If diving into rich and creamy French onion soup, sending your tastebuds on a vacay to Rhône Valley, and crunching the juices out of duck confit sounds like your idea of a good time, then you’re going to love Bastille Day this year.
France’s national day is always an exciting time across the world, but Sydney especially benefits from the fact that it hosts some of the best French restaurants in Australia. The forever resplendent cuisine is on full display every 14th July, but this year you’ll probably be wanting to bring that flair into your home.
Rather than head on out, despite the ease of restrictions, it’d be wise to take stock of at-home options for when Tuesday rolls around. For that, turn your attention on over Merivale’s debonair Felix, because the Parisian-style brasserie and its Head Chef Nathan Johnson has something pretty special in store.
For the big day, Johnson has prepared a Bastille Day “Felix Box” for those who want to recreate the restaurant experience at home. And he’s curated it with an exciting menu that pulls on a few French classics and adds a few indulgent drink options for those who really want to fancy it up.
It’ll set you back $105, but packs enough punch for a two-person intimate dinner, set out like a degustation where it starts with a baguette and French onion soup with gruyere croutons, moves onto crispy duck confit with thyme jus, roasted carrots, watercress, and Sarladaises potatoes on the side, then wraps up with a 24-month comte for cheese lovers, and a waffle with chocolate sauce, cherries and praline to satisfy any sweet tooth.
A $90 add-on drinks package will get you 1 bottled (500ml) Sidecar cocktail, 1 bottle of Jasper Sauvignon Blanc from Loire Valley, and 1 bottle of Côtes du Rhône ‘La Cuvée du Sommelier’ (GSM) from Rhône Valley.
Bump that up to an additional $110 and you’ll get 1 bottle of Pfister Crémant d’Alsace from Alsace, 1 bottle of Domaine de la Loge Pouilly-Fumé (Sauvignon Blanc) from Loire Valley, and 1 bottle of Château Fontana Bordeaux (a Cabernet blend).
Although do note that, as with all Merivale At Home boxes, the fresh meals come semi-prepared. There will be a few steps you should take to enjoy the dishes within 48 hours, but you’ll have plenty of guidance in preparing them.
All that’d be left for you to do is self-set the perfect ambiance for Bastille Day. To help, we asked Johnson a few questions so you can get a bit more familiar with the day and how to recreate the spirit from your dining room.
If you could only feed me 4 dishes to showcase the very best French cuisine has to offer, what would you feed me?
Twice baked cheese soufflé, steak frites, beef bourguignon, and profiteroles.
They are some of the timeless classics of French cooking that you would see on every brasserie menu in Paris. At Felix, we try to elevate these by using the best produce available. When done well they’re the perfect entrée, main and dessert.
What are your top 3 tips on how to set the perfect Bastille Day atmosphere at home?
Start by playing the French café lounge playlist on spotify, sets a perfect ambience. Crack open a couple of bottles of good French wine. Set aside a few hours to cook and enjoy the Felix Merivale at Home box.
What considerations were most important to you when curating the Felix At Home Bastille Day box?
To incorporate dishes that are our guests’ favourites and to make the limited cooking involved as easy as possible. My 13 year old cooked the Felix box for us a few weeks ago and she got it spot on.
To order a Felix box ahead of Bastille Day head on over to merivaleathome.com.