Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Bastille Day Festivities at Ellie's

If you follow me on social media, you would have noticed all last week I shared French recipes in honor of Bastille Day, French independence day, which was on Sunday, July 14th. I have been obsessed with France and French culture since I was a child, so celebrating Bastille Day is something I obviously enjoy doing!

My favorite local French bakery and cafe, Ellie's, recently expanded into a full bistro in new, larger location in downtown Providence. They continue to serve their excellent breads, pastries, and breakfast and lunch offerings, but are now also open for dinner with a sit-down menu, and alcoholic drinks.

For the past couple of years I have joined in on Ellie's Bastille Day festivities which until this year were hosted in their former, smaller location. The party was always free to all, and featured delicious savory and sweet bites, sparkling wine, and live French music.

Team Ellie's

This year they combined the Bastille Day party with a grand opening of their new location. Although the new location had been open for a couple of months, I hadn't been able to visit until now, so I was thrilled to have an opportunity to check out the new digs.

I loved the old charming, cozy location, but I really love the new location as well! It's larger, but still not huge, and features a lot of the same charm. In the center is a beautiful communal table where I would love to host a group dinner someday.

The party was split between the upstairs dining room, and the pastry kitchen in the basement. Here we sampled a couple of sandwiches off their current seasonal lunch menu, Blackbird farms ham, gruyere, cornichons, and Dijon on a croissant, and roasted chicken salad, marinated cucumber, and pea greens on a milk bun.

A spread of pastries and desserts was also featured on the lower level, along with hand-dipped signature French vanilla macarons. We sampled their London Fog Cake, a vanilla cake with lemon curd and Earl Grey buttercream (hallelujah!), their raspberry pistachio cake (also fabulous), the tiramisu cake (shockingly I skipped this one), their delectable Kouign Amann pastries (my absolute favorite), and sample-size chocolate croissants.

We returned upstairs and parked ourselves at the communal table right by the band. Passed hors d'oeuvres included escargots in choux buns, pork terrine with Dijon and cornichons on crostini, Camembert and hot pepper jam crostini, mussels with capers and olive oil, and two varieties of beignets with cinnamon sugar and powdered sugar.

There were some additional sweet treats set up near the bar, however I think these were leftovers from earlier in the day when they were open for breakfast and lunch, and did not appear to be replenished once they were all gone. I managed to snag half a sweet herb and lemon Kouign Amann, and it was excellent.

The French-inspired celebration was a hit! The music brought me right back to Paris, and many of the offered delicacies were reminiscent of foods we enjoyed abroad. Most importantly, I was thrilled to visit the new location, directly across from the Providence Performing Arts Center, and plan to return again soon!

Do you celebrate Bastille Day? What are your favorite French dishes? I'd love to hear your thoughts!


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