Whether you're French, a Francophile, or just love French food and wine, Bastille Day, a.k.a. French National Day, July 14th, is the perfect excuse to celebrate all things fine and French. French National Day commemorates the storming of the Bastille, a medieval fortress and prison in Paris, on July 14, 1789. Here are four ways to celebrate this French fête in Chicago.
French National Day Celebration at the Lycée Français
1929 W. Wilson Ave.
Celebrate the storming of the Bastille with a picnic, music and movie at Chicago's very own Lycée Français! Enjoy a picnic on the lawn and an evening of family friendly entertainment, including pétanque, a waiters’ race, French movie screening (with English subtitles!) and live music by DJ Maxime Bonnard. Enter to win two round-trip tickets Chicago-Paris on Air France and you just might be jetting off to France this summer after all!
1935 N. Lincoln Park West
Step into the Blanchard, or take a seat on their shady sidewalk seating area, and you'll feel as if you've been transported to Paris. This swanky Lincoln Park-located restaurant was lauded "2016 Critic's Choice: Best New Restaurant" by the Chicago Tribune, "Best New Restaurant 2016" by Chicago magazine and "Best New Restaurant" at The 2016 Jean Banchet Awards for Culinary Excellence.
Executive Chef Ryan Burn's authentic French fare will be highlighted on Bastille Day with a four course prix-fixe menu priced at just $65, with wine pairings priced at an additional $35. Explore the dinner menu, cocktail program by Michael Simon (Acadia; the Wit; Celeste) and interesting French wine list here. Reservations are recommended.
840 N. Wabash Ave.
A busy day of shopping on Michigan Avenue calls for a break. Step away from the hustle and bustle and head over to Bistronomic, a contemporary French bistro that features big flavors and housemade, modern French cuisine, all served in a friendly, relaxed Gold Coast setting. And though Bistronomic is rooted in France, it showcases seasonal and sustainable ingredients, many of them sourced from area farms, giving you a true taste of the Midwest. The modern French bistro will celebrate Bastille Day on Friday, July 14 with a three-course, $39 prix fixe menu.
Delectable dish options include a duo of homemade country pate and chicken liver mousse with apple salad, cornichons, mustard, and roasted hazelnut; Steak and prime beef tartare with pomme frites, chayote squash remoulade, garlic confit, and country grain mustard; baked Alaska with artisanal vanilla ice cream, mixed summer berries, and toasted meringue.
The Bastille Day prix fixe menu will be available through Sunday, July 16. View the full Bastille Day menu and additional specials at bistronomic.net. Reservations are recommended and can be made on the website or by calling 312- 944-8400.
Floriole Café & Bakery
1220 W. Webster Ave.
Floriole Café & Bakery offers the best in French baked goods this side of Paris. And beginning Friday, July 14, this Lincoln Park gem will host a weekend of family-friendly festivities and delicious tastings in celebration of the French national holiday, Bastille Day.
On Friday, July 14 to Sunday, July 16, from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m., enjoy happy hour specials (including $5 beers and $6 select French wines served with house marinated olives) and complimentary French-inspired tastings alongside co-owner and executive chef Sandra Holl. Floriole will also offer a special Bastille Day French cheese plate ($6) throughout the weekend, served with baguette, pecans and dried fruit.
The complimentary daily tastings will include:
- Friday, July 14: Fine French wines
- Saturday, July 15: Cheese tastings
- Sunday, July 16: Chocolate tastings. Kids will be able to showcase their creativity with themed activities and arts and crafts. Guests who purchase a cup of coffee on Sunday will also receive complimentary chocolate to enjoy.