Culture / Entertainment

Houston’s Best Bastille Day Events

Party Like a Frenchman at These Restaurants, Bars and Clubs

BY // 07.13.18

July brings us a bounty in terms of holidays. Independence Day has passed us by, and sadly it did more to dampen Houstonian’s spirits — literally — than to raise them. Luckily, that’s not our only sanctioned day to eat, drink and be merry.

This one’s just a little less ‘Murica and a little more merci beaucoup.

Bastille Day falls on July 14. It’s a day rich in history and monikers, also known as le 14 Juillet and la Fête nationale. It’s a pretty badass day, marking the Storming of the Bastille.

It was a turning point in the French Revolution. Essentially, it’s a time to cherish and celebrate liberté, égalité and fraternité.

And champagne. Lots and lots of champagne. Brasseries, bistros and bars across Houston are breaking out the bubbly and tipping their chapeaus to France this Saturday. PaperCity has rounded up the events par excellence.

You’re already freeing up your schedule, n’est-ce pas? 

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Brasserie 19

Live music, champagne and rosé and cocktail specials, oh my! Have a legit, au naturel French experience at Brasserie 19’s Bastille Day Bash. Get ready to dance the afternoon away from 12 to 3pm.

Champagne cocktails will cost just $8, with serious selections such as the Frozen Cognac 75, Bastille Spritz with vermouth and fresh berries, and the boozy Champagne Rum Punch with citrusy pineapple.

But can you really celebrate without a bottle? Brasserie 19’s got you covered with non-vintage and vintage specials, and even a specialized white, rosé and red list.

Bar Victor

Sip, sip, hooray at Bar Victor, the French owner founded-and-operated establishment in Montrose. It’s the National Day of France like no other at Bar Victor with 100 percent French music courtesy of DJ Sebastian “Tee Two” Mariani. He’s quite the bon vivant.

Happy hour lasts from 5 to 8 pm with Liberation de Paris (you just know you’ve gotta pronounce it “Pair-ee” when you order) in red, white and rosé.

Chef specials include everything from carefully curated cheese plates to complementary charcuterie plates, melted Camembert and Croque Monsieurs.

Bar Victor Grand Opening

Cafe Poêtes

This Saturday, the Parisian-themed Café Poêtes is hosting a celebration with live music — and this place has made a charming choice. Starting at 5 pm, Les Magnifiques takes the stage. What’s in a name? Well, everything.

You see, the local string quartet is composed, pun intended, of musicians all between 11 and 14 years old. The youths will play violin, viola and cello. Many of these mellifluous youngsters are headed to HSPVA and the Houston Youth Symphony.

And the shindig wouldn’t be complete without red, white blue éclairs and an Aperitif Hour featuring special wine cocktails, escargots and light bites. Need we say c’est magnifique?

Le Bistro and Culinary Institute Lenôtre

It’s a day for joie de vivre thanks to Le Bistro and the culinary institute. The parties have put together a palate-pleasing, patriotic night of refinement and relaxation, set for 6:30 to 9:30 pm. Saturday.

The three-course prix fixe menu means business with original French dishes. Savory options like Confit de Canard aux Haricots and Joue de Boeuf a la Bourguignonne may just have you singing La Vie en Rose.

Of course, it all ends with Crepes Suzettes. Bon appétit!

13 Celsius

Of course an establishment that uses Celsius knows how they do things in Europe. The wine bar honors Bastille Day by celebrating the finest France has to offer. You can party from 4 pm on. No need for an au revoir until 2 am on Sunday morning.

For starters, that means a plate of melted raclette cheese in the traditional style, served over house-made pickles and root vegetables for $10.

Think that’s the only foodie option? Au contraire. Special guest L’Olivier restaurant is also making an appearance from 5 to 10 pm to dazzle guests with classic French crepes.

Rienzi

Revel in all things Français at the Museum of Fine Art’s Rienzi. The experience will have you crying Vive la France! Artful activities kick off at 10 am and go on through 5 pm.

Le premier: a tour of 18th century porcelain and furniture inspired by French designs and silver crafted by the skilled hands of Hugenot artisans. It’s delivered fully in French. From there, you can create your own French tricolor ribbon pin.

Allons-y to a performance from Main Street Theater’s The Revolutionists, music from Ars Lyrica flutist Colin St. Martin, refreshments and self-guided tours of the museum.

Polo Club

This is a French-meets-American fete, an array of Francophone traditions held at The Polo Club. It’s the perfect occasional to celebrate Houston’s diversity. It’s the crème de la crème of Bastille Day events, held from 7 to 11 pm.

You can soak up the history with the French General Consul’s traditional — but brief — speech before turning it up with food trucks, French wine, live music and dancing.

And of course, a polo demonstration. Keeping it classy for a French holiday, of course.

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