Welcome to the latest edition of Hot Plates, your weekly guide to food events and dining promotions around South Florida. It is a fine weekend to flip out for France, with a double-header that should make any Francophile scream, “C’est magnifique!”
Saturday (July 14) is Bastille Day, the French holiday that marks the storming of the Bastille in 1789 and the launch of the revolution against royal rule. Sunday is the final match of the 2018 World Cup, pitting France against Croatia.
French restaurants across South Florida will be in celebration mode Saturday night, with many hosting Bastille Day events featuring special menus, free glasses of champagne and entertainment. Reservations are recommended. For those interested in cheering on the Croatian team Sunday (11 a.m. start), Rice and Dough restaurant in Fort Lauderdale, 501 SE Second St., is a prime place to watch. The original owners, Goran and Amy Perovic, were from Croatia. Even though they recently sold the restaurant, the manager is from Serbia and the restaurant has been hosting Croatia viewing parties throughout the competition.
Choices abound for French cuisine. Longtime Fort Lauderdale favorite Sage French Cafe, 2378 N. Federal Highway, will have entertainment and free nibbles and sips for Bastille Day and a World Cup watch party with Sunday brunch. The restaurant also offers buy-one-get-one-free on dinner entrees Mondays and Tuesdays during the summer, along with half-priced bottles of wines on Wednesdays. Call 954-565-2299 for reservations.
Le Bistro in Lighthouse Point, 4626 N. Federal Highway, is offering a special menu through July 15, with four-course dinners-for-two available for $100, including a bottle of house wine. Call 954-946-9240 for reservations.
La Brochette Bistro in Cooper City, 2635 N. Hiatus Road, will offer Bastille Day specials Saturday and its usual Sunday $39 prix fixe special menu after the World Cup finale. Call 954-435-9090 for reservations.
Chez Marie in Boca Raton, 5030 Champion Boulevard, in the Polo Club Shoppes, is marking French-American friendship through July 14 with a three-course dinner for $29.90. On Saturday, French singer Thierry Khalfa performs. Call 561-997-0027 for reservations.
Cafe Boulud at the Brazilian Court Hotel, 301 Australian Ave., Palm Beach, is from acclaimed chef Daniel Boulud and turns out modern French cuisine in a relaxed hotel setting. The restaurant serves Sunday brunch and will be open for the World Cup final. Call 561-655-6060 for reservations.
La Petite Maison, 1300 Brickell Bay Drive, Miami, is from the same London-based team as Zuma restaurant and is among the hottest restaurants in the booming Brickell area. The restaurant will offer its usual lunch and dinner menus on Bastille Day (limited availability remains) and is closed Sundays. Dress policy is smart casual, meaning no baseball caps or futbol jerseys. Call 305-403-9133 for reservations.
Le Zoo at Bal Harbour Shops, 9700 Collins Ave., is a classic French brasserie from James Beard Award-winning restaurateur Stephen Starr. It will feature live music, mimes, an ice cream cart and other treats for Bastille Day and will open for brunch 11 a.m. Sunday for the World Cup final. Call 305-602-9663 for reservations.
July 13, Aug. 10 and Sept. 14: Sushi and Stroll Summer Walk Series, Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens, 4000 Morikami Park Road, in Delray Beach. Admission is $7 adults, $5 kids in advance plus additional cost for food and drink.
July 14: The Creative Kitchen Kids Food Festival To-Go will take place noon-4 p.m at the Museum of Discovery and Science, 401 SW Second St., Fort Lauderdale. The event is designed to help in the fight against childhood obesity. Museum visitors will learn about the importance of achieving balance in food choices, through fun activities and sampling family-friendly foods. Admission costs $16 for adults, $13 for children 2-12.
July 14-15: International Mango and Tropical Fruit Festival, Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, 10901 Old Cutler Road, Coral Gables. This celebration of the ubiquitous tropical summertime fruit will feature 200 mango varieties, an auction and numerous mango dishes. Tickets cost $25.
July 16, July 23 and July 30: Acclaimed chef Allen Susser hosts a weekly plant-based dinner series, “Grilling in the USA,” every Monday in July at the Cafe at Books and Books at the Adrienne Arsht Center, 1300 Biscayne Boulevard, Miami. Each week will spotlight a different region (Hawaii, Austin and Kansas City). Tickets cost $30, plus tax, tip and optional $18 wine pairing.
July 17: Bowlicious, a new bowl-based restaurant, is scheduled to open at 1823 E. Commercial Blvd., Fort Lauderdale. The first 50 customers will receive swag and a two-for-one coupon for future use.
July 19: Michael Schwartz, the James Beard Award-winning chef, will host a pizzamaking class at 7 p.m. at the Aventura Mall location of Genuine Pizza, 19565 Biscayne Boulevard, Aventura. Tickets cost $79, and include cooking ingredients, passed snacks, beer, wine and sangria and a pizza paddle signed by Schwartz.
July 29: James Beard Award-winning author Virginia Willis will host a dinner and book signing to promote her cookbook, “Secrets of the Southern Table,” at the Regional Kitchen and Public House with chef Lindsay Autry, 651 Okeechobee Blvd., West Palm Beach. For reservations call 561-557-6460.
Aug. 1-7: Dine Out Downtown Delray, a promotion featuring special multicourse meals and events at restaurants in Delray Beach.
Aug. 1-Sept. 30: Miami Spice, a restaurant promotion with more than 200 eateries offering special multicourse $23 lunches and $39 dinners.
Sept. 1-30: Crave GFL, a restaurant promotion featuring dozens of Broward restaurants offering special multicourse meals.
Sept. 1-30: Boca Raton Restaurant Month, a promotion featuring restaurants offering special multicourse meals.
Sept. 1-30: Flavor Palm Beach, a restaurant promotion featuring dozens of Palm Beach County restaurants offering special multicourse meals.