Hey, procrastinators! The forecast is for French fireworks and joie de vivre. That is to say, this weekend from July 14-15 is the French celebration of Bastille Day, the equivalent of the Fourth of July in the USA. For those less familiar, let’s just say Bastille Day commemorates the beginning of the French Revolution with the Storming of the Bastille on July 14, 1789, and the unity of the French people at the Fête de la Fédération one year later.
The US is no stranger when it comes to international celebrations and there’s no reason not to have another huge party in July. Three of the country’s biggest “party cities” invite you to join them as you pretend you’re French for the day.
In honor of Bastille Day, the five-star Windsor Court hotel in New Orleans’ Central Business District invites all Francophiles to celebrate with a special prix fixewine event at the elegant The Grill Room where guests and locals will enjoy a Champagne reception. A five-course meal of French dishes follows including foie gras torchon, crêpe du crab, and une mille feuille for dessert. Naturellement, each dish will be paired wines from Provence, Alsace, Bordeaux and Champagne. Hope for no rain and make a weekend in the exciting food-oriented Crescent City.
French Mediterranean meets South Beach culture at Bagatelle’s Miami Beach restaurant. For the second year in a row, Miami hot spot bistro Bagatelle Miami Beach is hosting a Bastille Day Bash in honor of the restaurant’s beloved French heritage. Diners will be able to try a French specialty, hearty Southern French meat-and-beans cassoulet, available only for this celebration. Drinks are a given and there will be a special cocktail for Bastille Day and an extensive choice of French wines and Champagne. In addition to the elaborate meal and dancing, there will be petanque to play.
New York City
Miami isn’t the only city with petanque on the party agenda. The Big Apple knows how to throw a party. And three of our favorite Manhattan and Brooklyn restaurants are offering fun celebrations on Bastille Day.
Le Relais de venise L’Entrecote: You may be in the Midtown Manhattan location of this Parisian brasserie, but you’ll feel like you’re in France as you enjoy the prix fixemenu you’ve come to love. Try the salad with nuts and mustard vinaigrette along with steak frites, a house specialty served the restaurant’s very special and very secret sauce.
In Cobble Hill, Brooklyn, Bar Tabac has a party bar none. On July 15 it’s a French Independence Day petanque festival, a celebration that invites the entire neighborhood to Smith Street for a street fair that’s among the best in New York City. Compete against other players all while enjoying Bar Tabac’s French bistro cuisine and, of course, fabulous beverages to help you stay both hydrated and happy all day.
You can play petanque, too, in Manhattan. French-Mediterranean-eatery Bagatelle NYC hosts a lavish, all-day Bastille Day bash on July 14. The popular outdoor terrace transforms into a St. Tropez beach complete with French flags, petanque and other games while a Bagatelle-caliber party happens inside. Can-can dancers and trumpet players sound a festive greeting when guests walk in and menu faves like the signature truffle pizza will be on offer along with new Bastille-specific libations and the French equivalent of water, Champagne.
Photos: Courtesy of Meryl Pearlstein