Friday, August 5, 2011

Mon Ami Gabi

Mon Ami Gabi is one of my favorite restaurants to go to.  Especially in the winter because they have such lovely comforting foods. There are several of them located in big cities. Ours is located in the heart of Reston Town Center.  They offer classic and modern French cuisine and every bite will knock your socks off.  It doesn't really matter what you order, its all good!

Last night Superking and I went there for a much needed, long awaited date night to unwind after a stressful day. We sat outside on the patio, and while it was a little warm, the evening breeze was whistling through our hair reminding us of the beach (where we'll be in just a few short weeks!) and helping to melt our troubles away.

They always begin by serving you a crusty French baguette, warm and soft inside a paper bag, and served with this amazingly creamy butter...the perfect weight/density for spreading.

Then we have a cold appetizer of Chicken Liver Mousse.  At the thought of chicken liver, I'm sure some of you will turn up your nose.  But until you've tried it uninhibitedly (is that a word?), then you shouldn't knock it.  There's a reason rich people eat weird things like caviar and pate.  Its awesome. Its rich and decadent.  This liver mousse was smooth and creamy with a very mild flavor which was complimented nicely as we spread it on our toast.  It was topped with a burgundy red wine mustard which had a similar flavor but added just a little sweet tanginess.

served with cornichons, olives, and cocktail onions

that little dollop at the top is the red wine mustard

Superking, uncharacteristically (I don't know whats up with me and the big words today),  ordered a steak instead of his usual mussels.  The Mussels Mariniere are swimming in a white wine and herb broth and served with crispy frites! Delish!  But his Filet Mignon Merlot was no slouch to the party either! Perfectly cooked a nice rare to medium rare, not bloody but very pink and red throughout, so tender you could cut it with your fork! And it was served with a lovely boat of melted butter and red wine reduction sauce which was so smooth and rich!  The steak was served with frites, of course.  And is our tradition now when we order frites at Mon Ami Gabi, we requested their chunky blue cheese dressing on the side to accompany them.

this picture doesn't look nearly as appetizing as this tastes

I decided to stick with small plates and I ordered two...Smoked Salmon and Duck Leg Confit.  The Smoked Salmon was thinly sliced and laid next to a few slices of toasted brioche, chopped red onion, creme fraiche, and capers.  The salmon had a nice fresh flavor with just a hint of smokiness so it wasn't overpowering.  The little open-faced sandwiches I made were delicate and colorful.  Spread the creamy light creme fraiche on the crispy toast, top it with a sprinkling of red onion and a couple capers, then a few pieces of salmon.  Take a bite...yummm!!

The Warm Duck Leg Confit was awesome!  It was probably my favorite of the night.  Anything "confit" means it was cooked in its own fat which you know right away its going to be tasty.  And duck, I'm finding the more I eat it the more I love it.  All that dark juicy meat just melts in your mouth!  I never understood why when people carve the Thanksgiving turkey, the white meat was so coveted. The dark meat is where its at, baby! And duck is pretty much all dark meat! Bring it on!

This Duck Leg was served with soft warm potatoes, watercress greens, and balsamic cherries.  I'm not usually a huge fan of fruit on my meat but those cherries with the duck were amazing! They lent a beautiful sweet tartness to the savory juicy duck meat like nothing else I've ever had.  I made sure I had a cherry in every bite of duck until I finished it off!! I was in duck heaven!

We, of course, were too full for dessert.  Though the waitress did bring us a complimentary sweet treat...a profiterole...which is basically a creme puff that they've cut in half and stuffed with vanilla ice cream like a sandwich, and covered with double chocolate fudge sauce.  As full as I was, I couldn't resist taking at least a couple bites.  And I realized just now, that I must have enjoyed those couple bites so much that I forgot to take a picture of it...sorry.

That just means you'll have to go check it out for yourself! Their escargot and French onion soup are to die for as well! Also check out my recent blog post about Community Canteen which is next door to and associated with Mon Ami Gabi.  Enjoy!

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