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Ooh la la! The 35th annual Bastille Days – one of the nation’s largest French-themed celebrations – will be hoppin’ at Cathedral Square Park this weekend.
There will be plenty to see and do in terms of entertainment, but you would be remiss if you didn't also indulge in some of the amazing French foods available at the fest.
Here are some of the best aliments français you can enjoy during your visit:
Get the warm brie with honey at Le Rêve Patisserie & Café's booth. Served with baguette for $5. Or sample three French cheeses, including Camembert, chevre and Comté Gruyere, served with a French roll ($8) at Beignets Français.
2. Croque monsieur
It may look a lot like an ordinary ham and cheese, but the authentic sandwich is topped with béchamel, making it the best ham and cheese sandwich you've ever eaten. Get one at Lake Park Bistro for $7 or Ward’s House of Prime for $8.
3. Salade Niçoise
Go fresh with this classic salad featuring tuna, potatoes, green beans, black olives and tomatoes, tossed in a French vinaigrette ($8) at Beignets Français.
Don't leave without sampling these tasty doughnuts. You can get them at Beignets Français (two for $5). Or get a delicious strawberry version at Maxie’s (four for $5).
These petite meringue treats are delicious on their own or filled with ice cream. Try them at Le Rêve Patisserie & Café ($5).
PHOTO: Le Reve Facebook
Craving seafood? Try out the mussels in garlic wine sauce from Kalua Hawaiian Tiki Bar for $7.
7. Escargot à la Bourguignon
Relish this French delicacy featuring buttery, garlicky snails from Lagniappe Brasserie for $7.
8. Le Boeuf
Indulge in the hearty flavors of the beef Bourguignon at the Lake Park Bistro booth. It's filled with beef that's been slow-braised in wine with mushrooms and onions. Served with potato puree for $8.
Top off your visit with a mocha ambrosia crepe – featuring coffee ice cream in a crepe topped with chocolate sauce and whipped cream – from Cream & Crepe Café ($6).
10. Taste and learn
Visit the Madison Medical Affiliates Stage and enjoy afternoon cooking demonstrations featuring delicious French fare.
- Noon – Croissants: with Chef Rachel Elizabeth Searl of Il Ritrovo/Field to Fork Café/Trattoria Stefano (Sheboygan)
- 12:50 p.m. – Basque Cake with Bartolotta’s Didier Ibar and pastry chef Allie Howard
- 1:40 p.m. – Céleri-rave rémoulade (celery root rémoulade) and buttered peas and lettuce with tarragon with Chef Karen Gill of Down to Earth Chef
- Noon – Gene Webb of North Shore Boulangerie
- 12:50 p.m. – Escargot crostini with anchovy butter with Chef Kevin Sloan of Pabst Theater Group
- 1:40 p.m. – Crawfish etouffee with Chef Jacob Schick of Maxie’s
- Noon – Crêpes with bacon, asparagus, mushrooms and mornay with Chef Kady Gibowski of Café at The Plaza
- 12:50 p.m. – Grillés steak de boeuf avec sauce a vin rouge (steak with red wine sauce) with Joe Parajecki of Kettle Range Meat Co.
- 1:40 p.m. – Natilla (custard) with Chef Frankie Sanchez of Sabrosa
- Noon – Chef Yollande Deacon of Irie Zulu & Afro Fusion Cuisine
- 12:50 p.m.: Crêpes Suzanne with Kathy Burghardt and Chef/owner Suzy Wagner of Delish Delivered
- 1:40 p.m.: Ratatouille with Executive Chef John Rudolph of Millioke
Bastille Days takes place at Cathedral Square Park July 14 though July 17. Hours are 11 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. on July 14-15, 10 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. on July 16, and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on July 17.
Lori is an avid cook whose accrual of condiments and spices is rivaled only by her cookbook collection. Her passion for the culinary industry was birthed while balancing A&W root beer mugs as a teenage carhop, fed by insatiable curiosity and fueled by the people whose stories entwine with each and every dish. She’s had the privilege of chronicling these tales via numerous media, including OnMilwaukee and in her book “Milwaukee Food.” Her work has garnered journalism awards from entities including the Milwaukee Press Club.
When she’s not eating, photographing food, writing or recording the FoodCrush podcast, you’ll find Lori seeking out adventures with her husband Paul, traveling, cooking, reading, learning, snuggling with her cats and looking for ways to make a difference.