10 Haute Places to Celebrate Bastille Day in the SF Bay Area

Gaspar Brasserie
Gaspar Brasserie

Photo Credit: Courtesy Gaspar Brasserie

Bastille Day isn’t until July 14, but that doesn’t mean restaurants in the San Francisco Bay Area are waiting until then to celebrate. We’ve got the details on the hautest Bastille Day events, from a pop-up dinner by Hubert Keller at Gaspar Brasserie to Thomas Keller‘s annual fun day at Bouchon Bistro in Yountville. The French National Day commemorates the beginning of the French Revolution with the Storming of the Bastille on July 14, 1789, but there’s nothing that says you need to be French or speak French to take part in these fabulous festivities.

Franck LeClerc’s downtown restaurants will celebrate La Fête Nationale starting on Friday, July 10 and running through Bastille Day on July 14. The four restaurants will offer festivities ranging from live jazz to visits from “Marie Antoinette” on July 14 to a memorable experience with chef Hubert Keller at Gaspar Brasserie.

“La Fête Nationale is a French tradition, and one we honor at our restaurants here in San Francisco,” says LeClerc. “I wanted to offer a variety of options for people wanting to join in the celebrations, from cocktail specials to live jazz at Café Claude to our dinner event with chef Hubert Keller at Gaspar.”

Gaspar Brasserie

On Tuesday, July 14, Chef Hubert Keller—San Francisco’s original celebrity chef and owner of the acclaimed Fleur de Lys for nearly 30 years—returns to the French kitchen for a one-night-only collaboration at Gaspar Brasserie to celebrate Bastille Day. You’ll enjoy an entire evening of entertainment, starting with Veuve Clicquot champagne, cocktails, and hors d’oeuvres accompanied by live music and entertainment. A five-course French dinner by Chefs Hubert Keller and Gaspar Executive Chef Chris Jones alongside fabulous French wines will round out the celebration. The meal’s classic French menu is done up with northern California flair, such as a duck confit with ris de veau terrine, olive-crusted king salmon, and wagyu beef cheeks slowly braised with lemongrass and ginger. After dinner, continue the celebration at the after-party at Hawthorn, where Chef Keller will DJ into the night. Benefit Cosmetics and Façonnable will provide gifts for all attendees. Tickets are $225 per person, including gratuity (not tax), and a portion of the proceeds from the night will be donated to Ecole Notre Dame des Victoires. Advance tickets required, tickets may be purchased here.

Friday, July 10 – Monday, July 13, Gaspar will offer a more casual celebration, with a festive champagne flight for $17.89 and a four-course prix fixe menu for $65. Reservations are recommended, but not required.
Gaspar, 185 Sutter Street, San Francisco, 415-576-8800, gasparbrasserie.com

Chez Panisse

chez panisse
Fête de La Bastille! Celebrate July 14 at Chez Panisse in Berkeley with live music, rosé, and special garlic inspired menus. Fixed menus in both the Restaurant ($110) and Café ($75). Café reservations: 510-548-5049. Restaurant reservations 510-548-5525.

Bouchon Bistro

Thomas Keller at Bouchon's Bastille Day Celebration in 2014
Thomas Keller at Bouchon Bistro’s Bastille Day Celebration in 2014

Photo Credit: Courtesy TKRG

On Sunday, July 12 from noon to 7 p.m., Chef Thomas Keller and Bouchon are hosting the 15th annual Bastille Day celebration in Yountville, one of the Bay Area’s largest Bastille Day celebrations aside from the French Consulate. You’ll enjoy plates of classic French fare– whole-roasted pig, crepes and beignets– plus, wine and live music from Zydeco Flames and Tom Rigney & Flambeau. The Dunk Tank will return featuring Chef Keller and 99.3 The Vine’s Good Morning Bob!, as well as other local celebrities. Children’s activities will include a balloon artist, face painting and games.
Bouchon Bistro Yountville, 6534 Washington Street, Yountville, 707-944-8037
Pre-sale tickets are available for purchase here.

La Folie

La Folie Dining Room With WindowPhoto Credit: Courtesy La Folie

On July 14, La Folie in San Francisco will be open from 5:30 to 10:30 p.m. serving a choice of two five-course prix fixe menus—the Revolution priced at $150.00 and the Royaliste for $175.00. The Revolution menu will be comprised of an amuse gueule; Quail Gallentine “Denton” with pistachios, porcini, pickled mustard seed and salade des “Jacobins”; Brentwood Farm Corn Soup “Robespierre” with Mousseron mushrooms, lobster and chili oil; Seared Day Boat Scallops “Bastille” with polenta, wild mushrooms, crispy sweetbreads and truffle vinaigrette; Braised Short Rib “Bourguignonne” with roasted summer baby root vegetables and lardons; Tomme de Savoie with microgreens, candied walnuts and Marshall honeycomb; Peach Melba Baked Alaska “Sans Culotte” with roasted peach sorbet, honey lavender ice cream and raspberry coulis; and petit fours. The Royaliste menu will include an amuse bouche; Foie Gras Torchon “Madame de Pompadour” with pickled pluots, shaved turnips and plum gastrique; Double Consommé Royale of Oxtail and Duck with Gold Leaf “Louis XVI” duck sausage, bone marrow custard and truffles; Warm Dungeness Crab “Marie Antoinette” on Bisque Royale with English peas and seaweed “chicharron”; Snake River Farms Eye of Ribeye “Jeu de Paume” with smoked potato mousse, spring onion aigre-doux and truffled Madeira sauce; Brillat Savarin with microgreens, candied walnuts and Marshall honeycomb; Grand Marnier Soufflé with apricot sorbert and crème anglaise; and petit fours. A by-the-glass wine pairing will be available to accompany both menus for an additional charge. All prices exclude tax and gratuity.
La Folie, 2316 Polk Street, San Francisco, 415-776-5577; www.lafolie.com

Cafe Claude

Cafe Claude
Cafe Claude

Photo Credit: Courtesy Cafe Claude

Wine, Jazz and Cassoulet At Cafe Claude: Known as the “Paris of the West,” Cafe Claude is the heart of the celebrations with live music, special holiday menus and fabulous French wines and decorations. Friday through Tuesday, the restaurant will offer a $45 four-course menu featuring French classics such as oyster soup, duck cassoulet and pot de crème. European winery of the year, Gérard Bertrand is partnering on the celebrations, and will be serving a flight of three wines for $17.89 for the long weekend.

To complement the menu offerings, live jazz will be performed from 7 to 10 pm on three nights of the celebration: Marcus Shelby on July 10, Zach Hash on July 11, and Trio Garufa on July 14. On Bastille Day, July 14, the celebrations grow more vibrant, with a visit from Marie Antoinette, performed by Cassandra Cass, along with additional decorations and excitement. Reservations are recommended but not required.
Cafe Claude, 7 Claude Lane, San Francisco, 415-392-3505, cafeclaude.com



Photo Credit: Courtesy Gitane

A Taste of France at Gitane: Never one to pass up a celebration, Gitane, whose menu crosses borders to highlight cuisine from Northern Spain, Southern France, with influences from the coast of Italy, joins her French neighbors with a special cocktail and prix fixe menu for the Bastille Day weekend. Friday, July 10 through Tuesday, July 14 (closed Sunday), Gitane will feature a daily Fête Cocktail for $7.14 and a four-course celebration menu for $65, with classic French dishes including house-cured salmon gravlax, salad Lyonnaise, and pain perdu. Reservations are recommended but not required.
Gitane, 6 Claude Lane, San Francisco, 415-788-6686, gitanerestaurant.com.



Photo Credit: Courtesy Claudine

On Monday, July 13 & Tuesday, July 14, Claudine celebrates La Fête with a casual $17.89 prix fixe menu available all day, and their revolutionary happy hour, featuring wines on tap for $1/ounce from 4 to 6 p.m. Reservations are welcomed but not required.
Claudine, 8 Claude Lane, San Francisco, 415-762-2677, myclaudine.com

Le Central

Wilkes Bashford at Le Central
Wilkes Bashford at Le Central

Photo Credit: Kelly E. Carter

Le Central, a favorite of Wilkes Bashford, Willie Brown and other famous faces, has a special Bastille Day menu ($35 minimum per person) on July 14, featuring Le Central Cassoulet, Dayboat Scallops Provençale, Boudin Noir, Salad Nicoise and plenty of other dishes. There will also be live accordion music.
Le Central, 453 Bush Street, San Francisco, 415-391-2233; http://lecentralbistro.com

Le P’tit Laurent

Le Ptit Laurent entrance exterior

On July 14, Le P’tit Laurent in San Francisco, owned by Laurent Legendre, will offer its regular a la carte dinner menu from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. (bar is open until later) and beginning at 6:30 pm.. There will be live jazz music with Dave Parker Quartet, from 6:30 to 10:30 p.m.
Le P’tit Laurent, 699 Chenery Street, San Francisco, 415-334-3235; www.leptitlaurent.net

Bon Marché Brasserie & Bar

Bon Marche Awnings_webSet to open its doors later this summer 2015, Bon Marché Brasserie & Bar throws a Bastille Day bash on July 14 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. You can enjoy an all-you-can-eat food and drink experience including chilled oysters and crisp bubbly. Relax with friends and coworkers while enjoying French onion soup, ham and cheese baguettes and sipping on local beers plus a signature punch. Bon Marché Brasserie and Bar is the newest location in Market Square. The 7,500 square foot addition located at 1355 Market Street will offer a unique market-style flow offering separate experiences throughout the space. Modeled after The Marais district in Paris, guests can experience Bon Marché throughout the day with a café, brewery, raw bar, patisserie, and full-service restaurant. Luckily, you don’t have to wait until it officially opens. For tickets, visit http://bso.sh/1Cevd9l
Bon Marché Brasserie & Bar, Stevenson Alley at Market Square Plaza, 1355 Market Street, San Francisco; www.bonmarche-sf.com