The influence of those of French ancestry on Louisville and surrounding areas, especially New Albany, is immense. The city was almost completely settled by French immigrants from the Rhine, with the first French settlers of Louisville being first and second generation Huguenots— members of the Protestant Reformed Church of France; with King Louis XVI as the namesake of our city.
Bastille Day, an important French holiday celebrated on July 14, commemorates the beginning of the French Revolution with the Storming of the Bastille on the same date in 1789, which ultimately led to the abolishment of feudalism in a country run by a corrupt aristocracy.
In France, the holiday is celebrated with parades, fireworks, and historical reenactments—similar to Independence Day here. So in the name of international sisterhood, why not celebrate Bastille Day at one of these restaurants in Louisville?
La Coop: Bistro à Vins
La Coop: Bistro à Vins, 732 E. Market St., will bring France’s national day of celebration to NuLu Monday, July 14 with a family-style Bastille Day meal. Traditional French dishes, with chef Bobby Benjamin’s signature Southern twists, fill the menu including niçoise salad with local tomatoes and farm egg; duck confit with seasonal vegetables; and sweet corn bisque with strawberry salsa. The shared plates menu is available from 5:30 to 10 p.m. for $40 per person, plus tax and gratuity. Hand-picked French wine pairings for each course are available for an additional $30 per person. For more information or to make reservations, call (502) 410-2888 or visit coopbistro.com.
Bristol Bar & Grille
Beginning Friday, July 11, the Bristol Bar and Grille will celebrate Bastille Day with French food and wine features. All Bristol locations will offer a special list of French wines selected by Master Sommelier Scott Harper that will be available by the glass, bottle or flight through Aug. 24. The Jeffersonville location will also serve a menu of French dishes created by chef Richard Doering through Sunday, July 20. Each meal will be paired with a specific French wine to highlight its flavors. These special include olive, tomato and cheese gratin; coq a vin; grilled trout a la Meuniere; and peach gallete. More information can be found at www.bristolbarandgrille.com/
Brasserie Provence, located on North Hurstbourne, is kicking off Bastille Day with “Let Them Eat Cake Weekend”, in honor of the quote often attributed to Marie Antoinette, where customers get a free dessert with lunch or dinner Friday or Saturday. On Monday, Brasserie Provence will be having a champagne special; 2 glasses for $17.89 (the year of the French Revolution), as well a special menu for that day. More information could be found at www.brasserieprovence.com.
Louis Le Francais
This New Albany restaurant offers a timeless take on French cuisine. With more rustic options, such as cassoulet with duck confit, pork belly, braised lamb, pork sausage, , white beans, onion and garlic; hearty bouillabaisse; duck with orange Grand Marnier sauce; lobster bisque and onion soup; this is definitely worth the trip over the river. More information can be found at www.louislefrancaischef.com
Bistro Le Relais
“Situated in the historic airport terminal of Bowman Field, Le Relais offers a fine dining experience like no other in Louisville. Here you’ll find exquisite French cuisine, prepared with only the finest, freshest ingredients, combined with relaxed, first-class service and an intimate, 1940s art-deco interior reminiscent of the Café from the movie ‘Casablanca.’” The menu includes favorites such as foie gras served on brioche French toast with apricot confiture; escargots in garlic-herb butter; a fresh watermelon salad; Steak Au Poivre; and crème brûlée. More information can be found at www.lerelaisrestaurant.com.