on August 24, 2006
Some places are immune to pull. While trying to score a table for seven on the outdoor sidewalk patio, my friend at Harrah’s (owner of Paris, where the Las Vegas version of Mon Ami Gabi is housed) discovered that their independent ownership meant that they handed out no favors. No reservations on the patio, period. Oh well; she said, it fits with the Parisian experience they try to create, which fits all the way down to the snooty wait staff. With no cuts in line, we were told to prepare for a 90-minute wait; in the end, it was only 45. Not too bad.The restaurant is in the very front of Paris, with a fair-sized, slightly elevated patio along the sidewalk. By the time we were seated near 8 pm, the 115° heat of the day had cooled enough for outside seating to be comfortable (desert aridity has its advantages). Located across the street from Bellagio, that hotel’s famous fountains erupted every 15 minutes after 8 pm, giving those of us on the patio or inside the front windows a terrific addition to a great meal.The wait staff were efficient and courteous; not chatty, but not snooty. Just as well—I still have emotional scars from encounters with true Parisian waiters. Dinner began with baguettes, each delivered in a paper sleeve. A fan of great bread, I could have eaten just the baguettes (well, after slathering them with butter). I ordered roast chicken with lemon and pommes frites, which was delicious: succulent, juicy, and very flavorful. By the time the entrees were finished, we weren’t done catching up with each other’s lives. So my friend led my daughters into quickly ordering four desserts to pass around, including a very traditional and delicious chocolate mousse.Despite my desire not to be impressed, I ended up really enjoying this restaurant. The food was terrific and the setting was great. Given the location, I thought the prices weren’t too bad—the roast chicken entrees were $18-$19; most beef items were in the low $20’s. If faux Parisien appeals to you while in Vegas, you’ll have a nice evening. If you’re counting on sitting outside or near the windows, you may have a wait. But this place is deceptively large, so getting seated elsewhere shouldn’t take too long.AdviceThey take reservations for indoor seating, but not for the patio. If that’s what you’d like (and it’s a great spot), be sure to leave your name with the host, whose station is just outside the entrance, inside Paris Las Vegas.
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