GHS French Club’s Last Trip to Mon Ami Gabi


The GHS French club enriches its members throughout the year, this past Wednesday November 17th, Madame Behlow and many French club members took their final GHS trip to the Mon Ami Gabi in Oak Brook, Il.

Mme. Behlow, Geneva’s head French teacher, sponsors the French Club and has a long history spanning over 10 years of taking students to Mon Ami Gabi. The restaurant is a part of a small chain established in 1998, that serves casual French meals and drinks. The Mon Ami Gabi establishments are styled after traditional French bistros.

“I love the atmosphere of the restaurant, the decor, the staff, and especially the FOOD! They have had a wonderful practice of offering a multiple course French dinner to students, to allow us to have tastes of different traditional French dishes.”

Because of the risk of Covid-19, the French Club has been unable to meet outside of school for the past 2 years. Madame Below said that food-related meets were especially uncommon. 

“We did not do any French club outings last year because of COVID and didn’t do any food until the spring when we made French apple pies (les tartes tatin)”.

This long gap in French Club’s activities led to a decline in attendance, however this year has been different.

“Because of the limitations last year, students have been VERY eager to participate in our French Club events this year, and we’ve had terrific attendance at all of our meetings and celebrations so far.”

This just adds to the importance of this trip; this Mon Ami Gabi trip is both the first in a long time and the last.

AP French student Julia Menig attended the trip and was appreciative of the opportunity.

“It was great! The restaurant pre planned the meal specifically for us, and while it wasn’t an immersive French experience, we had fun speaking French amongst ourselves.”

They enjoyed a four-course meal consisting of wild escargots de bourgogne, caesar salad, seasonal vegetable quiche, steak classique, lemon chicken paillard, and a desert of profiterole.

“My favorite part of the trip has to be either the fresh bread and butter, or the escargot. It was my first time trying it, but it was delicious!”

The classic French Bistro is set to close this November after 21 years of operation after their lease expires. There is still a location in Chicago, however Madame Behlow has plans for a new restaurant outing.

“There is a terrific French restaurant in Naperville which my family loves, called The Paris Bistro, so that will be our next restaurant!”

Though Mon Ami Gabi can never be replaced, this year’s experience was a unique and special moment shared by the entire French Club. Old students were able to visit one last time, and new students received an exceptional introduction to French cuisine.