Francophiles might still be reeling from their soccer team’s loss to Portugal in the Euro 2016 final, but they have renewed cause to celebrate, as July 14 is Bastille Day, when France commemorates the storming of the Bastille prison, a major turning point in the French Revolution. Every year, thousands of Parisians gather to see a military parade on the Champs-Élysées or fireworks at the Eiffel Tower. But here in Westchester, it’s the perfect excuse to enjoy the best French cuisine, wine, and cheese the county has to offer from now through the weekend.
Thursday, July 14
Photo courtesy of City of New Rochelle
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A Historical Celebration in New Rochelle
With a name like New Rochelle, you might have guessed the city has some French influences. (The city was founded by French Huguenots more than 300 years ago.) On Thursday, the city will pay tribute to its namesake, La Rochelle, France, with a ceremony featuring the raising of the French flag and performances of the French and American national anthems. Then, head to nearby Larchmont for cheese and baguettes from Auray Gourmet and pastries from La Parisienne, and continue the celebration at home.
Pop-up French Bistro at Market North
No, ratatouille is not just the name of an adorable Pixar movie. It’s also a classic French vegetable stew that you can find on the menu at Market North’s Bastille Day bash. For just one day, the restaurant will transform into Marché North, a bistro that boasts rich frisée aux lardons, moules-frites, chicken liver parfait, and pork rillettes. Each guest will get a half bottle of wine and unlimited games of pétanque, the French version of bocce ball—although we can’t promise the booze bodes well for your aim. $65 per person.
387 Main St., Armonk (914) 273-3773; www.mktnorth.com
Bastille Day Dinner at La Panetière
Whether or not Marie Antoinette said, “Let them eat cake” is still up for historical debate. But, you can get your fix with the petit fours featured on La Panetière’s Bastille Day special menu. Other twists on French classics include foie gras confit with gingerbread toast and thyme-scented saddle of rabbit served over fava beans. Plus, there will be live music from an accordionist to make you feel like you’re strolling through Montmartre in a scene straight out of Amélie. $85 per person. $135 with wine pairings.
530 Milton Rd., Rye (914) 967-8140; www.lapanetiere.com
Friday, July 15
Date Night: Tour de France at Sur la Table
The French are known for being romantic, so it only makes sense to turn your Bastille Day celebration into a date night. At Sur la Table, you’ll learn how to prepare a full meal—because no authentic French meal is limited to just one course—that includes cheese soufflé, pan-seared salmon, herbed green beans, and a berry galette. The only thing better than eating French food is walking away with the skills to make more. $79 per person
125 Westchester Ave., White Plains (914) 220-9810; www.surlatable.com
Saturday, July 16
A Reenactment and Restaurant Tour in Piermont
Photo courtesy of Melanie Einzig Richard Esnard for Piermont Hist Society
Piermont’s celebration doesn’t skimp on the historical aspect. There will be a storming of the Bastille reenactment (complete with a guillotine display), and guests are encouraged to don their best 18th century attire for a march. But non-history buffs will find enough gourmet food to keep them occupied on the sidelines. Chef Peter Kelly will be offering menus devoted to French cuisine at his restaurants Xaviars at Piermont and The Freelance Café. You can expect escargots, steak-frites, Brie cheese, salami sandwiches, and even Kronenbourg beer (France doesn’t just produce wine!).
French Pours at Wine Geeks
You don’t have to put a cork in your Bastille Day festivities just yet. The celebration continues on Saturday evening at Wine Geeks, where sommelier Derek Todd will lead a tasting of wines from French regions, including Bordeaux, Burgundy, and the Loire Valley, plus French cheese and charcuterie. Reservations required. $35 per person.
559 Main St., Armonk (914) 273-9463; winegeeksarmonk.com
Photo courtesy of Wine Geeks