Perhaps my attitude with this blog has been a little "lassez-faire" but alas, it was in anticipation of Bastille Day! And also there was our Independence day and the week before that I was busy with the Del Close Marathon....but that's neither here nor there. Here we are! Mid July! Let's get out, and celebrate our French allies! Or not. But go forth and eat AND drink my children!
Ma Peche, one of the Momofuku restaurants (a frequent vendor of mine), has a french name so this counts toward your Bastille celebrations! The restaurant hosts a monthly wine and cocktail class and this weekend's lesson should pique your interest! You can head to the midtown restaurant for a lesson in wine...boxed wine that is! Surprise yourself and your friends and learn the positives and negatives of boxed wine vs. bottled wine. Class is taught by noted wine writer Talia Baiocchi and will be from 5-6:30pm. Check out the eventbrite page for tickets and more information about this and the rest of the classes in the series.
I don't know about you my I have some friends in Paris right now, but sadly I can't afford such luxuries! But, have no fear if you're like me, you can escape to a French paradise all our own without a boarding pass! Check out Fete Paradiso, kicking off this weekend in time for the Bastille festivities, on Governors Island. There are beautiful carnival rides, inspired by French artists. This is the first time the traveling French fair hits the US and you can celebrate with them this weekend or next or any of them from now through the end of September, but why not go when its most festive?! Of course, I wouldn't be mentioning it if it was all rides and no food! There's word of a beer garden, and also French restaurant, Le Gamin, will be providing more traditional eats from you croque madames to steak frites!
Bastille in Brooklyn if you'd like! This year, Chez Oskar ("Le Funky French Bistro") is hosting a brunch in honor of France! If you'd rather hang in Fort Greene for France then this is the ticket! There will be a prix-fixe menu that will include champagne as well as several standard French activities...like a Robespierre photo booth, a Petanque (similar to bocce ball) tournament out back, and of course some can-can dancers! Festivities on Sunday will begin at 11am, so why not make a day of it?!
Do you like your independence days to be traditional? If so you should check out the oldest running Bastille Day festival put on by the authority that is FIAF (French Institute Alliance Francaise). Did I mention I've taken classes with them? They're great! This annual block party event offers live music, dancing, cheese tasting, and language lessons. Enjoy pastries from some of the best Franco-American chefs, including the CRONUT master: Dominique Ansel Bakery, Epicerie Boulud, and Francois Payard. Don't miss out on the Ricard cocktails and beer tastings. This is another excuse to party! All this is happening on Sunday from noon to 5 PM on E. 60th Street between Fifth and Lexington.