Bastille Day may be a French national holiday (called ‘La Fête National’ in France, celebrating the French Revolution) but that doesn’t mean we can’t all join in for some glamorous French-infused festivities at the Parker Palm Springs! On Sunday, July 14, the Parker is hosting a pétanque tournament (the French version of bocce ball; see below for more info), with cocktails and a special three-course French dinner at Mister Parker’s, all for $45 per person.
The Bastille Day menu includes your choice from three hors d’oeuvres: petit legumes farcis (baby zucchini, squash and eggplant stuffed with a ratatouille filling); bouillabaisse “cappuccino” (Provençal fish stew with prawns, sea bass, scallops, jumbo lump crab and rouille aioli in saffron foam) or watermelon and sorrel salad with Comté cheese, prosciutto and heirloom tomatoes dressed in a citrus shallot honey vinaigrette. The main course selections are a grilled Loup de Mer (wild sea bass), with a confit of baby fennel and pureed potatoes in olive oil; prime flat iron steak with spinach and ricotta gnocchi gratin; or marinated duck breast served with local white peach tarragon preserves and creamy leek polenta. For dessert, choose from a strawberry pistachio tart with elderflower crème fraîche; Gâteau Basque with Armagnac cherry ice cream; or an assortment of cheeses with toasted walnut, raisin brioche, honeycomb and homemade plum jam.
The festivities start at 5 pm with Pastis cocktails and French wine at the pétanque courts, with dinner seating starting at 6:30 pm. For more details and to reserve your spot, call (760) 321-4629.
Want to learn a little more about pétanque? From the Parker’s website:
How to play Pétanque like a Frenchman:
1. Order a Pastis.
2. Select three balls, give your opponent the other three.
3. Throw the little ball. (Cochonnet; the little pig)
4. Each player throws a ball (feet together) attempting to get as close as possible to the Cochonnet.
5. Player whose ball is NOT closest continues to throw.
6. After all six balls are thrown, a round is complete. The player with the ball closest to the Cochonnet is declared the winner of the round. He receives one point for each ball closer than the opponent’s. (e.g. if each ball is closer than each of his opponent’s he would receive 3 total points — one for each ball. Or, if he has the closest ball and then his opponent’s three are next, he would receive only one point.) No points are awarded to the rounds loser.
7. Play continues with winning player throwing “the pig” for each subsequent round until the first player (a) reaches 13 points (b) falls down drunk, or (c) complains about American unilateralism.
Hope to see you on the pétanque court!