In a city so closely associated with France that we have a restaurant housed in the building prepared for Napoleon Bonaparte if he came here in exile, Bastille Day is pretty well feted. Here are a few food-focused events for those looking for some straight up French haute cuisine as well as less formal affairs.
Tuesday, July 11
Join the Todd Price Dinner Club at the Palace Cafe to celebrate all food French with Chef Rene Bajeux, who operated Rene Bistrot restaurant until Hurricane Katrina. Seventy-five dollars scored diners four courses (plus hors d'oeuvres), including a welcoming glass of French bubbly, Muscovy duck leg crepinette, and salmon coulibiac with a Champagne dill veloute. Buy tickets and check out the full menu here.
Friday, July 14
Since this is Bastille Day proper, there’s a lot happening.
The official Bastille Day Fête (sponsored by the French Consulate and other Franco-American organizations here) starts at 6 p.m. at the New Orleans Museum of Art, with a bunch of different activities (music, art, history, dance) as well as a food event - the Artful Palate Cooking Demo: Farm to Table. Napoleon House Executive Chef Chris Montero (also the Cafe NOMA Culinary Curator) will provides tips, techniques, and advice about cooking, French cuisine, and farm-to-table food.
The Grill Room at Windsor Court’s prix fixe, six-course wine dinner begins at 6:30 p.m. and is a doozy. Chef de Cuisine Gabriel Charpentier draws on his significant French cuisine training and background to provide courses like escargot with watercress soup, Herbsaint, crème fraîche, and squid ink coral paired with Château d'Epiré, Chenin Blanc, Savennieres, 2015. Tickets are $95 plus tax and tip. To make reservations, call (504) 522-1992 or visit www.grillroomneworleans.com.
Arnaud’s Bastille Day dinner is sponsored by Moet & Chandon (remember the Champagne vending machine?), so expect lots of champagne. It kicks off at 7 p.m. with cocktails and canapes and the menu includes escargot, duck confit, pompano rilettes, and filet mignon au poivre. Each course includes a vintage Moet & Chandon Champagne, except for the canapes, which will feature the Roffignac, made with Hennessy VS, Old Overholt rye, raspberry shrub, and club soda. $125 (including tax & tip) - call Arnaud’s at (504) 523-5433.
Saturday, July 15
It wouldn’t be New Orleans if some sort of outdoor celebration wasn’t included in a holiday. The Faubourg St. John Bastille Day Block Party, hosted by Cafe Degas, is here to fill that void. Cafe Degas is one of the pure French restaurants left in the city, and thus parties hard for Bastille Day. The block party kicks off at 4:30 p.m., and food and drink will be available for purchase from neighborhood establishments like 1000 Figs, Cafe Degas, Fair Grinds Coffee House, Liuzza's By The Track, Lola's, Pal's Lounge, Santa Fe, Swirl Wine, and Toast. There will also be live music (of course) and a costume competition (OF COURSE.)