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The best of French in New York: Celebrate Bastille Day in the Big Apple

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While most New Yorkers had their eyes set on 4 July as the summer holiday not to be missed, French expats and francophiles are counting down the days to Bastille Day on 14 July.

With no shortage of fun things to do, every francophile can find some kind of French celebration to take pride in and celebrate French independence and culture here in the Big Apple.

Here are a few options if you find yourself in NYC for the fabulous French holiday.

For the festival-loving Francophiles

Adrienne Mansard - 9.7.13Bastille Day celebrations are serious business here in NYC, and we’ve got the parties to prove it. First off there’s the Bastille Day Cocktail Gala. Between 6.30 and 10pm, the Astor Center is hosting an evening devoted to French spirits in all their glory. There will be an open bar all night, with French cocktails, punches, spirits and absinthe. General Admission tickets are $55 and requested dress is ‘Forbidden Garden’ – how very français – and there are rumors of a Can-Can performance to add real French flair!

Saturday 13 July
Astor Centre
399 Lafayette st, NY 10003

If you’re feeling adventurous there’s also a Parisian Ball on Governor’s Island. This particular party will take place at Fete Paradiso – the world’s first festival of vintage carnival rides and carousels, officially open to the public the morning of 13 July. The Parisian Ball will take place that evening to celebrate Bastille Day, and the French underground scene will no doubt explode amidst the late 19th and early 20th century rides. Definitely not to be missed!

Saturday 13 July
Fete Paradiso
Governor’s Island, NY

Adrienne Mansard - 9.7.13

If you’d prefer to celebrate Bastille Day with a daytime party, look no further than the Bastille Day Celebration on 60th Street in Manhattan, or the Bastille Day Party and Petanque Tournament in Brooklyn. Both festivals have the best French food, wine and fun New York has to offer and will leave you feeling like you were at a summer fête in France – French accents included.

Adrienne Mansard - 9.7.13

Sunday 14 July
Bastille Day Manhattan
60th street, between Lexington and Fifth avenues, NY 10065
Bastille Day Brooklyn
Smith st, Brooklyn, NY, 11231

For the foodie francophile

Saturday 29 June – Sunday 21 July

New York Bastille Day - www.MyFrenchLife.orgBastille Day New York - MyFrenchLife.org

If food is your main goal in celebrating la France, Chef Daniel Boulud’s ‘Le Tour’, a play on the Tour de France, is a great way to celebrate and keep the party going past Bastille Day.

While the actual Tour de France has 21 stages, Daniel Boulud’s Tour has six. If you’re up for the challenge you can pick up your ‘passport’ at any of the participating Boulud restaurants.

The ‘passport’ includes offers like a complimentary glass of rosé at Boulud Sud, a carafe of beer at DBGB Kitchen and Bar, or a complimentary cocktail at Café Boulud – and what better time to take advantage than our beloved Bastille Day?

If you’re in the mood for a feast on Bastille Day, you can celebrate by going to the Bastille Day Barbeque at Café d’Alsace, French Roast Uptown and Downtown, L’Express, Le Monde, Maison, Nice Matin, Pigalle, or Marseille restaurants. This specially prepared three-course family-style dinner serves four to six people and includes a roast suckling pig presented whole and then carved.

Adrienne Mansard - 9.7.13

Guests will also enjoy Gallic ‘pignic’ favorites for starters and sides, such as a chilled summer soup, French potato salad, ratatouille of summer vegetables, ‘barbecued’ fresh cranberry beans, farm fresh corn on the cob, and skillet cornbread.

Desserts with a patriotic red, white and blue palette include blueberry pie, watermelon and vanilla ice cream. There are only 20 dinners available, two per restaurant, so reservations must be placed in advance and prepaid. The cost is $210 plus tax and gratuity for up to six guests – a steal by NYC standards. For reservations email RSVP@chefdriven.com.

Sunday 14 July
Various locations

So many French choices! However will I choose? Which event would you go to?

Image Credits:
1. Courtesy Hannah Duke.
2. Courtesy of Spirits Soiree.
3. The Can Can, via Bloomberg.com
4. Brooklyn, via Brownstoner.com
5. Café Boulud, by Joe M. via Yelp.
6. DB Bistro Moderne, by Joe S. via Yelp.
7. Courtesy of Daniel Boulud


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