By Leigh O’Connor.
French cuisine is at the heart of all good food – from buttery croissants to hearty casseroles and magical soufflés, just the mention of all things French gets the tastebuds salivating. From city restaurants to the home cook, everyone wants to get their French on with dishes that are rich, comforting and above all tasty. Recipes don’t have to be over complicated, most use simple but good quality ingredients and cooking methods, but the results are always gastronomically pleasing.
As French restaurants around the country prepare traditional feasts to celebrate Bastille Day, let’s have a quick look at what’s on offer. For all other Bastille Day events and specials, check out our What’s On Guide.
Sydneysiders don’t have to look far to find fabulous French fare as the city embraces its European roots on July 14.
Sofitel Sydney Wentworth celebrates Bastille Day with a selection of French inspired culinary delicacies, including an indulgent cheese station and macarons in the hotel lobby from 5pm-6pm. Order a classic French martini at $20 each in the 1960s-styled Soiree Bar before a three-course dinner at Garden Court Restaurant, featuring traditional dishes such as moules marinieres, coq au vin or crème brulee a l’orange, at a cost of $75 per person.
While, Claire’s Kitchen at Le Salon in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs will come alive with accordion music and Can Can dancers in a Moulin Rouge themed five-course degustation dinner for $110 per person.
Pymble French steakhouse Brasserie l’Entrecote is planning two days of celebration on July 13 and 14, offering a five-course menu for $95, including profiterole with foie gras mousse and their signature sirloin steak with dauphinoise potatoes and secret sauce.
LoLuk Bistro in Surry Hills is serving up a three-course feast on July 14 and 15 for $85 a head, including a glass of sparkling wine. Start with a double cheese soufflé, before moving on to choices such as fish of the day or slow cooked lamb shank. LoLuk is also showcasing fare from Provence at their stall at the BBR Festival at Circular Quay from July 13-16.
Crows Nest’s Le Bouchon restaurant is planning a five-course degustation dinner for $90 per person, matched with premium wines for an extra $40. Team the mussels, prawns, clams and ocean trout bouillabaisse with a Loire Valley Chenin Blanc, or perhaps a 2015 Chateau Saint Maurice Grenache Syrah with a pancetta wrapped pork fillet.
Relax on the waterfront of Marine Drive and enjoy a five-course degustation dinner at Tea Gardens Boatshed on Bastille Day, at a cost of $80 per person plus an extra $20 for matching wines.
Bring a beret and celebrate at Cuisine Restaurant & Bar at the Lake Crackenback Resort at Thredbo. Enjoy a five-course menu for $90, including Jerusalem artichoke soup, blue eye cod, roasted duck breast and lemon tart.
Moving South to Victoria’s food hub of Melbourne……
Prahran’s Chez Olivier Le Bistro is serving up beautiful French fare, drinks and live music on France’s national day with two tempting options. Choose from the Sans Cullote three-course menu at $70 per person, or the Marie Antoinette option at $99 including a Kir Royal and Amuse Bouche to start.
Classic brasserie Small French Bar in Footscray is planning a Bastille feast with dishes such as potted duck confit, snails cooked in cider and cream and lamb stew with carrot, turnips, beans and a rosemary crumb.
Staff at South Yarra’s France Soir will set the mood dressing in costume to match the restaurant’s Bastille decorations and entertainment. With a cover charge of $35 per person and no BYO, diners can choose options such as boeuf bourguignon and cote de veau Normandie from the normal a la carte menu.
Those spending the day at A La Bouffe Bar & Bistro on Toorak Road, will be treated to three-courses of fare with or without matching wines. Delve into the likes of filet de boeuf and sauce vin rouge or cuisse de canard confit, before a sweet sensation such as flambéed crepes suzette with orange and Grand Marnier sauce and vanilla ice cream.
Follow the Tour de France peloton over the mountains and through the countryside with a six-course regional menu at The Botanical Dining Room on Domain Road, for $99 per person or $139 with matching wines. Dishes will reflect the cuisine of regions such as Alsace, Burgundy, Bergerac, Northern Rhone and Paris.
Little Collins St Kitchen at the Sheraton Hotel in Melbourne’s CBD is planning a week-long culinary celebration from July 11-16, with a nightly French inspired seafood buffet and Parisian afternoon tea on Saturday and Sunday.
In the nation’s Capital……
Treat yourself and loved ones to a Bastille Day experience at Les Bistronomes on Mort Street in Braddon for $79 per person, with choices such as parsley and garlic snails for a starter and classic French onion soup with Gruyere cheese, followed by braised beef cheeks. Matching wines can be included for an extra $33 per person.
Hosted by Frenchman Olivier Bruge and Chef John Leverink, The Boat House Barton has a day of truffles, vino and cheese on the menu in true Provincial style. Learn about regional wines and the history of delicious fromage, as well as enjoying a meal including an interactive cheese and dessert station.
Drop into Bistro Guillaume in Perth and transport the senses to a Parisian heaven. Offering modern provincial dining with spectacular outdoor views, Bistro Guillaume is launching an exciting new menu just in time for Bastille Day.
Meanwhile up in sunny Queensland…..
Enjoy breathtaking Brisbane city views while celebrating at Lutece Bistro & Wine Bar for either lunch or dinner. A three-course lunch including a glass of French sparkling wine on arrival is $75 per person and on the menu, are tempters such as lobster, char-grilled duck with truffled potatoes and braised oxtail. A five-course dinner will cost $148 with a glass of champagne on arrival and on offer are the likes of crab boudin with caviar butter sauce, veal shank braised with French morels mushrooms or salt bush lamb rack.
Bringing French cuisine to Hastings Street, Noosa Beach House Peter Kuruvita presents a five-course degustation dinner, fused with local flavour. Think crab bisque, rabbit terrine and confit of duck, teamed with wines of choice.
No matter which restaurant takes your fancy, make this Bastille Day one to remember with fine food, great wines and French flavours.