Bastille Day: These NJ French restaurants make for a tasty celebration

Paris may be a seven-hour plane ride from Central Jersey, but that doesn’t mean we can’t celebrate Bastille Day – otherwise known as French National Day – on Saturday, July 14.

Bastille Day commemorates the Storming of the Bastille on July 14, 1789, a turning point of the French Revolution as well as the Fête de la Fédération, which celebrated the unity of the French people on July 14, 1790.

This Bastille Day, snack on a baguette, slurp some lobster bisque and indulge in some foie gras and escargot thanks to the many French eateries that we have throughout Somerset, Hunterdon, Middlesex and Union counties.

Verve Bistro in Somerville

Verve Bistro, a cornerstone of the Somerset County seat for the last 22 years, is the local community’s destination for French cuisine — without the stereotypical stuffiness. “Our food plating is country style, not haute,” said Rick St. Pierre, Somerville resident and Verve owner. “We are very ‘brassiere,’ which is community-oriented and connected.”

At Verve Bistro, which is decorated with dark mahogany wood, ornate tiles and red walls, its French plates attract 75 to 150 nightly visitors, with menu favorites like traditional lobster bisque ($10), 36-day aged steak au poivre ($34), poached lobster over risotto ($32), Parisian gnocchi ($14-$26) and crème brulee ($10).

However, entrees — which range from $24 to $36 — aren’t the only flagship at this Somerville staple. Its bar, open until 2 a.m., is often busy with customers late into the night with inventive, ever-changing cocktails.

Manger (“to eat” in French): 18 E. Main St., Somerville; 908-707-8655,


Full article here.

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