While we don’t encourage storming any prisons this Bastille Day on Sunday, July 14 it is certainly the time to celebrate all things French.
What better way than to visit your favourite French restaurant and treat yourself to escargot, frogs’ legs and the best bubbles on the planet? Dating back to 1789, Bastille Day was the turning point in the French Revolution when the people of Paris raided the Bastille seeking ammunition and gunpowder to arm themselves.
Celebrations are held throughout France, including the oldest and largest regular military parade in Europe held on the morning of July 14 on the Champs-Elysee in Paris in front of the President, French officials and foreign guests.
Let’s don a beret and striped T-shirt and head around the country to taste test some of our favourite dishes:
Frenchies Bistro and Brewery.
Eat French in South Yarra:
Blending French cooking with quality Australian ingredients,Chez Olivier on Toorak Road in the heart of South Yarra is one of Melbourne’s most loved French restaurants. Recently relocating to a new premise, an authentic ambience of moody down lighting, worn timber floors and intimate table settings set the scene for a memorable dining experience.
This Bastille Day, bring your friends with you to celebrate with live French music from Alana Aldea and two seatings for a set menu, including dishes such as canard a l’orange – roast duck with orange sauce and pumpkin mash – and classic boeuf bourguignon: beef in red sauce, bacon and mushrooms with a puff pastry top.
Bastille Day in Sydney:
Charming French waiters warmly welcome guests to Claire’s Kitchen at Le Salon on Oxford Street in Darlinghurst. This chic, intimate and fabulously French ensemble of glittering chandeliers, lavish wallpaper, antiques, white linen and black Louis XV chairs and lounges, is the brainchild of former TV Chef and star of the stage, Marc Kuzma (aka Claire de Lune).
Claire’s annual Bastille Day dinner offers a five-course degustation menu, accordion players and French Can-can dancers. Delve into tempters like roasted tomato and basil soup, crispy quail with celeriac puree, truffle jus and sweet potato nest, apple tart with cinnamon sorbet; finishing with a selection of petits fours like salted caramel eclairs and macarons.
As two Frenchies living in Oz, Thomas and Vincent deliver home brand bistronomy culture to the plate and glass at Frenchies Bistro and Brewery on Mentmore Avenue in Rosebery. Parisian fare and craft beer await guests in this elegantly dressed restaurant, where rich ruby walls and simplistic blond furniture create a vibe to enjoy a meal best shared with friends and family.
Say bonjour les amis on Saturday, July 13 and celebrate Bastille Day with a traditional four-course dinner, paired with matching beer and wine. Start with pork and pistachio stuffing in puff pastry, followed by fish mousseline poached in crayfish bechamel sauce, confit duck leg with cheesy mash potatoes and for a sweet finish, caramelised apple tart served with crème fraiche.
Say bonjour to a little taste of French sophistication at Brasserie L’Entrecote, a leisurely drive north of Sydney along the Pacific Highway at Pymble. A stylish dining room with exposed brick walls adorned with artwork, leather booth seating, chocolate walls and dimmed light, make for an ambient space for an intimate meal with your someone special, or family celebration.
All things French await on Sunday, July 14 with a four-course menu of kingfish ceviche, avocado mousse, citrus vinaigrette, finger lime and salmon caviar; Black Angus tenderloin with bearnaise sauce and green mashed potato, Saint-Nectaire cheese with baguette and a classic apple tarte tatin for dessert.
Feel immersed in another world when you step into Le Bouchon café and bistro on Willoughby Road in Crows Nest. Authenticity and conviviality abound at this French-inspired venue, as diners are enveloped in the warm smells of freshly baked baguettes and delightful French cuisine, cooked in the provincial style that is well loved around the globe.
Come and celebrate on Sunday, July 14 and say bon appetit to either a four-course lunch or six-course dinner menu, plating up classic French fare such as onion soup with gruyere croutons, escargot amuse bouche, polenta crusted salmon fillet a la Provencale and pan-roasted beef fillet, with pomme puree, sautéed spinach and foie gras jus. Finish decadently with chocolate fondant and raspberry sorbet.
Destination-worthy bistro LoLuk on Bourke Street in Surry Hills, romances diners with classic French charm. Inspired by the south of France and family recipes, potted trees, white tablecloths, mood lighting and a rustic brick and stone interior, beckon guests to settle in and linger over a lazy weekend lunch or cosy intimate dinner.
Experience the taste of Provence with LoLuk’s Bastille Day lunch and dinner menus with wine pairings – entrees of Sydney rock oysters and champagne jelly entice, followed by dishes such as grilled rib eye, Duchesse potato, watercress salad and housemade Provencal butter; or sea bream fillet, ratatouille, red capsicum coulis, crusty caper and a basil emulsion.
Celebrate French-style in Braddon:
Classically furnished in timeless style, Les Bistronomes on the corner of Mort and Elouera Streets in Braddon, delivers a culinary journey with a distinctly French theme. Step into warm surrounds of rustic exposed bricks and a cast iron wine rack filled with international bottles extending to the ceiling; while plush, high back chairs emanate a rich, welcoming ambience suited to smart, casual dining.
Each dish is artfully fashioned with colour and flavours radiating from the plate, while friendly staff remain close by to recommend matching wines. On Sunday, July 14 the restaurant plays host to a five-course Bastille Day event with all your favourite classic French dishes, paired with Beaujolais wines.
Bowen Hills and Surfers Paradise Bastille Day:
Brought to life in 2004, Montrachet restaurant on King Street in Bowen Hills boasts a world of opulence in a lavishly furnished space, creating intimate dining memories to savour. White tablecloths, silver cutlery, rich timbers and a well-stocked bar are all redolent of a charming Parisian brasserie and perceptive waitstaff are attentive in fulfilling culinary and wine desires.
Enjoy champagne, live music and amazing food as Montrachet celebrates Bastille Day on Saturday, July 13 with a three-course early dinner sitting and a five-course later option, including a glass of Laurent Perrier on arrival. Double baked crab and gruyere cheese souffle, champagne lobster poached in yuzu butter and slow roasted Darling Downs Black Angus rib on the bone, are just some of the temptations on offer.
Embark on a culinary journey to France this Bastille Day at Citrique on Ferny Avenue in Surfers Paradise. Since 2011, this iconic Gold Coast restaurant has continued to deliver the high standards expected of modern and elegant dining inside the Surfers Paradise Marriott Resort and Spa, with four interactive zones set in sleek, contemporary surrounds, providing guests with a myriad of choices.
Citrique’s award-winning seafood buffet takes a French twist with a variety of traditional and modern dishes, alongside an assortment of matching wines, from Thursday, July 11 to Sunday, July 14 including live entertainment to make sure diners celebrate in style.
For more French restaurant recommendations near you, click here.