It might be the cheese, the wine or the pastries (don't make us choose), but when it comes to food, the French just know what's up. And with Sydney flying the French flag, you certainly needn't book flights to Paris to satisfy your inner Francophile this Bastille Day. Between special events held at the city's beloved brasseries and kicking your heels up to do the can-can, there are plenty of options for celebrating France's National Day — and biggest party — on Friday, July 14.
For the week of Bastille Day, the folks at Felix will take you on a culinary exploration of France, presenting a different regional French dish each night. Choose from confit duck on Monday, beef bourguignon on Wednesday, through to Basque chicken on Sunday. Ruinart Rose Champagne will be offered by the glass or bottle or you can go for the wine that's been matched to the dish. If you've got a bit more budget, on Friday, July 14, they're going all out with a six-course degustation for $180.
When: July 10–16. Where: Felix, 2 Ash Street, Sydney. Cost: Dishes at a la carte prices, degustation $180 per person, or $250 with matching wines.
You might want to pace yourself for this one. Now in its fifth year, Sydney's Bastille Festival will be gathering all the best of French food, wine and culture to Circular Quay in a four-day extravaganza. The French village will also include lifestyle stalls, spruiking wares such as tablecloths, art prints, jewellery and any other knick-knacks you might want to stock up on. Not just French-centric however, as food vendors will also offer delights from Madrid, Brussels, Rome, Munich, Amsterdam and more. There'll even be an outdoor cinema set up screening French films.
When: July 13–16. Where: Circular Quay. Cost: Free entry.
Surry Hills' quaint Provincial bistro will be offering a three-course set menu with traditional French fare, such as onion soup, cheese soufflé and slow-cooked lamb shank. The cost for three courses also includes a glass of sparkling wine. If you can't make it, be sure to look out for their stall at the Bastille Festival or head there on a Tuesday or Wednesday for raclette night.
When: July 14 and 15. Where: 2/411 Bourke Street, Surry Hills. Cost: $85 per person.
CAN-CAN WITH COCKTAILS AT THE ARGYLE
Numerous French organisations unite for a sixth consecutive year of The Argyle's Alliance Française Bastille Day bash. And it is one hell of a party — last year's attendance of over 2000. A can-can show, French DJs and a photobooth is all included, with the option to gorge yourself on crepes and of course, cheese and saucisson (that's cured pork sausage, similar to salami). A trip for two to New Caledonia will also be up for grabs in a raffle too.
When: Thursday, July 13. Where: The Argyle, 18 Argyle Street, The Rocks. Cost: $15 entry (food and drink not included).
An exclusive menu at Bistro Moncur will see a very French four-course feast on the cards for Bastille Day. Dishes will include bouillabaisse (a fish stew) and rum baba, which, if you've not had it, is a small yeast cake saturated in syrup made with rum and is bloody delicious. Curated by chefs Mark Williamson and Jon Trouillet, the selection will aim to represent a tour of France. Diners will have the option to let the chefs take the wheel and enjoy all four courses, or free to select dishes from the pla du jour or a la carte menus. Wine to match is also an option. Bookings are recommended.
When: Friday, July 14. Where: Bistro Moncur, 116A Moncur Street, Woollahra. Cost: $140 per person, $55 extra for wine pairing.