For those of you who feel like one patriotic holiday in July isn't nearly enough, we've got good news. Thursday, July 14, aka Bastille Day, is upon us -- time to swap your hot dog for a filet mignon and party like it's 1789 -- right here in Phoenix.
Inspired by the revolutionary events going down in the New World in 1776, the burgeoning middle class in France decided they'd had enough of their oppressive monarchs.
Turns out, the storming of the Bastille on July 14, 1789, wasn't all that. Heads rolled, terror reigned for a long time -- but ultimately, the event has come to stand as a symbol of the call for liberty.
That's all history now -- and to celebrate, the Valley's francophilic community has plenty to offer. Whether you want to go out for a fancy French dinner or make your own at home while watching the Eiffel Tower explode in fireworks on TV, we've got you covered.
Below is our list of all the délicieuses prix fixes, specials and events around town, so put on your beret, grab your baguette, and repeat after us: "Vive La France!"
Find our roundup after the jump
On the fancy side
Sophie's Bistro - This authentic, adorable eatery is offering a six-course tasting menu at a slightly less adorable price. But $70 will get you a glutenous assortment of plates. The meal will start out on the lighter side with several appetizers among which chilled avocado soup and summer sorbet. With course four, however, things will really get hot and heavy. Count on getting veal shank, duck breast, pulled pork, AND salmon. We're not kidding, see for yourself. For dessert, you'll be treated to a trio of creme brulée, coup de berries, and ice cream. Throughout the evening also count on being serenaded by accordionist and singer Tony Putrino. The regular menu won't be available on the 14th and you should call for reservatiosns: 602-956-8897
Petite Maison - Let the folks at this country bistro dine AND wine you all for $40. The menu is pretty fish-centrique with seared scallops as an apetizer and Halibut Provencal en entrée. The dessert is as French as it gets - cheese. The Fromager d'Affinois as well as the other two courses is paired with appropriate wines. Call 480-991-6887 to make your reservation.
Vincent on Camelback - Vincent is actually offering Bastille Day specials at two of his locations. At Vincent on Camelback there is a prix fixe for $35. After enjoying a complementary glass of champagne when you arrive, you will be treated to a three course meal. For those looking for those classic French staples, we've got good news: Escargot, duck confit, and a desert soufflé are all on the menu. For reservations call Jodi at 602-224-0225
Cheuvront - Here's another lovely prix fixe option also for $35. Choose from French onion soup or steamed mussels in white wine sauce as a starter. Your entree can be Boeuf Bourguignon, (prepared according to Julia Child's famous recipe) or Coq au Vin. For the vegetarians out there, there's ratatouille. Your dessert options are a vanilla bean crepe with raspberries, Chambord and creme fraiche ice cream or an assortment of cheeses from Single Farmstead. And as far as entertainment goes? The servers might be wearing berets. Make your reservations for between 5:00 and 9:30. 602-307-0022
Christopher's Crush - It seems that 35 is the magic number because here once again you'll enjoy a three course meal at this price. Choose from roasted beet and ricotta salad, frisée with poached egg and bacon, or lentil soup for the first course. Then select a hanger steak, roasted chicken breast, or lamb wellington. Finally, finish your meal off with a choice of profiteroles, tarte tatin, or Christopher's house cheesecake. Select wines will also be half price for your pairing pleasure. Call 602-522-2344 to make your reservation.
A little more relaxed
La Petite France - This little restaurant specializes in French cuisine from the eastern region of Alsace. Many of its specialties like flammekueche and crosty have clear Germanic influences. For "La Fête Nationale" the owners and chef are organizing a $25 country buffet with aperitifs on the house. Make sure to make a reservation: 480-922-3727
Vincent's Market Bistro - The second Vincent's location also has a prix fixe but for the more budget conscious. For $22 pick three choices of more casual yet classic items like brie in puff pastry, Farcis Niçois and profiteroles. Call 602-224-3727 for reservations.
Coup des Tartes - Selected items on this menu will be 50% off in honor of the holiday: Fois gras with yellow fin tuna, summer salad, the three onion tart, fillet mignon, lamb shank, salmon, the lemon tart, four berry tart, and finally the hazelnut chocolate tart. Reservations aren't required.
Authentic yet casual
Au Petit Four - From 5:00 to 9:00 this bakery and cafe will be offering a variety of special sandwiches, pastries, and plenty of Rosé from Provence. They will also have a singer to set the ambiance with classic French standards and plenty of francophones to really make you feel like you're in Paris
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Le Chalet - Here you will find a first time special of mussels and fries for $19.95 plus 15% off all beers all night.
Finally, if you're more into the idea of staying in with a home-cooked meal and a Jean-Luc Godard film, and you're not exactly motivated to master the moves of Julia Child, consider investing in Richard Grausman's French Classics Made Easy. When you purchase a copy of the book at Changing Hands Bookstore in Tempe until July 21, you will be entered for a chance to win a dinner for four, cooked by personal chef Denise Clayton using Grausman's recipes. The other big prize is a "Bastille Day Basket" consisting of a classic French novel, soap, wine, and Illy French Roast Coffee. More details here.