All of the holiday feels at EXCUSE MY FRENCH

There is a certain pivotal moment in the holiday season where you start to *actually* feel in the mood. Whether it be the first snowfall of the year, the first official holiday party, hearing “Jingle Bell Rock” while waiting in line at Starbucks, the fact everything is red and green everywhere—it’s all a bit overwhelming.

But if you’re looking for an ideal date spot with the aforementioned feels listed above, I suggest heading to EXCUSE MY FRENCH in the Lower East Side for an evening of cocktails each with their own backstory, a rare and unique hybrid of French-Mexican food, and of course the classic French-style ambiance decor that’s ambiance will have your date impressed you even know to go there in the first place.

And while the atmosphere and holiday season may be reason enough for you to head to the Lower East Side, it’s the food done up by Chef Johann Giraud and the festive cocktail recipes that will have you longing for more EXCUSE MY FRENCH.

“L’aviateur” (citadelle gin, creme violette, maraschino, lemon). “Rumor has it that this was created by Hugo Ensslin, head bartender at the Hotel Wallick in New York in the early 20th century as part of the celebration of France giving Lady Liberty to America”:

“The Royale Family”, a unique blend of homemade syrups and sparkling wine (violet, lavender, hibiscus, orange blossom). “Floral flavors were part of the French Royale families. Which Royale Family do you belong to?”

“Bastille Day” (vodka, grenadine, blue curacao, sugar rim). “Many French people associated the famous medieval fortress and prison in Paris with the harsh rule of the Bourbon Monarchy of the late 1700s. This drink celebrates July 14, 1789, the day the troops stormed the Bastille, a pivotal event at the beginning of the French Revolution”:


“Chrysanthemum 1914” (Absinthe, Benedictine, Dry Vermouth, Orange). “A very popular sip in the American bar of the German ocean liner, the SS Europa (which served the third reich until it was confiscated by the US in 1945). After taking part in US troop movement, the SS Europa was renamed the SS Liberte, and served passengers to France until it hit the scrap yards in 1962:


Whole cauliflower granite / mustard / spices:

Garlic bread / spicy provencal vegetables / goat cheese:

Duck confit  parmentier / crushed potatoes / olive oil:

Sauteed brussels sprouts / balsamic / almonds:

Croque monsieur / ham / swiss / bechamel:

Organic cajun chicken / ratatouille / tricolor quinoa:

Beef sliders / emmental / tomato / homemade mustard:

Pan-seared steak tartare with toast:

Pan-seared yellowfin tuna espelette / piment:

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Kaitlin Duffy is a writer from Cleveland. When she's not blogging or pondering the great complexities of the world and outer space, she is finding rare vinyl steals, visiting new places, laughing often, Instagramming everything in sight, watching movies, or working on her first feature Port de Cleve.