Not content to go steady with America’s day of independence, July also has an annual dalliance with France’s celebration of their most notorious national tantrum. And more than 200 years after the fact, we get to commiserate with widespread fêtes like downtown’s Bastille in the City, various patriotic wine tastings and feasts scattered about the city like macaron crumbs, and Sunday’s sure to be glorious Bastille in the Wine Country (which I have a pair of giveaway tickets for, read on for how-to-win info), all of which will have your weekend social calendar throwing its beret in the air and screaming “Sacre Bleu!”
Bastille En Ville (Bastille in the City)
Portland’s got an endless list of bragging rights, but did you know that we host the West Coast’s largest Bastille Day celebration? Well, we do, and this year its split into city mouse, country mouse celebrations. First up is a boisterous brouhaha in downtown’s Director Park on Saturday, July 14th, from noon to 6pm. A few of the city’s Frenchiest eateries (Heathman, Brasserie Montmartre, Allium Bistro, Cocotte, St. Honore) will dish up delectable eats, a wine garden will ensare you in its Burgundy and Bordeaux charms, Alliance Française is having a huge book sale so you can buy something light by Victor Hugo to read later at Oui Presse with a brooding expression, there will be live music, and of course, don’t miss the always hilarious 8th Annual Portland Waiter’s Race.
Pace yourself on Saturday, because WillaKenzie Estate has a beautiful afternoon planned for you on Sunday. From 11am to 5pm, this gorgeous Yamhill winery is throwing a passionate Bastille-o-rama, where Brasserie Montmartre/Allium Bistro chef Pascal Chureau will barbecue pork two ways to produce handmade sausages and confit sliders paired with a refreshing melon salad, as the winery’s park like grounds fill with live music, hayrides, “sensory garden experiences” and of course, wine tastings. Lots of wine tastings. Tickets are $30, but WillaKenzie was trés kind and gave me a pair to give away to one of you, just forward today’s Table Scraps to a friend and bcc me at email@example.com, and you’re entered. I’m picking the winner at noon, so there’s no time like the present!
CorksCru doesn’t mess around when it comes to Bastille Day—tonight at 5pm, they’re hosting a “mega-tasting” (I wish I had the design abilities to surround that with bright red shockwaves), spotlighting Cremant, Sancerre rosé, and Bordeaux accompanied by lovely KitchenCru chef Ingrid Chen’s mega-snacks—mushrooom vol-au-vents, truffled popcorn, gougéres, salmon with preserved lemon, crudités and cheese ‘n charcuterie, all for $20 (RSVP here).
Saturday, the tasting fun continues at Cork Bottle Shop on Alberta Street, where for $10 you’ll take a virtual tour of the Lucien Lardy estate, located in the Beajoulais village of Fleurie (sigh), by tasting several Beajoulais wines accompanied by bites from Cocotte bistro, which is also hosting a special Bastille Day dinner immediately thereafter (tasting fee waived if you attend the dinner too). Reservations for either/both are a must, email firstname.lastname@example.org if you want in on the French fun.
Le darling Suzette Creperie on Belmont has declared “Liberté, égalité, crêperie!” on Saturday, July 14th, with a 4pm Lillet-infused cocktail party including Lillet cocktails, mini crepes, and tricolore ice cream, followed by a $25 reservations-only prix fixe dinner at 6:30pm, which starts with gougêres with fig-onion jam, continues with crab, corn and arugula crepes, and ends with “la pièce de résistance”…a cherry frangipane tart with crème fraîche and candied almonds. The way I see it, Date Night has just been served to you on a blue, white and red platter, so reserve your two spots by calling 503.546.0892. (Full menu here)
I’m a sucker for a Simpatica Dining Hall menu any week of the year, but tonight’s Bastille Day themed supper is particularly swoony. Think gougéres with Laurelhurst Market prosciutto cotto and house pickles, vichyssoise with Oregon Olive Mill Arbequina, Piedmontese Beef Wellington with sautéed escarole and red wine demi glace, and summer berry parfait. Dinner starts at 7:30pm, seats are a trés affordable $39, and you can (and must) RSVP immediately by calling 503.235.1600. As Simpatica chef/owner Ben Dyer puts it, “We will be having a dinner in the Dining Hall to commemorate the French battle for independence from… itself. Yay France!”