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Mouthful: Get your French on during Bastille Day

  • Marie Antoinette hands out pastries at Costeaux Bakery's 2011 Bastille Day celebration in Healdsburg.(PD File, 2011)

Vive La France! Monday is Bastille Day and there are plenty of options for celebrating your inner Frenchman or French woman. By the end of the day, you could find yourself saying merci! instead of thank you and bonsoir instead of goodnight.

Start your day early, at Costeaux French Bakery (417 Healdsburg Ave., Healdsburg), when a violin soloist will accompany your espresso, pain au chocolate and croissants from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. You can try your hand at croissant shaping at 9:15 a.m., play sidewalk petanque from 9:45 to 11 a.m., decorate Eiffel Tower cookies from 10 to 11 a.m. and meet Marie Antoinette at 10:30 a.m. The fun continues with live entertainment, including the Ooh La La Can-Can Dancers and Due Zighi Baci, and a demonstration and tasting of a Croquembouche, a tower of filled cream puffs typically held together with caramelized sugar and melted chocolate.

If you’d like to celebrate at home with demi crossaints, demi pain au chocolate or eclairs, advance orders are highly recommended. Otherwise, all you need to do is show up with a smile and a “Bonjour!”

Monday evening, Bistro 29 (620 Fifth St., Santa Rosa) offers a prix fixe menu; for wine pairings with each course, add $28.

The menu includes an amuse bouche of chilled cucumber and tomato soup with tomatoes and croutons, with Veuve du Vernay Sparkling Brut Rose alongside, followed by a first course of salmon and asparagus roulade with sauce ravigote and house-made gaufrettes (a waffled potato wafer) alongside. The wine pairing is Triennes-Rosé 2013.

Next comes beef braised in red wine, onion and piment d’Esplette with Point Reyes Toma potatoes Aligot and haricots verts is pared with Villa Ponciago-Fleurie 2011 Beaujolais.

Moulin de la Gardette 2010 Gigondas accompanies a cheese course of Redwood Hill Goat Cheese custard with fresh figs, fig compote, greens and croutons. For dessert, it’s warm apricot clafoutis with lemon Chantilly, chocolate nougat glacé and cherry syrup, with coffee or tea.

Dinner will be served from 5 to 9 p.m. For reservations, call 546-2929 or visit bistro29.com.

In Sebastopol, K & L Bistro (119 South Main St.,) has a $29 prix fix menu that features butter lettuce salad with mustard-tarragon vinaigrette, traditional Coq au Vin (chicken braised in red wine) and creme brulee. If you’d like wine pairings, add $15. There will be live accordion music in the bar from 3 to 5 p.m.; happy hour, with $1.50 oysters, is from 3 to 6 p.m. For reservations, call 823-6614.

If you want to get an early start, we have it on good authority that Marie Antoinette may take over Dominique’s Sweets’ booth at the Sebastopol Farmers Market on Sunday from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. You can be sure that Dominique Cortara herself will have special holiday treats available.


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