One of the truly great Parisian restaurants is Le Petit Prince de Paris, a quintessentially French hideaway located in the midst of a warren of tiny cobblestone streets in the city’s Latin Quarter just a stone’s throw from the Pantheon and adjacent to the College de France.
The only LGBT restaurant on the city’s Left Bank, Le Petit Prince de Paris is housed in a site that has served as a tavern and restaurant since the year 1450, operating essentially without a break (although under different names and owners) for more than 650 years. That ancient building provides the restaurant with much of its yesteryear charm, including exposed ceiling beams, pale stone walls, plush draperies, antique furnishings and dozens of candles and chandeliers.
In fact, travel guide “LGBT Paris: A Gay and Lesbian Guide to the City of Light,” names Le Petit Prince de Paris as the city’s best gay restaurant for a romantic dinner.
The cuisine, however, is quite contemporary and, frankly, out of this world. Starters include shrimp farfalle, zucchini and scallop flan, and salmon in phyllo dough with dill and spinach. Main plate choices include pork cheek flambéed in cognac, ostrich steak with cherries, and stuffed lamb chops. Don’t miss the bananas marinated in rum for dessert!
Dishes change quarterly to reflect each season’s readily available produce and meats.
There are three prix-fixed menus to choose from, priced at €19, €24 and €26. A special treat is the Duck Plate, priced at €32. Ideal for one person or to share as an appetizer, the plate includes several duck dishes, including duck foie gras, duck in a lightly marinated Carpaccio, sautéed duck with season fruit, smoked duck breast, salad with duck gizzards and confit de canard.
Le Petit Prince de Paris’s bar offers a variety of aperitifs and digestifs, as well as cognac, brandy, whiskeys, other top-shelf alcohols and eight cocktails. An impressive wine list includes 7 Bordeaux bottles, 3 Bourgogne labels, 2 Beaujolais wines, 2 Rhones, and 3 Loire Valley bottles. Most of the wines are available by the glass, carafe or full bottle.
The clientele at Le Petit Prince de Paris is about three-quarters gay and lesbian, with a smattering of gay-friendly straights and in-the-know tourists. Although walk-ins are accepted when space is available, reservations are strongly recommended for the weekend.
Le Petit Prince de Paris
12 Rue Lanneau
Tel: 01 43 54 77 26
Hours: Monday-Thursday, 7:30 p.m.-midnight; Friday-Saturday, 7:30 p.m.-12:30 a.m.; Closed Sunday