French restaurants in New Jersey for July 14

Dishes at the Cargot Brewery.

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

Bastille Day commemorates the storming of the Bastille on July 14, 1789, a turning point in 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, sip lobster bisque and sample foie gras and snails at the many French restaurants we have in Somerset, Hunterdon, Middlesex and Union counties.

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Verve Bistro in Somerville

Verve Bistro, the cornerstone of the Somerset County seat for 22 years, is the local community’s destination for French cuisine – without the stereotypical congestion. “Our dishes are country style, not high quality,” said Rick St. Pierre, Somerville resident and owner of Verve. “We’re very ‘brassieres’, which are community driven and connected. “

At Verve Bistro, which is decorated with dark mahogany wood, ornate tiles, and red walls, its French platters draw 75 to 150 late-night visitors, with favorites like the traditional lobster bisque ($ 10), steak au 36-day pepper ($ 34), poached lobster on risotto ($ 32), Parisian gnocchi ($ 14- $ 26) and crème brûlée ($ 10).

However, entrees – which range from $ 24 to $ 36 – aren’t the only flagship of this Somerville staple. Its bar, open until 2 a.m., is often occupied until late at night with inventive and constantly changing cocktails.

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

A cheese plate at Bistro de Sophie.

Sophie’s Bistro in Somerset

Peter Mack, a resident of the Franklin Section of Somerset, may not be French, but he is certainly a fan of the country – after getting married there, he developed a taste for cooking and continued to seek it out. until he opened his own French restaurant in 2002.

With 125 seats, Sophie’s Bistro is known for its warm and friendly atmosphere – probably due to the fact that “the staff have always been there – they don’t leave,” Mack said with a laugh, as well as the restaurant’s consistency with its staff. menu items.

The classic French bistro menu is also accompanied by traditional French cocktails as well as French paintings and pastel colors in the decor, which evoke Provence, France.

Some of Sophie’s Bistro’s most popular dishes are beef bourguignon ($ 24), steak fries ($ 26), and mussels ($ 17), among others on a menu with entrees ranging from $ 18 to $ 33.

To eat: 700 Hamilton Street, Somerset; 732-545-7778,

Interior of the Cargot Brewery.

Cargot Brewery in Princeton

The brand new French restaurant in Princeton, housed in a historic railway depot at the foot of the state’s most famous university, offers revisited French cuisine to its 1,700 weekly visitors. With its own Great Road Farm, Cargot Brasserie, which has 260 seats, can use local ingredients from its own backyard.

However, the feeling of a classic French restaurant remains. “Mosaic tiles paired with bright, airy rooms and clean lines combine to create an atmosphere reminiscent of a traditional brewery,” said Adam Flocke, general manager who lives in Bensalem, PA.

With popular entrees ranging from $ 26 to $ 32, including steak fries, escargots, coq au vin and even bean and cereal “cassoulet” – a vegetarian take on a classic French dish – Cargot Brasserie receives a range of “international students with well-defined palates,” Flocke said.

To eat: 98 University Square, Princeton; 609-772-4934,

A dish at Chez Catherine.

Chez Catherine in Westfield

With white tablecloths, an extensive wine list, and a five-star menu, Chez Catherine in Westfield evokes France with an upscale touch thanks to the restaurant’s French country decor updated with modern elements.

One of the distinctive practices of Chez Catherine is the table preparation of dishes such as steak tartare and tuna tartare, which, as owner Stéphane Bocket of Warren explained, “is appealing to customers because of the attention he brings to the table and to his show, in addition, so we can spend more time with them.

Their pre-fix dinner menu, which ranges from $ 70 to $ 85, includes popular dishes such as foie gras and snails; the 54-seat restaurant welcomes around 150 weekly customers.

To eat: 431 North Ave. West, Westfield; 908-654-4011,

Manon's interior.

Manon in Lambertville

Manon, who seats 36 and has developed a steady crowd of regulars, isn’t just a New Jersey restaurant trying to be French – it’s the “real deal,” said Gina Davio, a waitress.

Owner and chef Jean Michel Dumas, originally from Fourques, France, crafted Manon’s menu from family favorites and designed the restaurant using decor representative of her hometown. The only non-French element, Davio explained, is the portion size – “they’re more American-sized,” she said.

With entrees ranging from $ 20 to $ 30, around 125 customers flock to Manon each week for popular entrees such as duck à l’orange ($ 29) and bouillabaisse de Marseille ($ 29).

To eat: 19, rue Union Nord, Lambertville; 609-397-2596,

Editor Jenna Intersimone: 908-303-8390, [email protected]