Ella Fitzgerald crooned about loving “Paris in the summer when it sizzles”, and so do local Francophiles on July 14. This Sunday marks Bastille Day, also known as la Fête Nationale where we celebrate all things French. Depending on which celebrated French icon you wish to emulate this weekend, we have a harmonizing local French dish to get your celebration underway.
Napoleon – Steak Tartare – Le Diplomate
Raw chopped steak, capers, fresh quail egg; the perfect balance of rugged yet refined, much like the red-blooded military leader of the French Revolution. The Steak Tartare du Parc at Le Diplomate overthrows all of its competitors and is never in short supply of local praise.
Coco Chanel – Moules Marinières – Bistro Du Coin
Bistro Du Coin offers as many variations of Moules as Chanel suits in Bunny Macdougal’s closet. Never going out of style is the traditional Moules Marinières; steamed mussels in white wine with onions, shallots, garlic, and parsley. If you’re feeling a little chicer this Sunday, try the Moules Bretonne; steamed mussels with lobster bisque, lobster meat, and shrimp.
Louis Vuitton – Duck Confit – Bistro Bis
What signifies classic luxury more than Louis Vuitton luggage and duck confit? Not much, and Bistro Bis offers their decadent, signature duck entrée of rendered leg, fava bean, garlic, bulb onion, spring greens, and duck gastrique. What was once used as a preservation method by cooking the duck in its rendered fat, has transported the dish into an iconic statement piece for any menu.
Marie Antoinette – Chocolate Soufflé – La Chaumiere
Let them eat cake? Only if it’s the chocolate soufflé from La Chaurmiere. This to die for cake is imperially gorgeous yet temperamental, much like what we know of Marie Antoinette. Also offered is a Grand Marnier soufflé that rivals the classic chocolate in decadent brilliance. Head to La Chaurmiere where you don’t need to become Madame Déficit to lavish in flavors of old-world France.
Joan of Arc – Beef Bourguignon – Montmartre
Strong enough to hold up against the cold D.C. (Siege of Orleans) evenings, this bold, French classic stands the test of time. At Montmartre in Eastern Market, the braised beef brews for hours in a kabocha squash purée, crispy kale, celery root, roasted mushrooms, and a red wine braising jus triumph.
Brigitte Bardot – Crème Brulee – Bistro Cacao
Bistro Cacao rolls out the red carpet for these melt-in-your-mouth, silky custards topped with a layer of caramelized sugar. This sensual trio of vanilla, chocolate, and flavor du jour crème brulees are every bit as extra as Miss Bardot, leaving the consumer stunningly star-struck.