Saturday, February 18, 2012

Day 1 Restaurant Week - Mon Ami Gabi

  Yesterday marked the first day of Restaurant Week.  I scheduled a wide variety of restaurants to tour this week and my first stop was Mon Ami Gabi - Oak Brook.  Before I give my review, I wanted to give you a background on my love and knowledge about food and wine.  In 2000, I enrolled in the Le Cordon Bleu Program at Cooking Hospitality Institute of Chicago.  I actually worked for the corporation that owned the various Le Cordon Blue campuses and other design and technology schools.  I visited the campus occasionally, usually ate at the restaurant for lunch, and was impressed with the food, Chefs, and students.  I really love to cook in general and I thought well, since I just graduated from college maybe I can learn something fun.  I enrolled to take some culinary classes and I LOVED it! It does take alot of hard work and dedication. My favorite class was the Garden Manger - Buffet Production. Chef Bucci was amazing! He pushed us to produce great tasting food.  I also loved the Soups and Sauces class, sauces is what drives french cooking.  To make a long story short, it was an awesome investment to take the classes and I hope to incorporate the love of cooking with my photography.

  My first restaurant on my list it Mon Ami Gabi which means my friend and Gabi is the owner Gabino Sotelino.  My bf and I went to the Oak Brook location.  As we walked in we were immediately greeted by the hostess.  I scanned the room to check out the layout, the people, etc.  We were seated and Jim our waiter, told us about the wine and specials for the evening.  We were debating on two wines and decided to order by the glass, so we can taste both.  My first selection was the Clos la Coutale Cahors 2009.  A very young wine, a reddish plum color. A bit on the dry side, but had a fragrant bouquet of dark fruits with a hint of spice. I thought it would go well with the red meat we were going to order.  The second wine selection was Château Laronde Desormes Bordeaux Superieur 2004.  It is a full bodied wine, nice light tannins and acidity, with a touch of oak.  

Tour of the Restaurant:

 Prix Fixe Dinner Menu.  From the menu, we choose the following:


Review: I loved the garlic butter sauce that drowned the snails. The snails were very delicious!

Escargots De Bourgogne – oven-roasted snails, garlic-herb butter

Review: Glen loved the Caesar Salad. The crouton added a nice crunch and the Parmesan cheese was fresh and tasty. Glen usually eats his salads plain but he said he will eat Caesar Salad with dressing. 

Mon Ami Gabi Caesar Salad - Romaine with olive oil, black pepper crouton and fresh Parmesan cheese


Review: Paired with the Malbec, I thought the salmon was excellent.  I loved the red wine reduction and the pommes puree. It was quite a large portion but managed to clean the plate. 

Seared Atlantic Salmon – pommes purée, mushrooms, pearl onions, red wine sauce

Review: I thought the steak had a nice char and the roquefort complimented the steak.  Their signature frites were good.  Glen's review, it was tender, juicy and tasty. He liked the portion of course. 

Steak Frites – served with their signature hand-cut frites and choice roquefort sauce 

Review:  I liked the sorbet, not too tart, but just right.  The mousse was rich and had a nice crunchy topping. The profiteroles were ok. Since the menu did state it came with Creme Brulee, the waiter was kind enough to bring out a full portion.  Being a Creme Brulee connoisseur, I thought the sugar topping was too thick and over done. It was still good, but had better.

Dessert Trio

Chocolate Mousse, Profiteroles & Sorbet de Jour

The couple next to us was kind enough to let me photograph their Souffle and Cappuccino. They were so nice and we conversed during the dinner. This is their favorite place and they raved about the service and the food.  

I was very impressed with this very quaint restaurant.  My overall review for this restaurant is 4 stars out of 5, excellent Hors D' Oeuvres, great portion of food, nice wine nice selection, and most of all the customer service was top notch. I thought the food presentation was simple.  I wished it had a little bit more pizzazz.  Glen gives it two thumbs up!  We would definitely come back and try other things on the menu. Compliments to the Chef Bruce Williams and thank you to the Mgr Amy Barrile for the hospitality! What a good way to start off Restaurant Week.