn’t all that romantic, even with him!) I’d jump at the opportunity to eat there solo. You’re right–it is a great spot for people watching.

    Personally, I’m jealous that you got to dine there during a time when you needed heat lamps. I’ve sat out on that terrace in the 104 degree heat of the summer…eating my French Onion Soup! Ha!

  2. Gray

    LOL! I can guarantee if I ate on that terrace in 104 degree heat (doubtful–I’d probably opt for an inside table if that were the case), I sure wouldn’t order soup. Not romantic, eh? Interesting how we get these impressions in our heads of what a place is like. I think it’s the view of the Bellagio fountains that threw me.

  3. dean

    Any advice for a 70 year old considering lunch there alone next week? Time? Menu choices? etc.

  4. Gray

    Probably the earlier you have lunch the better if you want a good seat of your choice. If it’s M-F, it opens at 11:30am, on weekends, it’s 11am (hopefully, it won’t be quite as hot on the terrace at that time, either, as it would later in the day). I hesitate to suggest menu items to anyone, since that’s such a personal choice. But they certainly have a number of very appealing choices. Bon appetit!

  5. James Fraleigh

    I’ve eaten solo at Mon Ami Gabi 3 times, and each time I was treated like a prince. Lavish attention from everyone I encountered. It didn’t hurt that the steak was incredible, and that the raspberry sorbet capped the meal perfectly. But I felt very welcome as a solo diner, which isn’t always the case in a busy restaurant on a weekend. Counts as much for me as the food.

  6. Gray

    I absolutely agree, James. Any restaurant that treats its solo diners well is a class act. The steak and sorbet sound great, I’m going to have to go back and try that.

  7. JoAnn

    I recommended this restaurant (based on your review) to a friend who was going to Vegas with her husband to celebrate their first anniversary. They loved it.

Comments are closed.