About Chez Panisse

In 1971, Alice Waters and a small band of friends founded Chez Panisse. This neighborhood bistro 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 very beginning, Alice and her partners tried to do things in a way that reflected how it feels to have 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.

Chez Panisse Restaurant features a nightly-changing, fixed menu composed of three or four courses, each one designed according to the season’s bounty and highlighting the finest sustainably sourced, organic, peak-of-their season ingredients, including meat, fish, and poultry.

Prices for the Restaurant are $75 on Mondays, $110 Tuesday through Thursday, and $125 Friday and Saturday, not including beverages, a 17% service charge, and 9.25% sales tax. Monday night menus are three courses and typically feature more rustic, regional dishes. As the week continues, menus are four courses and become somewhat more elaborate. Friday and Saturday nights’ menus often include rarer and more specialty ingredients.

Chez Panisse Café, located upstairs, opened in 1980 offering an alternative to the set menu served in the downstairs Restaurant. From Monday through Saturday, also by reservation, the Café provides a moderately priced à la carte menu for lunch and dinner. It has an open kitchen along one side with a charcoal grill and wood-burning oven. Then menu is inspired by the farmers’ 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 nearly 50 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.