Bastille Day in Montreal?
What does one do to celebrate Bastille Day in Montreal? Do French restaurants have special menus? Is there some sort of tasty event/parade/storming I can go to?
I'm bringing the wife on a surprise trip up for that weekend and I'd like to find something appropriate to do on Bastille Day. She's French and was born in France but doesn't really eat much in the way of heavy dishes or red meat so any non-meaty yet Frenchie and appropriately celebratory things to recommend?
A traditional French place with a big menu would probably be ok, as would some sort of festival/fare situation probably?
Thanks in advance!
Canada has been British since before the French revolution. The only people here who celebrate Bastille Day are the people at l'Union Française. Last year, they closed off part of Plaza St-hubert for some sort of event. Perhaps you should contact them. You might find small celebrations in bars where French expats hang out like Barouf, Minots or Massilia.
Actually, the "French from France" (i.e. immigrants or recent French origin) is very large: at least 100,000 in Québec, most of whom live in Montréal. But as I'd said, by and large they are very invisible immigrants, and most would probably be more inclined to celebrate "la Fête nationale du Québec" (St-Jean-Baptiste) on the 24th of June than Bastille Day.
I'd already posted the Union française site - write to them for any info - and will ask around. There was a street party here on Plaza St-Hubert (not far from my place) but I was over in Europe at the time, where people were of course more immersed in the World Cup!
That sounds like fun - the site (in French only, bien entendu) says there will be events from noon to 11pm, not just the traditional bal. I have gone to the latter with a friend from France - it was fun. Oddly, I don't see any FOODIE events though. I have attended a French food products fair at Union française (imports and typical French products made here) but it wasn't on the 14th of July. Once again, contact l'Union française to see if that is still on.
The main event here for le 14 juillet is usually an outdoor ball in the street and park in front of L'Union française http://www.unionfrancaise.ca/ Sorry, I can't view the site (code problems).
I can ask some French-from-France friends but usually they are a very low-key "ethnic community"; as you can imagine, except for accent and some vocabularly (the latter soon adorned with Québécois additions) they really don't have much trouble fitting in.
There aren't usually special events in restaurants. Come to think of it, don't remember many in Paris either.
Sadly, the most vegetarian-friendly high-end resto here, Les Chèvres, has closed...