Dig Baton Rouge

Dining Out: Cordon Rouge Bistro makes it mark downtown

After a two year waiting period, Cordon Rouge Bistro has reopened and is currently attracting BR foodies to its new downtown location.

Cordon Rouge Bistro was originally located off of Arnold Lane between Airline and Jefferson, but due to the increasing need for more space, it was time for a change of locale.

“We kinda just outgrew that spot, and so we decided we needed to get something a little bit bigger, so we started shopping around for places, and we found something downtown that was a pretty good fit for us,” said General Manager Matt Harrison. “It took about two years for everything to get in order, but we finally got it done, and we’re just out here doing our thing.”

The bistro has now made 334 Third Street its new home in the space previously occupied by Lokka Spa. The staff will celebrate with a grand opening gala in the coming weeks that will serve signature cocktails, charcuteries, finger foods and complimentary champagne to guests. The date is currently tentative.

“We’re going to have that in the next few coming weeks once we get everything in order and get everything ready,” Harrison said.

According to Harrison, the staff loves their new home due to the new exposure they’ve received.

“Just the foot traffic alone is great,” Harrison said. “You get so many different people downtown that it’s not just the same crowd that we had at our old location because we were kind of out of the way. So if you didn’t know we were there, you probably weren’t coming. Just the increase of in foot traffic increased the diversity of our clientele so much that we’re starting to see more items walking out the door that didn’t really sell at our previous location.”

Currently, the restaurant is switching gears from its soft-opening stage focusing primarily on lunch. The bistro is open from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Gradually, a breakfast and dinner menu will be added in the coming weeks.

“Eventually, we’re going to work our way to be open seven days a week and for brunch on Saturdays and Sundays,” Harrison said.

Customers can expect the same fare they enjoyed at the bistro’s previous location including French bread, salads, sandwiches and soups. One of the staple menu items that carried over to the restaurant’s latest incarnation is the Duck Burger. Other items on the menu include the popular pastries baked by Rhonda Crosswhite, the owner of Cordon Rouge Bistro.

The bistro is Crosswhite’s first foray into the restaurant business though she catered previously. She took baking up primarily as a hobby, baking cakes for her friends, which she would tie off with a red ribbon before delivery. The name Cordon Rouge stuck with her, and eventually she received training from Le Cordon Bleu in Paris where her passion for the culinary arts really took off leading her to opening Cordon Rouge Bistro.

According to Harrison, everything on the menu is made in-house including all the bread, sauces and salad dressings and all the ingredients are purchased as locally as possible, even by going to the Farmer’s Market downtown every Saturday for their produce.

“We offer food selections that aren’t offered anywhere else in downtown, like our Duck Burger, you’re not going to see that anywhere else,” Harrison said. “We also offer, in my opinion, some of the best-baked goods and desserts in downtown Baton Rouge because everything is made in house, from scratch and fresh.”

The most notable addition to the restaurant will be art created by local artists hung on the walls of the restaurant to give them exposure. In the coming weeks, a mural will be added with the theme of an outdoor street café in Paris.

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