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Bastille Day

Our national holiday may be over, but that doesn’t mean the fun has to stop there. This weekend, splurge on a bottle of French champagne and clink glasses to Bastille Day—its official title is, after all, “La Fête National.” Its actual date is July 14th, but New York is bursting with things to do à la française all weekend long.

Pourquoi pas?

French Restaurant Week: Already in full swing, French Restaurant week is the perfect way to whet your appetite for a party of a weekend. Everyone from the stalwart Cercle Rouge to Brooklyn’s street-feel Bar Tabac to the West Village’s modern wine bar Amélie is serving up plats spéciaux until the 14th. Alas, no Balthazaar. Various Locations, Manhattan and Brooklyn.

Chez Oskar, “Le Funky French Bistro de Brooklyn”: The Fort Greene restaurant offers an intriguing ménage à trois for Bastille Day: cancan dancers, a pétanque tournament (think bocce ball + horseshoes), and a $45 prix fixe menu. Hey, we didn’t say the fun wouldn’t come at French prices… 211 Dekalb Ave, Fort Greene.

Bar Tabac: If you’ve already gotten your feet wet with pétanque, Bar Tabac is the place to go for the big leagues—80 teams, international players. And for the anise aficionados out there, there’ll be a special Pastis cocktail menu. 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Smith Street between Bergen and Pacific, Cobble Hill.

The French Institute/Alliance Française Annual Street Fair: Hike (or Citibike! The French did start things with the Velib) up to 60th Street for true cultural immersion. Eat crêpes, éclairs, and stinky cheeses; sip wine; and listen to live music. For a preview, two days before the Bastille Day fair, French rocker Philippe Katerine will bring his eccentricities to FIAF’s Florence Gould Hall. Noon to 5 p.m. 60th Street between Fifth and Lexington Avenues, Manhattan.

Fête Paradiso: Time travel to the Belle Époque for a carnivalesque affair. Governor’s Island now abounds in late 19th-century Parisian merry-go-rounds and other rides. It’s like the state fair. Only 100 times better. Saturdays and Sundays, 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., until September 29. Governor’s Island.

By Allison Malecha

Photo credit: ibtimes.com