What would a French holiday be without crêpes, éclairs and pastis? Bastille Day is Sunday, July 14, and celebrations take place all around New York City. Here are three biggies for food-minded Francophiles to note.
Bastille Day on 60th Street
The French Institute Alliance Française’s annual street fair won’t let you leave hungry. Buy a $20 tasting ticket and sample wines from Beaujolais, bries and Roqueforts from Président Specialty Cheeses, and cocktails made with Ricard Pastis. For something more substantial? Take part in the Bastille Day Banquet — a dressed-up three-course lunch box including rillettes with cornichons, coq-au-vin and crème caramel. (Plus communal seating from which to enjoy it all.) Or just visit the many participating food purveyors, including Dominique Ansel Bakery (of cronut fame), Francois Payard Bakery, Mille-Feuille Bakery and Cafe and Epicerie Boulud, and enjoy the live mime and accordion performances. July 14, noon–5pm; E. 60th St. between Fifth and Lexington aves.; bastilledayny.com
French Restaurant Week
Why keep the holiday to a single Sunday? French Restaurant Week runs from July 8 through 14, and all week, French restaurants around town offer various $17.89 specials (in honor of the year of the French Revolution). That price gets you hanger steak with red wine sauce, or daurade with sauce vierge, and a glass of wine at Maison Harlem; a glass of wine with a charcuterie plate at Pigalle; and a cheese board with a glass of rosé at Jacques 1534. July 8-14; multiple locations; frenchrestaurantweek.com
Bastille Day Party, Smith Street
This Brooklyn party, now in its eleventh year, closes down a whole stretch of Smith Street for a celebration of massive proportions. Between Bergen and Pacific streets, the entire roadway is covered in sand for a tournament of petanque — a French game similar to bocce ball — drawing competitors from all over the world. And watching is more fun with drinks in hand. Try cocktails with Lillet or Ricard, and when you get peckish, look for merguez, moules frites and sweets from the multitude of Smith Street eateries. July 14, 12pm–8pm; Smith St. btwn. Bergen and Pacific Sts., Brooklyn; bastilledayny.com