Bastille Day: Things to Do in Dallas Monday, July 14th

François Jean Cantagrel. Courtesy of Go Oak Cliff.
François Jean Cantagrel. Courtesy of Go Oak Cliff.

Just because we live in America doesn’t mean we can’t put on our berets and guzzle down a bottle of red in honor of Bastille Day, or as the French like to call it, La Fete Nationale.

In fact, Dallas has some French history of its own. In 1855, a group of French colonists settled in what is now Oak Cliff and had a big impact on Dallas’ early growth. One of them, François Jean Cantagrel, returned to France to become vice mayor of Paris.

French National Day commemorates the beginning of the French Revolution with the Storming of the Bastille on July 14th, but it’s also a day to test out that high school French you thought you’d never use and see how many crepes your stomach can hold. Coming from Florida, I never realized what a momentous holiday Bastille is, but Dallas quickly put me in my place. Take a peek at some of the local events going on and let us know if we missed any other action around town. Bon appetit!

Bastille on Bishop may be one of the most anticipated events of the year for Francophile Dallasites. From 6:00 to 10:00 PM, take part in outdoor markets, a mussel competition, wine tastings, Vespa rally, crepe stands, petanque courts, French music, dancing and so much more. Three blocks of the historic Bishop Arts District in Oak Cliff will transform into the streets of France to honor our city’s rich French history by promoting art, culture, history and spirit of a nation that help mold our early identity. If you’re looking to drink some of the wine (lets be honest, you are) you should pre-order a wine glass to beat the crowds. Reserve a glass by “buying a ticket” on Prekindle and go to the Will Call tent on the day. The ticket price includes the glass and your first fill of wine. Refills can be purchased on site.

While you’re at Bastille on Bishop, be sure to stop by the district’s coveted French hideaway Boulevardier for Cocktails, Oysters and Saucissons on a Stick. Boulevardier will not be open for dinner, but Bar Boulevardier and the Raw Bar will open at 5 pm serving housemade sausage during the party.

Lavendou Bistro Provençal Executive Chef and Owner Pascal Cayet is preparing a three-course Fête de la Bastille French dinner not just one day but from July 14th through 18th. Menu options include Escargots au Vin Rouge, Grilled Tenderloin with Blue Cheese Sauce, Pork Chop with Apple Brandy, Duck Confit with Wild Mushrooms, and Crêpes with pears, chocolate sauce, Chantilly and ice cream. The Lavendou Bastille Day dinner is $39.95 per person. Make reservations by calling 972-248-1911 or e-mail provincial@aol.com.

Toulouse Café is offering a special Vive La France menu in addition to their regular items. The three-course meal includes Mussels Poulette, Summer French Grillade and either Fruit & Fromage or Classic Peche Melba.

Dallas is home to a number of quintessential French restaurants to make the most of your Bastille Day. Reserve a seat at one of these establishments to get your French fix: The French Room, Cadot Restaurant, Le Bilboquet, and St. Martin’s Wine Bistro.

Lauryn Bodden is a DMagazine.com summer intern and a goalkeeper for the SMU women’s soccer team.

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