I’ve been a bit reluctant to post about my favorite restaurant in Paris for fear it’ll start being mobbed by tourists… although the likelihood of that happening when I have like five people reading this blog is highly unlikely. Anyhow, Le Grand Pan is my favorite restaurant in Paris. Favorite, hands down, no questions about it.
Let’s talk about the space. It’s intimate, but not too uncomfortably small, with a little nook where you can see the chef Benoit Gauthier in action… who sometimes gives you a “hi” or a grin in recognition when you’ve been there as often as I have. And the food… it’s always fresh and flavorful, using seasonal ingredients, and most importantly for me, accommodating to vegetarians. Oh – have I mentioned I’m a vegetarian living in Paris? Yeah, it’s kinda rough. It is my go-to stop for taking out-of-towners and I’ve been there often enough where the head waiter, Arnault, and the chef now give us free digestifs (I’ve developed a fondness for Manzana now) to cap the night. Oh – and one time when I called to confirm a reservation, Arnault even knew it was me and pretended that there was no reservation.
It’s a bit out of the ways in the 15th arrondissement – what I consider “family Paris” where real French people actually live – and a good 12-minute walk from the nearest metro but think of it as a way to deter fellow tourists. After all – who wants to eat in Paris with a bunch of Americans, Japanese and Canadians?? In fact, in response to an observation I made about Le Grand Pan seeming to have more tourists than usual one night, the chef told me that 1) it was the result of a recent New York Times article reviewing the restaurant, 2) how a Japanese reporter had also written about what must have been a delicious pork dish and therefore had a ton of Japanese tourists coming and always ordering the pork, and 3) how the perfect number of tables filled by tourists was three. I’d have to agree.
Oh – and for you vegetarians out there… I’ve had the delicious tomato salad, baked creamy mushrooms, and a refreshing pea salad.
Love it. Go now… but only if you’re French so I won’t be surrounded by Americans when I’m there, s’il vous plaît.
Le Grand Pan
20 rue Rosenwald, 15th arrondissement
Metro 12 to Convention or Metro 13 to Plaisance
Phone: 01 42 50 02 50