What kind of stroller, wandering under the sleepy galleries of the Palais Royal hasn’t been attracted to the galerie de Beaujolais where the Grand Véfour shines, jewel of the Parisian Restoration, still shivering from the cheerful sounds which have enlivened the Palais Royal for more than a century? This restaurant, the finest place for French cooking, is the only one of a kind to keep the ancient décor in which thousands of gourmets ate in the years 1784-1785. Without any regard toward the geographic evolution of the Parisian pleasures taking account of the way the pleasures of Parisian life have evolved, le Grand Véfour has travelled through time with charm and dignity, and has kept its glory for the finest gourmets of the world.
Let us describe the location. Situated the length of the Joinville colonnade, linked with the rue de Beaujolais, the restaurant opens on the gardens of the Palais Royal through three arches. The sign “Café de Chartres”, on the façade opposite the garden, bears the name of the establishment that was there before le Grand Véfour. A name chosen to honour the duke of Chartres, first son of Louis d’Orléans, the one who created the domain of the Palais Royal, and father of the soon-to-be Philippe Egalité, last owner of the Palais before the Revolution.
When you enter the restaurant, you’re taken two hundred years back in time. Embellished with delicate carved panelling with Louis XVI style garlands, the entrance gives access to two different rooms ; on the walls, mirrors share the space with famous glass-protected paintings. Inspired by Pompeian frescoes in the neo classical style, much liked under the Empire, the themes for decoration – fish, game, flowers and women with baskets of flowers – awake the guests’ desire for good food. On the ceiling, roses and stucco garlands frame allegories of women, painted like 18th century Italian ceilings. In the mezzanine, a large room decorated with panelling welcomes the guests.
The renowned chef of this fine establishment, Guy Martin, is a delicate artist at the Grand Véfour. Born in Savoie, self-educated and man of passion, he marvels about everything and feeds his inspiration with many surprising sources : travel memories, colours, sensations, flavours, which inspire him with classic recipes that are both inventive and cheerful, with tasteful associations and delicate flavours.
His cooking, full of poetry, carefulness and generosity, will make you wander on the culinary pleasures’ path. Each meal, mixing tradition and modernity, is a discovery and a hint towards soon to be shared dreams. Throughout each season, the Grand Véfour’s menu is updated, while keeping all of Guy Martin’s classic recipes for a cooking experience that will delight every guest at this historical restaurant.
Address: Le Grand Véfour, 17, Rue De Beaujolais 75001 Paris France