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Bistrot Belhara

A recent visit didn’t live up to the hype in which Thierry Dufroux’s Basque-inflected bistrot was declared “one of the revelations of 2013.” With the exception of a vanilla millefeuille with fresh strawberries, every dish was fine but forgettable. The wine list was uninspired and service was brisk and joyless. Three years ago, when most of this restaurant’s reviews were written, Belhara may have stood out as more exciting. It may have actually been more exciting back then. But today, when Paris is experiencing a renaissance of old-fashioned cuisine bourgeoise, Belhara doesn’t quite make it to Our Top 50 Paris Restaurants. Its saving grace: three courses for 38€ is still a great value for dinner in the 7ème near the Eiffel Tower. 

– Meg Zimbeck, 2016

Practical information

Address: 23 rue Duvivier, 75007
Nearest transport: École Militaire (8), La Tour-Maubourg (8)
Hours: Closed Sunday and Monday; Open Tuesday-Saturday for lunch & dinner
Reservations: Book a few weeks in advance
Telephone: 01 45 51 41 77
Average price for lunch: 20-39€
Average price for dinner: 20-39€
Style of cuisine: Classic French, Basque
Website   Facebook   Book Online

Reviews of interest

John Talbott (2015) “It’s got that crusty old bistrot look but delivers modern/traditional food, whatever that is.

The Wall Street Journal (2015) “His menu follows the seasons but runs to selections like a luscious pâté chaud, a flaky golden pastry filled with hashed duck and foie gras; veal sweetbreads with Bayonne ham; and probably the best rice pudding in Paris.”

Alexander Lobrano (2013) “Casually elegant, technically perfect, and respectfully traditional with a tweak of irreverence to make it his own. Small wonder then that this restaurant has so impressively established itself as a neighborhood favorite within months of opening, and this while walking the tight-rope of an affluent but reflexively parsimonious clientele who are wary of anything that wanders too wide of the mark of traditional French food.

Les Grands Ducs (2013) “Le Bistrot Belhara possède tous les attributs du petit caboulot parisien comme on les aime, le décor aux accents familiers (bar, banquette de velours rouge, carreaux de ciment, menu à l’ardoise), le patron en cuisine à la bonne humeur communicative, le service de tabliers noirs à la connivence facile, ses ambiances de province bourgeoise, bien mise, sûre d’elle et sereine, savoureuse.”

Slate (2013) “Toutes ces préparations exactes, mitonnées avec amour, figurent au menu à 35 euros avec quelques suppléments. On est loin du bistrot de quartier, on est en présence d’un singulier passionné des casseroles qui sait réjouir les hôtes et emballer les saveurs comme dans un grand restaurant.”

John Talbott (2013) “It was scores-ville; a wonderful warm “rustic” pate en croute with foie gras and duck and a rich red wine sauce and sweetbreads just like I love them – crispy outside, moist inside with perfectly cooked teeny tiny potatoes.”

L’Express (2013)”Sans aucun doute l’une des révélations 2013! On n’avait pas senti depuis des mois tant de coeur à l’ouvrage, de sincérité et de précision d’exécution dans un zinc de moins de 30 couverts.”

Le Figaro (2013) “Girolles, œuf mollet, lard: d’une rondeur «sur sapide». Coques, palourdes au vin blanc, poulpe et encornets à l’ail: gagnerait à ne pas s’assortir de spaghetti. Caneton croisé frotté au piment d’Espelette: rassurant.”

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