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Vive la Fête!


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Photograph by Pierre Chatel

Monday, July 14 is Bastille Day, France’s national holiday, which commemorates the storming of the Bastille in 1789 and the French Revolution. The spirit of liberty, as well as the French love of food, lives on at the following East Bay restaurants:

Left Bank Brasserie The entire weekend (plus Monday) at Left Bank will be devoted to a Bastille Day celebration complete with cancan dancers, a special menu, and historical costumes. Don’t miss Pets on Parade, a costume contest for the four-legged friends in your life. You can even learn to play pétanque, the French version of bocce ball. 60 Crescent Dr., Ste. A, Pleasant Hill, (925) 288-1222, www.leftbank.com.

The Peasant and the Pear Extend your Bastille Day celebration to July 15, when this Danville restaurant will offer French food and drink specials, and French music all day long. 267 Hartz Ave., Danville, (925) 820-6611, www.thepeasantandthepear.com.

Chevalier restaurant Owner Philippe Chevalier plans to throw a Bastille Day bash extraordinaire at his new French restaurant, which was due to open in late June. Live accordion music and a special menu are in the works. (The chef’s petite jardinière of Provençal vegetables is pictured.) 960 Moraga Rd., Lafayette, (925) 385-0793, www.chevalierrestaurant.com.

Rendez-Vous Café Bistro Solano Avenue’s new French restaurant will be decked out for the holiday and special music will accompany the menu of Gallic comfort food. Crêpes, cassoulet, pâté, coq au vin, and of course, the cheese platter—they’re all in effect, along with a list of affordable domestic and French wines . 1111 Solano Ave., Albany, (510) 527-4111, www.rendezvouscafebistro.com.

Chez Panisse Alice Waters’ Berkeley institution will celebrate the summer garlic harvest along with the ideals of liberty, equality, fraternity, and sorority. Garlands of garlic will adorn the restaurant’s entrance—the bulb will be used liberally throughout the menu, too. Reservations required. 1517 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley, (510) 548-5525, www.chezpanisse.com.

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