The taking of the Bastille on July 14, 1789 (Bastille Day) is a national holiday in France. This event initiated what would become the French Revolution. Down with the monarchy and up with the (first) Republic!
The first annual Bastille Day Celebration at Seattle Center happened yesterday, Sunday, July 11th as part of Festál Presents 2004, which celebrates our city's diversity. It sounded like a lot of fun. French food, wines, entertainment, a Pétanque tournament, shopping and music everywhere. I missed it. But that's okay. I was at the International District Chinatown Summer Festival. We also went to the Market (what else is new) and then dinner at Lola so it was not a wasted day by any measure. However, I wished I had been there.
The Festival will feature food from Rover’s Restaurant, Metropolitan Market, and Les Boulangers Associés; games, including a Pétanque exhibit and a Franco-American basketball free throw competition; Citroen car show; samples from local French businesses; live music, including our featured artist Rouge, and additional performances by Pearl Django, Zazou, Bonnie Birch, Captain Leroy and the Zydeco Locals, and Red Chausée; children’s activities; trade booths and tourist information in an atmosphere of fun and camaraderie for the members of the resident French community and the general public. French nationals and the general public are also more than welcome to join us for the opening ceremony at noon, which will include a color guard, commemoration of D-Day, and performances of La Marseillaise and the Star Spangled Banner.
So, I'll make a mental note for next year and for now, I will figure out which one of the other Bastille Day events around town I'll attend.
Le Pichet is having one Wednesday from 6pm to midnight. They won't take reservations for it and its pretty much standing room only (the place is tiny) but there will be a band and a special menu. It just can't get any more French than Le Pichet.
Café Campagne will also have its own celebration also on Wednesday. En Plein Air, theirs starts at 5pm. Open doors, Parisian bistro fare, wines, and classic French street music.
Maximillien will offer a special Bastille Day 3-course menu for $35 with wine pairing available. It will also feature Steve Rice's Paris accordion street songs.
So, put together a tray of favorite French cheeses, some pâté & foie gras. Or perhaps serve some local oysters, mussels or caviar (Seattle Caviar has the best in town) to go with that bottle of French wine to celebrate at home á la Française. Or just skip the shopping and the cooking and go to one of these city spots and do raise your glass to la Belle France, our French neighbors and friends and Bonne fête de la prise de la Bastille à tous!
1932 1st Ave
1600 Post Alley at Pine
Seattle, WA 98101
81A Pike Street
Seattle, WA 98104