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Bastille Day: Celebrate with French food at these Long Island restaurants

Maitre d' Giovanni Palumbo flambés crêpes Suzette at

Maitre d' Giovanni Palumbo flambés crêpes Suzette at La Coquille in Manhasset. Credit: Yvonne Albinowski

Bastille Day, the French equivalent of our Fourth of July, commemorates the violent overthrow of France’s Ancien Régime, specifically the storming of the Bastille — the royal prison — in Paris on July 14, 1789.

More than two centuries later, and 3,500 miles away, celebrations tend toward the gustatory rather than the martial. While classic French restaurants are in short supply, Gallic food and drink abounds. Here are six suggestions for celebrating la Fête Nationale Française on Long Island:

Opened in 1969, the year Charles de Gaulle resigned, La Coquille is Long Island’s grand-père of la cuisine Français. Here you will find definitive renditions of duck a l’orange, Dover sole a la Grenobloise, trout amandine and, for dessert, crêpes Suzette, dramatically set aflame with Grand Marnier and Cointreau at your tableside. La Coquille is at 1669 Northern Blvd., Manhasset; 516-365-8422,

Le Soir, established in 1977, is Suffolk’s bastion of frog legs, escargots in garlic butter, pâté de campagne, sweetbreads with mushrooms and Calvados, and coquille St. Jacques (here the scallops are sauteed with shrimp and served in a bouillabaisse sauce). On a fine summer day, you might score a table outside, too. Le Soir, 825 Montauk Hwy., Bayport; 631-472-9090,

Long Island’s only French-owned bakery, Saint Honore in Port Washington, takes its summer vacation every year for the two weeks around Bastille Day, but Fiorello Dolce in Huntington is open for business. Although the shop and its owner have Italian names, Gerard Fioravanti bakes like a Frenchman, and you will not find better croissants, palmiers, quiches or paysanne tartes on Long Island. Fiorello Dolce, 57 Wall St., Huntington; 631-424-0803,

Another Italian, Giorgio Meriggi, owner of Stresa in Manhasset, doubles as the restaurant’s pastry chef and makes a classic chocolate soufflé. Order at the beginning of your meal, and you’ll be well rewarded at its end: First, the hot soufflé is presented; then, Grand Marnier sauce and freshly whipped cream are proffered (say yes to both). Stresa, 1524 Northern Blvd., Manhasset; 516-365-6956,

With its sunny dining room and marble-topped tables, visit Huntington’s Bistro Cassis for an American take on French fare. Start with a salad such as frisee aux lardons with tendrils of wispy endive cradling bits of savory bacon. Topped with a poached egg — a runny yolk is the finest of dressings — and it’s an elegant take on breakfast-for-dinner. Bistro Cassis, 55b Wall St., Huntington; 631-421-4122,

Hiding in plain sight in a historic home in Rockville Centre, the speak-easy Cork and Kerry serves a barrel-aged version of the French cocktail the Boulevardier. With origins that point to Harry’s New York Bar in Paris during the 1920s, the drink is named after a literary magazine founded by an American expat in Paris. Much like the Negroni, it contains Gran Classico (or more traditionally, Campari) and sweet vermouth with gin swapped for Old Overholt rye. For a more bubbly French cocktail for the same price ($13), ask for a bespoke French 75, with gin, Champagne, lemon juice and simple syrup. Cork and Kerry, 24 South Park Ave., Rockville Centre; no phone


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