Bastille Day Celebration, Annual Waiters' Race Sunday at Pistache
Consider this week to be recovery time. America's Independence Day may have just passed -- and hopefully your headache has subsided as the days have gone by -- but another Independence Day celebration is about to go down this weekend.
Sunday is Bastille Day, the anniversary of the storming of Bastille -- the fortress prison -- which marked the beginning of the French Revolution.
And just like America's big day, it's definitely a day full of parties.
In celebration of France's national holiday, Pistache French Bistro is hosting a massive francocentric event.
We spoke to restaurateur Thierry Beaud about the festivities and Bastille Day traditions.
"Bastille Day is an important holiday just like Fourth of July is," said Beaud. "It is a day when everyone feels patriotic, usually a sort of kickoff to summer fun for most people in villages and neighborhoods. Here in the U.S., it is a day when the French and all francophiles gather to celebrate French culture."
Pistache's Bastille Day events will be taking place all weekend long.
On Saturday and Sunday nights, Pistache will feature a $39 three-course prix fixe menu with traditional French dishes like paté en croute, country paté in puff pastry; beef Bourguignon, braised short rib in red wine, lardons, mushrooms, carrots, pearl onions, and potatoes; and ile flottante, soft meringue, caramel, toasted almonds, crème Anglaise.
As part of its 'Tour du Monde' program, in which participants use a "passport" to get stamps from globally inspired events throughout the summer for a chance to win a trip to Paris, the entire weekend will commemorate the occasion with entertainment, musicians, dancers, champagne, and more.
The party will continue on Sunday morning starting at 11. It will include Gallic-inspired dishes like crepe Bastille, traditional buckwheat crepe, mushrooms, lardons, Gruyère, and sunny-side-up egg; grilled swordfish with toasted fregola salad, arugula, tomato-caper-lemon vinaigrette; and a pop-up PB Catch oyster bar.
Fox 29's DJ Chuck the Triple Threat will start spinning at 1 p.m.
The festivities will culminate with the Fifth Annual Waiter's Race -- which hopefully, will not get rained out -- at 5 p.m. Service staff from local restaurants will compete for a Nicolas Feuillatte trophy, cash, and prizes. To win, contestants have to carry a tray of glasses filled with Evian around Clematis Waterfront park without spilling any liquid. The first waiter to cross the finish line with a dry tray wins.
"In France, it [Bastille Day] is celebrated in the form of a street festivals that often include parades in the daytime and public concerts with fireworks at night," said Beaud. "There is no particular food associated with it. It is more about partying and dancing than eating."
According to Beaud, the day is more of a populous-centered event. "French people who support the return of monarchy and/or who have some blue blood do not celebrate Bastille Day," he said.
Hey, we can drink to that!
Follow Sara Ventiera on Twitter, @saraventiera.
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