The French Harmonic Convergence

I'm usually one of the first people in the room to scoff whenever our social media dude Mahir tells us it's International Kumquat Day or whatever, but at the risk of being hypocritical, I'm celebrating National French Fry Day (which Eatocracy hipped me to today). In truth, I got started early, ordering a steak and fries last night for dinner at Thistle Hill Tavern, my neighborhood gastropub.

I say steak and fries but what it was really was steak-frites, one of my favorite things in the eating universe. I probably should have waited till Bastille Day tomorrow, but I've never been known for my patience. Some of my best food memories involve steak-frites, and I'd like to personally say "Merci" to whatever Frenchman first cooked a steak to rare, fried some potatoes, put them on a plate together, then added a pat of butter atop the meat and placed it on a table. Brilliant.

In fact, there's one thing missing from that description: red wine. Last night, I was joined in my steak-frites appreciation by my friend Rodrigo Perez, editor and founder of the great movie obsessives website The Playlist. He was still nursing his pre-dinner beer while eating his own steak-frites when I ordered a glass of Cabernet, and the look of disappointment on his face was palpable. "I should have ordered red wine, but it's too late to switch," he sighed. (That's why he's in the movie biz; I'm a believer that when it comes to wine, you should ask, "What would Mario do?" And the answer is always to drink more wine. Even if you still have half a beer left.)

We polished off our meals and retired to my living room to drink more wine (I convinced him to switch), and I even opened a delicious bottle from the haul I get from the Spring wine club in Paris, which sources obscure French bottles and ships to the U.S. I highly recommend it. (It's affiliated with Daniel Rose's Spring restaurant.)

I awoke today, hungover a bit, but still happy from last night's steak-frites and wine experience. Then, getting myself further psyched for Bastille Day, I checked out the new podcast from Colette, the ├╝ber-hip Paris lifestyle shop. If you can't afford the Spring wine club but want to further solidify your Francophile bona fides, I also highly recommend subscribing to the podcast; it's a great way to get turned onto new music and revisit old favorites. The Summer Breeze 2012 mix even featured Paul McCartney's "Goodnight Tonight," which is now my official summer jam.

Happy Bastille Day (and, um, French Fry Day).

Food Republic articles loosely associated with this French rhapsody: