Le Grand Véfour

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Grand Véfour

Le Grand Véfour, the first grand restaurant in Paris,[1] France, was opened in the arcades of the Palais-Royal in 1784 by Antoine Aubertot, as the Café de Chartres,[2] and was purchased in 1820 by Jean Véfour,[3] who was able to retire within three years, selling the restaurant to Jean Boissier.[4] A list of regular customers over the last two centuries includes most of the immortal heavyweights of French culture and politics, along with the tout-Paris.[5] Sauce Mornay was one of the preparations introduced at the Grand Véfour. Closed from 1905 to 1947, a revived Grand Véfour opened with the celebrated chef Raymond Oliver in charge in the autumn of 1948. Jean Cocteau designed his menu.[6] The restaurant, with its early nineteenth-century neoclassical décor of large mirrors in gilded frames and painted supraportes, continues its tradition of gastronomy at the same location, "a history-infused citadel of classic French cuisine."[7]

In 1983, the restaurant was destroyed in a bomb attack. It was then bought by Jean Taittinger who restored and reopened the place.[8]

When it lost one of its three Michelin stars in 2008[9] under the régime of Guy Martin for the Taittinger Group, it was headline news.[10]


  1. ^ Elizabeth Sharland, A Theatrical Feast in Paris: From Molière to Deneuve 2008:40ff, "Le Grand Véfour".
  2. ^ A compliment to the aristocratic landlord, the duc de Chartres, soon to be known as Philippe-Égalité.
  3. ^ Rebecca L. Spang, The Invention of the Restaurant: Paris and Modern Gastronomic Culture, pp. 6, 64, 182, 187, 206, 220, 224, 226, 238f and 245.
  4. ^ Sharland 2008:41.
  5. ^ Little brass plaques mark favorite seats of notables like Colette and Victor Hugo.
  6. ^ "Les étoiles du Grand Véfour"
  7. ^ Frommer's Guide
  8. ^ Sharland, Elizabeth (November 2005). A Theatrical Feast in Paris: From Moliere to Deneuve. ISBN 9780595374519.
  9. ^ The third star, awarded Olivier in 1953 and lost with his departure, had been regained in the 2000 Guide Michelin ("Les étoiles du Grand Véfour").
  10. ^ "Grand Vefour restaurant in Paris loses third Michelin star" International Herald-Tribune,, 3 March 2008

Coordinates: 48°51′58″N 2°20′16″E / 48.8661°N 2.3379°E / 48.8661; 2.3379