From its founding fathers to its distinctive architecture, cuisine and laissez faire attitude, New Orleans’ relationship with la belle France is both historic and ongoing. So, naturally, we embrace the chance to celebrate France’s version of Independence Day, Bastille Day, this Thursday, July 14, with plenty of our own sense of joie de vivre. Here are some top spots around town to raise a glass and more. Oh la la!
What could be more French-forward than The Alliance Française of New Orleans, a nonprofit French language school and cultural center. Its annual Bastille Day Fête will take place at their Garden District headquarters, 1519 Jackson Ave., from 6 to 10 p.m, and will feature a toast from the Consul General of France in Louisiana, Nathalie Beras, live music, appearances by the Merry Antoinette Carnival queens-extraordinaire, sweet and savory crêpes, cocktails, kids’ activities, and Champagne, of course. Presale tickets are $8 for Alliance Française members and $13 for the public. Tickets at the door are $15 for everyone.
Bar Marilou located in the Maison de Luz guesthouse, 546 Carondelet St., will host a French house party from 4 to 9 p.m. featuring menu specials, cocktails (Calvados French 75, anyone?) and French-inspired music selections from songstress Sarah Quintana, Tangiers Combo (jazz, accordion and violin) and DJ HeelTurn spinning French house and world music.
Couvant, located in the Eliza Jane Hotel, will feature a special three-course dinner along with a special wine pairing and complimentary hors d’oeuvres and live music. Menu selections include escargot, pan roasted duck confit, crème brûlée and more. Tickets are $75 per person and available for purchase here.
Try these classic restaurants and stops for a DIY celebration July 14, or anytime.
Start your day with a croissant, artisan bread or Parisian-inspired pastry (or two) from La Boulangerie Uptown, or Celtica French Bakery in Lakeview. Top it off with a café au lait and you’ll be ready to storm the Bastille, or just get to work in style.
Stop by Dorignac’s Food Center, 710 Veterans Blvd. in Metairie, for a special July 14 Rosé wine tasting, 5:30-7:30 p.m. While there, pick up some Brie, or other fromage to your liking, a fresh baked baguette plus all the French fixings, and have your own mini-Bastille celebration at home.
While Arnaud’s annual Bastille Day luncheon is sold out, you can still get on the waitlist (email firstname.lastname@example.org) or grab a classic cocktail at the French 75 or Richelieu Bar. Try the eponymous French 75, a Bon Vivant or a zero-alcohol Pomegranate Spritz.
Mid-City’s Café Degas, 3127 Esplanade Ave., has lunch, dinner and weekend brunch offerings, with curbside options available. Pick up a cheese or charcuterie board to-go, or dine in for a classic and romantic French dining experience.
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