FRENCH FETE: BASTILLE DAY
Down with the Bourbon monarchy! Thursday is Bastille Day, the French national day celebrating the beginning of the revolution back on July 14, 1789. In France, there's always a major military parade along the Champs-Élysées in Paris. Then, of course, there is the eating and the drinking. Here we can celebrate the Fete de la Fédération a few ways.
Approaching its 30th anniversary, it celebrates Bastille Day Thursday through Saturday with a special menu that begins with an "amuse" with a kir royale, segues into a hot rabbit terrine with porcini sauce paired with a St. Amour 1st Cru Beaujolais 2009, then chilled diver scallops en coquille with Domain St. Pierre de Mejans Blanc, a galantine of pheasant with foie gras and truffle sauce juxtaposed with a Sancerre, a cheese selection with a Cite de Carcassone 2006 and finishing with a tricolor parfait and a strawberry liqueur. $84.50, plus tax and gratuity at 12551 Indian Rocks Road, Largo. (727) 596-6282.
Red Door No. 5
Or you could celebrate the French national holiday on Friday evening with members of the French American Business Council of West Florida. Enjoy appetizers, beer, wine and music by Tangi Colombel. 6:30 p.m. Friday at 1910 N Florida Ave., Tampa. $60. To RSVP, email President.firstname.lastname@example.org. (813) 505-3309. framco.org.
Vintage Wine Cellars
Want to cut to the chase and celebrate with something France crushes at? Bordeaux, Burgundy, Rhone Valley — taste the good stuff at 7 p.m. Friday at 3629 Henderson Blvd., Tampa. $10. Reservations required. (813) 879-2931. vintagewinecellars.net.
ALL HAIL: CUBAN SANDWICH
Enjoy free beer and Cuban sandwich samples at Gaspar's Grotto at 8 p.m. Sunday as you watch the Travel Channel's Hog Heaven, which features Tampa's Cuban sandwich prominently. The series chronicles pork's best, from plump shoulder to a fall-off-the-bone whole hog. But even if things porcine aren't your bag, Gaspar's Grotto, 1805 E Seventh Ave., Tampa, with its three bars, drink specials and pirate theme, it's "arrgh"uably a great place to hang out. Free. (813) 248-5900.
LOOKING AHEAD: TRASH FISH DINNER
Itching to check out rudderfish or lionfish, maybe a little Sarasota sturgeon? Join Edible Sarasota and seven of Sarasota's favorite chefs at Louies Modern on Aug. 7 for the third annual Trash Fish Sarasota. This is a novel opportunity to taste underused, invasive and aquaculture seafood species; learn about the future of sustainable seafood; and connect with leading sustainability advocates in the local culinary community. Trash fish dinners are a national trend, aiming to draw the public's attention to fish species and presentations that are not popular but delicious.
With local beer, wine and spirits, the dinner features hors d'oeuvres and five family-style courses by Evan Blake Gastman (the Cottage), Jose Rojas (Louies Modern), Mark Marjorie (Veronica Fish and Oyster), Paul Mattison (Mattison's), Stephen Phelps (Indigenous), Erik Walker (the Sandbar) and Mark Woodruff (MADE Restaurant). And for dessert, Phelps and Donna Tortorice of Popcraft collaborate on a fish-themed popsicle (I didn't say fish flavored).
"It's been really amazing to watch the chefs in this city come together and start paying more attention to the fish we use," Phelps said. "I really believe this is the best event of the year for the food movement, and the last two were a blast!"
Space is limited and this event sells out in advance, so get your tickets early. $250 VIP, $125 Chefs Collaborative members, $150 general admission. Proceeds benefit Chefs Collaborative and a portion of ticket price is tax deductible. Buy tickets at bit.ly/TrashFishSarasota16. (941) 552-9688.