French Five: July 2012
Oh la la, it’s been a full month since my last post. A blogger faux pas – I know, and even more unacceptable to apologize for it according another blogger handbook. I’ll dig myself deeper and try to justify – it has been a month de folie! The redeeming starts now though, promis!
July seems to bring even the most fervent patriots out to wave the other red, white and blue and fete the infamous Bastille Day, which, as my good friend at Si Pres Si Loin likes to remind me, would more accurately be referred to as le 14 Juillet. I’ll be missing this year’s festivities to celebrate a friend’s nuptials in the windy city – where I’m sure I’ll be able to find a few pockets of French patriotism. But for all you New Yorkers, just a glimpse of what the city has to offer this month.
1. French Restaurant Week (July 8-15) New Yorkers LOVE an excuse to eat out and organized celebrations of our ethnically diverse restaurant scene seem to do the trick nicely. The second annual ode to French cuisine highlights both established and new French menus throughout the boroughs. The lineup includes over 40 restaurants with a special $17.89 offering. A few personal recos from a quick glance at the list: Tree, Artisanal Bistro (my favorite for fondue, offering a number of tasting opps throughout the week), Pic Nic, Ca Va Brasserie
2. Bastille Day Celebrations (July 15) The city’s loudest celebration of the taking of the Bastille takes place annually on a stretch of 60th street between 5th and Lexington, organized by FIAF. A far cry from the typical grease-filled street fairs that clog up streets each weekend, drop by for live music, French cancan dancers, tastings of local purveyors of French cuisine and even a chance to win a trip to France. Sunday, July 15, 12 pm.
3. Paris Opera Ballet: (July 11 – 22) The oldest national ballet company in the world graces the stages of Lincoln Center this month, with three performances, for the first time in 15 years. Grab tix before they pirouette back across the Atlantic!
4. Chelsea Triangle French Market: The city’s bustling outdoor market scene has recently welcomed a newcomer for the summer months, run by the same group that orchestrates many of the open air marches in Paris. Look for the red, white and blue canopies to sample goods from local expat foodies and purveyors inspired by European traditions. I can’t wait to stop by to sample Les Canelés de Céline (mini pastries from the Bordeaux region) and macarons from Mille Feuille Bakery & Cafe. (Fridays & Saturdays, 10AM – 3PM, 9th Ave. between 14th & 15th Streets)
5. Petanque: (July 12 – 15) The nation’s largest Petanque tournament will literally stop traffic in Brooklyn (Outside Bar Tabac, Smith Street, between Pacific and Bergent) on July 15. While it’s too late to play, cheering on your favorite team is nearly as fun. Several other French locales have organized tamer tournaments. Swing by Provence en Boîte, which will host a tournament on Sunday July 15, at Degraw Street, and le Cercle Rouge in TriBeCa, sister restaurant to Bar Tabac on July 12. Check out my earlier post on petanque for a primer on the rules and where to try your hand.
Stay tuned for more adventures as our apartment becomes a veritable auberge espagnol this summer and Frenchie will face the most important and challenging test of his love for America to date – the US naturalization exam.