Feeling left out because your company cut back on its Cannes film festival delegation this year? Don't worry, we've got several suggestions to bring a little bit of Cannes to America, without having to deal with that pesky volcanic ash.
1) Set the scene by finding out what's going on in at the festival. Start with Variety's Cannes coverage, then check out some more esoteric offerings. Jeffrey Wells at Hollywood Elsewhere often includes videos taken while he's ambling along the Croisette. If you read French, Nice Matin has a folksy, locals-only feel. Blogger Sasha Stone is covering the fest for the first time for Awards Daily; it's fun to read a newcomer's impressions. Or search hashtag #Cannes on Twitter for a jumble of interesting and/or incomprehensible info. Newsflash: Roger Ebert left his laptop in a cab!
2) Libations are key. Start with the signature drink of the festival, Domaine de Tempier Bandol rose, available at most wine shops. Champagne works too. Serve with fresh oysters, if the oil slick hasn't decimated the supply, while watching something European and inscrutable like Irina Palm, currently available for free on VOD.
3) Re-create a Cannes business lunch someplace French. In the L.A. area, not far from the beach, Santa Monica's Anisette is tres Francais, with the requisite seafood tower. Delphine at the W Hollywood hotel, with its Cannes mural (above), has the setting down. For plenty of French-speaking clientele as well as very credible croissants, try Third St.'s The Little Next Door. Arrange for patio diners to blow smoke around, preferably Gitanes. Pouf! You're in Cannes. What's the most Cannes-like place to eat in Gotham?