For a quarter of a century, food and wine lovers have stormed French restaurant Chez Francois’ Bastille Day Celebration, which this year takes place July 15 at the Vermilion establishment. While most people may know Bastille Day from a question, er, answer on “Jeopardy,” the French holiday is special for Chez Francois co-owner Matt Mars, who calls Rocky River home. The French equivalent of the Fourth of July marks France’s independence; however, for Mars it represents something closer to his heart. “The whole history of that is pretty interesting,” said Mars, who calls Rocky River home. “There were only like six people in the Bastille at the time and one guy had a long beard and he thought he was Julius Caesar. It had become like a mental ward to some extent. So the storming of the Bastille was more of just an iconic thing, just a symbolic gesture more than anything else, and it really started more than the French Revolution. “It started the restaurant business because at the time all of the great chefs were working for the aristocrats. They got displaced and ended up either working for the great hotels of the world and also opening up their own restaurants.” Celebrating unique holidays and themes is nothing new to Chez Francois, which offers the public special wine dinners ranging from clambakes to German cuisine, cigar nights and more. As for Bastille Day, the menu changes slightly from year to year. The lobster quiche is a popular returning dish, but the wine offerings alter by region and producer. For example, this year wine from the Rhône Valley will be presented. “It’s somewhat French themed but it’s not like sweetbreads and brains and tripe,” Mars said. “We Americanize it to some extent. It’s interesting, our regular customers like these wine dinners we do from different regions once a month, but this one is a little different. This is for people who love coming out in the summertime. It’s a Sunday and you take a summertime ride to get away from things. It’s definitely through the years the same people come back every year.” When asked if it would be too on the nose to let the Bastille Day Celebration-goers eat cake, Mars laughed, “I don’t know about that. I like to say we’re on the opposite side of that. Where ‘Let them eat cake’ was more of a snobby and aristocratic attitude, I don’t think we have any of that at all.” If there’s any snobbery at all regarding the Bastille Day Celebration it has to do with discriminating drinkers assessing a wine’s bouquet. “We keep it as French as the public wants,” Mars said. “We have a great menu, and it’s seemed to work for us over the years. I let people be the judge of how French they think we are.” The Bastille Day Celebration takes place at 6 p.m. July 15 at Chez Francois, 555 Main St., Vermilion. Cost is $95 per person. Call 440-967-0630 or visit chezfrancois.com/a-bastille-day-celebration/. Bastille Day Celebration Menu: Apertif, Rosé, Domaine Sainte Eugénie, Corbières, France, 2011 Scotch Barreled Smoked Salmon Croque-Monsieur, Dill Cucumber Salad Maine Lobster Quiche, Truffle Hollandaise Peach & Jicama Salsa Cruda Seared New York Rohan Duck Breast, Huckleberry, Duck Jus Roasted Breckenridge Lamb Chop, Provencale Apricot Baked Alaska, Apricot Chutney For more delicious menu details, visit the website.