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Bistrot 65 restaurant, Paris

With its very positive reviews and a terrace that overlooks Notre-Dame, we chose to dine out at Bistrot 65 without hesitation, but was the cuisine as magical as the view?

Restaurant Bistrot 65, Paris
photos: JasonW

Normally, we have a policy about avoiding places with the number of their street in the name, but we made an exception for Bistrot 65 (situated at 65 quai de la Tournelle), particularly for its terrace overlooking the bouquinistes and a view (albeit behind some very leafy trees) of Notre-Dame, where restoration work continues.

Despite the traffic (a little less dense perhaps now that one lane has been turned into a cycling lane along the Seine), the terrace is a cool place to hang out as it’s mostly set back from the road. There’s also a large tree right in the middle of it!

We aren’t a huge fan of fake bamboo and plastic flowers, and the terrace has about a dozen of both, but concentrate on the experience and you’ll be OK. 🙂

Restaurant Bistrot 65, Paris
Restaurant Bistrot 65, Paris
Restaurant Bistrot 65, Paris
Restaurant Bistrot 65, Paris
Restaurant Bistrot 65, Paris
Restaurant Bistrot 65, Paris
Restaurant Bistrot 65, Paris

During the day, the Bistrot is pretty relaxed, offering snacks, pricey burgers and cocktails, but in the evening the starched tablecloths and silver cutlery are brought out to give the place a more upmarket vibe.

One thing is sure – if you are visiting Paris, being able to eat outdoors with a view of Notre-Dame is priceless.

Restaurant Bistrot 65, Paris
Restaurant Bistrot 65, Paris

The refined evening look is unsurprisingly accompanied by prices a little higher than some places – the à la carte menu is in the above-average price range, with French cuisine classics (snails, oysters and a lot of meat…) and some dishes priced rather high, like the Basque country pork preserved with spices, served with a pork kimchi ‘pastilla’, and iced carrot with pistachio, which sounds impressive but is possibly not worth 34€ (we didn’t try it, but maybe you’ll find out).

With a bit of luck, like us you will find an offer on thefork.fr – we booked online with a reduction of 50% offered on the à la carte menu. In one fell swoop, the 16€ strawberries with mascarpone become a delicious 8€ dessert!

After having ordered a bottle of rosé, it was time to start our dinner! We skipped the starters and chose:

— Red label chicken from the Gers region, sesame marinade, manioc chips, brocoli,

— Fish of the day (filet of sea bream), piperade-style vegetables, spring onion and virgin olive oil sauce, and

— A vegetarian plate. The waitress explained that it wasn’t on the menu because very few people order it, but perhaps very few people order it because it’s not on the menu? #justsayin

We were told that the dish is a mix of vegetables otherwise used as garnishes for other dishes, sometime with an egg added. Alas, no egg was to be found on ours, but it was well presented, with a proficiently-prepared dollop of mashed potato, and served with a surprisingly spicy sauce, which we very much enjoyed.

The fish was also served with this spicy piperade épicée, and was perfectly cooked, being crunchy on the outside and tender within, but slightly underwhelming in taste.

The chicken was less of a success (our guest actually used the word ‘rubbery’) with two pieces that were ‘not really great quality’. The sauce was interesting though, saving the dish, and while the chips were good, the broccoli was strangely cold and the serving of mashed potato could have been a bit more generous.

Restaurant Bistrot 65, Paris
Restaurant Bistrot 65, Paris
Restaurant Bistrot 65, Paris
Restaurant Bistrot 65, Paris
Restaurant Bistrot 65, Paris
Restaurant Bistrot 65, Paris

As we hadn’t had a started, we decided to sample the cheese plate, usually 16€ but 8€ for us.

Unfortunately, our order was forgotten for 25 minutes, which is a long time even if you have Notre-Dame in front of you.

When it finally arrived, there was a good selection of five tasty cheeses, a little jam and some walnuts. We ate the lot!

Restaurant Bistrot 65, Paris
Restaurant Bistrot 65, Paris

The sun has long set (while we were waiting for cheese!) and even though taking photos had become complicated in the low light, we definitely wanted dessert!

We chose a crème brûlée with tonka bean, and a dark chocolate cream ganache with a small pot of cappuccino-style coffee cream.

The crème brûlée was not over-sweet, with an agreeable smokey taste from the crust (we could have eaten two!), and the other dessert was a great mix of flavours and textures, especially the coffee.

Two successes!

Restaurant Bistrot 65, Paris
Restaurant Bistrot 65, Paris

And so our meal was over. We left and decided to walk along the Seine, with Notre-Dame in the background. There’s nothing like it…

As for our experience at Bistrot 65, we think it’s a lot better value at half price than full price, but some will find it worth it. The online comments are all from people who have very much enjoyed their experience.

While some dishes could do with a little more finesse, and the service could do with a little tightening, the view is wonderful and you’re guaranteed an authentic Parisian experience. Give it a try!


Bistrot 65 (here) is open seven days a week from 10am-11pm

Online booking here

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