About Chez Panisse

In 1971, Alice Waters and a small band of friends founded a neighborhood bistro called Chez Panisse. It was named for Honoré Panisse, the most generous and life-loving character in Marcel Pagnol’s 1930’s film trilogy about waterfront life in Marseille (Marius, Fanny, and César), as an homage to the sentiment, comedy, and informality of these classic movies.

From the beginning, Alice and her partners tried to do things the way they wanted them done at a dinner party at home, with generosity and attention to detail. The Restaurant, located downstairs, is open for dinner Monday through Saturday, by reservation only. The fixed menu consists of three to four courses and changes nightly, each designed to be appropriate to the season and composed to feature the finest sustainably sourced, organic, peak-of-their-season ingredients, including meat, fish, and poultry.

Prices for the Restaurant are $75 on Monday, $100 Tuesday through Thursday, and $125 Friday and Saturday (not including beverages, a 17% service charge, and 9.25% sales tax). Monday night menus are typically simpler and more rustic or regional than on other evenings. Friday and Saturday night menus are somewhat more elaborate.

The Café at Chez Panisse, located upstairs, opened in 1980 offering an alternative to the set menu served in the Restaurant downstairs. The Café provides a moderately priced à la carte menu for both lunch and dinner. It has an open kitchen along one side with a charcoal grill and wood burning oven. The menu is inspired by the market and changes twice a day.

Alice and Chez Panisse are convinced that the best tasting food is organically and locally grown, and harvested in ways that are ecologically sound by people who are taking care of the land for future generations. The quest for such ingredients has always determined our cuisine. For over 45 years, Chez Panisse has invited diners to partake of the immediacy and excitement of vegetables just out of the garden, fruit right off the branch, and fish straight from the sea. In doing so, Chez Panisse has established a close network of suppliers who, like the restaurant, strive for both environmental harmony and delicious flavor.