For New Yorkers, almost as important as the day of an event is the day we celebrate it. This year Bastille Day is Tuesday, July 14, but that won’t stop us from getting out this Sunday to celebrate with drink specials and pétanque tournaments. The celebrations continue through Tuesday.
RECOMMENDED: Full coverage of Bastille Day in NYC
Not surprisingly, this French food market is turning Bastille Day into a two-day extravaganza. On Sunday, July 12, the Hudson River will be transformed into the Seine. From 11 am to 6 pm, there will be French lessons and ballet classes, live music and storytelling which can be enjoyed while sipping and tippling on food and drink from the market. Return on Tuesday, July 14, when a $20 ticket gets you a glass of wine and a taste from each vendor in the market.
This West Village wine bar is toasting the day with a specialty cocktail menu from the aperitif flight ($16) of Ricard Pastis, Green Chartreuse, & Bonal Gentine Quina. Or sample the aperitifs in cocktails like the Torch Bearer ($13), which combines the Ricard with gin, Aperol, and Dolin Blanc.
Tuck into a steak frites at this Gramercy restaurant. As is traditional, the grilled hanger steak is topped with a red wine sauce and crispy frites—and priced to the year of revolution: $17.89.
Bastille Day Ball
On Monday, July 13, dance to classic French songs and modern DJs during the latest incarnation of this 92-year institution, hosted by the Committee of French-Speaking Societies since its inception in 1924. A $30 advance ticket you in to the live music, passed apps, and cash bar while the $120 VIP ticket adds on a buffet dinner and open bar until 10 pm.
Bastille Day on 60th Street
The Independence Day celebrations will center around a street fair on 60th Street in Manhattan, on Sunday, July 12, from noon to 5 pm. Restaurants in the area are getting in on the celebrations with their own offerings and specials.
Snack on complementary Pissaladière, a homemade caramelized pizza, with the purchase of two cocktails, including the special La Guillotine Rose. The summer special combines Ricard Pastis with fresh watermelon juice. For a heartier meal, choose the two-course prix fixe for $39, which pairs the namesake birds with either an appetizer or dessert.
Fi : af French Institute Alliance Française
The rooftop Le Skyroom will be opened to this pairing of France’s top two exports: champagne and dessert. Sip on bubbly from six vintners including Moët & Chandon and Veuve Clicquot and nibble on dessert by New York mainstay Le Cirque and chocolate from Chocolat Moderne and Valrhona. Two sessions run from 12:30 to 2pm and 3 to 4:30pm and cost $65 for non-members.
The venerable institute will also offer free music performances (including live can-can dancers!) and screenings of family-friendly French films and cooking classes.
French Restaurant Week
French Restaurant Week kicks off July 13 Monday as part of the Bastille Day celebration. Sample prix fixe dinner menus from 39 restaurants including Midtown’s Café Un Deux Trois and TriBeCa's Cercle Rouge. Many restaurants’ menus are just $17.89.
A French expat institution, this Boreum Hill bistro at the corner of Smith and Dean Streets will be Brooklyn Francophile hub this Sunday, July 12. Starting at noon, pétanque teams compete on sand-filled courts down the center of the street. Get in on this cousin of bocce with sets for sale at the registration tent for $25. Live music and area bar and restaurant specials round out this annual event.
Written by Alyssa Haak