While Americans have July 4th as their day of Independence, the French have Bastille Day celebrated 10 days later. In celebration of the French holiday, Bistango, the critically acclaimed restaurant known for its contemporary American cuisine, is honoring that country's historical roots with a special small plates menu and hand-picked selection of rosés served in Bistango Gardens, the restaurant's 70-seat lushly landscaped al fresco lounge, beginning at 5 p.m.\

Executive Chef Christopher Meehan has crafted a number of items for the occasion including a Saint Angel brie with French lavender honey, walnuts, apples and grapes for $12; Pissaladière Flatbread Strips for $8; pork and liver black truffle pâté with baguette for $12; and French goat cheese with green olive tapenade served with peasant flatbread and assorted vegetables for $10.

A number of rosés have been hand-selected for the occasion by Bistango's sommelier Bill Blank including a Château de Campuget Costières de Nîmes for $8 per glass, Domaine de Jarras Pink Flamingo for $9, Gerard Bertrand Coté des Rose for $11 and Château La Gordonne, La Chapelle, Côtes de Provence for $13. Guests may enjoy a tasting of all 4 (3oz pours) for $20.

Bastille Day's origins can be traced to July 14, 1789, when a group of Parisians stormed the Bastille, a fortress/prison and, more importantly, a symbol of corruption of the aristocratic government. Shortly after, King Louis XVI and wife, Marie Antoinette, retreated to Versaille as the peasants pillaged and burned it, destroying records of feudal dues. Bastille Day represents the end of the monarchy and beginning of the modern republic.

"Our family has a long and warm association with France and its culture," said Karyn Ghoukassian, whose father, John, founded, owns and operates the Irvine restaurant. "We look forward to celebrating Bastille Day with our unique offerings set in our garden patio."

The newly remodeled Bistango is set in an airy atmosphere distinguished by fine art exhibits and large umbrellas that suspend from the ceiling lending great intimacy. An extensive cocktail list of classics and house specialties and a 500-bottle wine list that was heralded by Wine Spectator round out the offerings. New to its beverage offerings are beers on draft and 30 craft beers by the bottle, which include some difficult to acquire selections. Bistango serves lunch and dinner weekdays and dinner-only Saturdays. Bistango is located at The Atrium (19100 Von Karman Avenue, Irvine). Visit Bistango.com for more information.