From a certain perspective Brooklyn and Paris have a lot in common. Brooklyn is a food-centric city full of dog-loving cafe dwellers. Granted, most Brooklynites are more diligent about cleaning up after Fifi than Parisians, and our morning croissants and cafe au laits are much more likely to be eaten in front of a MacBook. We even have our own Arc de Triomphe — the Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Arch at Grand Army Plaza.
Maybe that’s why there are so many Bastille Day celebrations going on around Brooklyn this year…or maybe the borough’s freelancer hordes just hope that if they make a wish on a glass of Pernod that the universal health insurance fairy will cast her spell of free health care over the borough.
Cornichon, Petanque Tournament, July 11, 6pm to midnight
Cornichon has just installed a petanque (a French game akin to bocce) court in the backyard and is kicking off the outdoor drinking season with a Bastille Day tournament. Specials on rose and French small bites. RSVP.
Smith Street, Bastille Day Street Fair, July 12, noon to 10 pm
Bar Tabac hosts an annual Bastille Day celebration that includes a serious petanque tournament at Smith and Dean. They shut down the street and set up a sandy petanque court, serve brunch and French cocktails, with live music. “It’s thousands of people enjoying the sun and drinking lots of Lillet and Pastis,” says Bar Tabac manager, Apostolos Valleras. He confirmed that jazz band, The Baby Blue Orchids will be back this year, along with a latin-inspired, flamenco-style band.
The Diamond Bar, Bastille Day Barbecue, July 14, 5pm to close
The Diamond Bar gets points for holding a Bastille Day party on the actual day of. While French revelers across the pond lift glasses of Lillet and sparkling Vourvray, Greenpointers will hoist pints of beer and rock out to French pop music (including bubble gum tunes by Johnny Depp’s baby mama, Vanessa Paradis) in the spacious backyard. The Diamond is offering drink specials including wine and Normandy cider, and an $8 plat du jour that reflects France’s oppressive imperial past: kebabs from Algiers, tabbouleh from Lebanon, Moroccan orange and carrot salad and homemade madeleines with ice cream. Attendees will be given sparklers and sheet music to La Marseillaise for a rousing rendition upon the ceremonial midnight hour. The less musically inclined can check out Francophile games like pin the Bretagne peninsula on the France, boule in the garden, and French rules shuffleboard.
Roebling Tea Room, Bastille Day menu, July 17-18
Chef Dennis Spina has described his food to Brooklyn Based as “dirty French,” so it should come as no surprise that the Roebling Tea Room will be offering a menu in celebration of the holiday. “Bastille Day gives me a bad excuse to drink a ton of white wine and have all the unfriendly specials on the menu at once,” says Spina. “Seems like a good reason, right?” The two-night Frenchie menu will include heart frites (like steak frites, but with heart instead of steak), ham and snails, aspics, gizzard confit, duck legs, mussels, oysters, duck fat potatoes, pain au chocolate and, of course, frog legs in butter.