To All the Friends of Chez Panisse,
Thank you for your continued faith in Chez Panisse as we move forward into the next phase of rebuilding after the fire on March 8th.
The big question, of course, is: When will Chez Panisse reopen? Right now we are feeling confident that the middle of June is a realistic opening for both café and restaurant. We had considered whether it would be possible to open the café earlier with construction still going on, but have decided to complete all construction work before opening. This will allow the builders unfettered access to the building without having to open the café on a daily basis—which would have slowed their work considerably.
We will re-open our reservation phone lines on Monday May 27th at 9am. On-line reservations through our website and Open Table will begin the following day, Tuesday May 28th.
We feel very fortunate to have such a passionate and motivated community behind us, and extend our thanks to the many individuals and businesses who have so generously offered their support in the cleanup and restoration process. We are all looking forward to reopening for the summer!
With all our gratitude,
Alice and the Chez Panisse family
About Chez Panisse
Chez Panisse opened its doors in 1971, founded by Alice Waters and a group of idealistic friends. A neighborhood bistro, it is named after Honoré Panisse, a character in Marcel Pagnol’s 1930s movie trilogy about waterfront life in Marseille (Marius, Fanny, and César), as an homage to the sentiment, comedy, and informality of these classic films.
From the beginning, Alice and her partners tried to do things the way they would like 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 dinner menu consists of three to four courses. The menu which changes every night is designed to be appropriate to the season and composed to feature the finest sustainably-sourced, organic, and seasonal ingredients including meat, fish, and poultry.
Starting July 1, 2012, prices for the restaurant are $65 on Monday, $85 Tuesday through Thursday, and $100 on Friday and Saturday (not including beverage, a 17% service charge, and 8.75% 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 serves a moderately priced à la carte menu for both lunch and dinner. It has an open kitchen along one side of the room with a charcoal grill and a wood-burning oven. The menu is inspired by the market and changes every 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 the restaurant’s cuisine. Since 1971, 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 out of the sea. In doing so, Chez Panisse has established a network of nearby suppliers who, like the restaurant, are striving for both environmental harmony and delicious flavor.