French Fêtes for Bastille Day
You don’t have to travel to France to celebrate France’s Independence Day. Bastille Day commemorates the storming of the Bastille and the dawn of the modern French nation. The day is often celebrated July 14 with food, wine, and pétanque, a game similar to bocce or boules that originated in 1907 in southern France.
Here is a trio of Bastille Day celebrations to visit across the country.
Bastille Day on 60th Street, New York City
The French Institute Alliance Française hosts New York’s largest Bastille Day celebration on July 15. Bastille Day on 60th Street is a celebration held over a three-block stretch of 60th Street, from Fifth Avenue to Lexington Avenue, from noon to 5 p.m. Rouge Tomate, Payard Pâtisserie & Bistro, Financier Pastries, Brasserie Cognac, Macaron Café, Mad Mac, and Richart Chocolates will be serving up French fare.
French wines from Beaujolais, accompanied by an array of delicious cheeses from Président and Société, and French summer cocktails created with Ricard, the anise-flavored pastis from Marseille, will be served at the French Institute Alliance Française. Tickets are $20.
The free festivities also include can-can performances, a pétanque contest for children, and French language workshops.
Pétanque Tournament at La Maison Blanche, Shelter Island Heights, N.Y.
La Maison Blanche is hosting its second annual pétanque tournament in Shelter Island Heights, N.Y., at noon on July 11.
The brasserie-style restaurant, headed by executive chef Charles Le Tous, is serving a special Bastille Day menu of charcuterie and cheese plates, croquet monsieur sandwiches, and moules marinieres.
The pétanque tournament entrance fee, which will be donated to the Shelter Island Lions Club, is $30 per team.
Bastille Day Celebration, Bastille Café & Bar, Seattle
Bastille Café & Bar, which is housed in a historic 1920s building in Seattle’s Old Ballard neighborhood, hosts its Bastille Day celebration July 14 starting at 2 p.m. The Bastille Day celebration includes a pétanque tournament, performances, and food and drink specials.
Chef Jason Stoneburner is preparing French brasserie treats with ingredients sourced from the brasserie’s 4,500-square-foot organic rooftop garden. Specials include three oysters on the half shell and baguette sandwiches for $5, along with $5 beer, wine, and cocktails.
Teams of three compete for prizes and bragging rights in the pétanque tournament. Registration is $5 per person, which includes a drink ticket. A portion of the pétanque tournament proceeds go to Community for Youth, which supports the social, emotional, and academic development of students through mentoring and learning experiences.
Gypsy-jazz music in the spirit of Django Reinhardt and a burlesque show round out the spirited offerings at Bastille Café & Bar.
Bastille Day at La Poubelle Bistro, Los Angeles
La Poubelle Bistro is serving brunch and dinner in honor of France’s Independence Day. Stop in, enjoy a glass of champagne and Chef Johnny Zone's famous coq au vin.
Brasserie Beaumarchais, New York
Brasserie Beaumarchais in New York's Meatpacking district is hosting a Bastille Day brunch of French favorites sponsored by Ricard with music by DJ Marco Peruzzi. Three specialty Ricard cocktails will be served. Holding to tradition, petanque will be set up on the outside patio for all guests to play. Beaumarchais East Hampton is hosting a brunch.
Chef Michael Mina and Wine Director Rajat Parr’s first Pacific Northwest restaurant, RN74, is hosting a can-can performance in honor of Bastille Day along with food and drink specials. Special deals include $5 French 75s, $5 glasses of red and white French wines, and RN74’s signature cocktail, John C Holgate, for $5. Beers are $3 in honor of La Fete Nationale. Culinary delights include $5 gougeres, pate en croute, pissaladier, and oysters. Classic bagged carnival popcorn in caramel Cracker Jack, truffled butter popcorn, smoked paprika and tomato salt are $3 each.
Named for the Route Nationale that runs through the heart of Burgundy, RN74 is a French-themed wine bar and restaurant that is offering a special tasting menu in July that includes gougeres, Lyonnaise salad or French onion soup, trout grenobloise, cassoulet de Toulouse, and summer strawberry Napoleon for $65.