July 14 marks Bastille Day. The French call it Fête nationale, a day that commemorates the anniversary of the infamous Storming of the Bastille in 1789 and celebrates the unity of the French nation. Today in France, military parades, parties, communal meals, plenty of libations, and fireworks are taking place throughout the country. Today in Charleston, we get a small taste of this fanfare thanks to a local chef who hails from the nation that gave us the gift of croissants.
Most Americans jump at any opportunity for a party, even when the celebration isn’t ours (see Cinco de Mayo). French national and Fish chef Nico Romo invites Charlestonians to indulge in his favorite holiday with a celebration that brings new meaning to the word “fete.” At 6 p.m., costumed actors will reenact the Storming of the Bastille by marching from the restaurant to Marion Square with a procession of can-can dancers and historical look-alikes.
Afterwards, will you be a prince or patriot? Commoners can enjoy punched-up bar food such as cheese and charcuterie, mussels, Nutella beignets, and even guillotine-sliced pommes frites. Royals, on the other hand are treated to a fabulous four-course dinner with French wine pairings. Street fair entertainment and contests are sure to keep attendees in a celebratory mood all night long.
Across the globe, partygoers will get loud and nights will get wild as the celebrations ensue. So why shouldn’t we celebrate? We like freedom, democracy, and booze too.