For many Americans, French cuisine is daunting (all those sauces: fumet, glace, espagnole...), its history long and intimidating. There was the chef François Vatel, who in 1671 committed suicide to avoid the shame of serving a less-than-perfect meal. Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin's classic The Physiology of Taste is a beautiful pleasure, but also an actual scientific analysis of food and eating. French gastronomy is serious business.

Thankfully, this Friday, July 14, the French Revolution–celebrating Bastille Day provides a number of opportunities for even the most inexperienced French foodies to eat and drink with abandon in settings they might normally find rather staid. Cafe Campagne (1600 Post Alley, 728-2233) will forgo its traditional lunch and dinner and instead offer $5 petit plats (including pommes frites and pâté de Campagne baguettes) and an assortment of wines and desserts inside the restaurant and outside in Post Alley from noon until 10:00 p.m. (There will also be live music and cancan dancers.) Starting at 6:00 p.m., Le Pichet (1933 First Ave, 256-1499) will feature a menu of Paris street food along with live Gypsy jazz from the Djangomatics. The party continues after 11:00 p.m. with a DJ. Wave a baguette in the air like you just don't care! Send press releases and foodie tips to

2021 Social Justice Film Festival: ACTIVATE | REFUGE Online
Screening 50+ films that inspire and demand community action, October 7-17 at