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Bâton Rouge Grillhouse and Bar reopens at Complexe Desjardins with $6.5 million reno

    The Bâton Rouge Grillhouse and Bar at the Complexe Desjardins has long been one of my favorite venues of the venerable chain, especially before seeing a show at the Place des Arts or while in the area for business.  Two and half years ago during the COVID-19 pandemic, when the restaurant was only open for take-out and delivery, work on the pool up above at the Double Tree Hotel resulted in pipe and electrical damage due to a leakage. Operations were immediately shut down.

    Christina Fegitis, who has served as the general manager for the past 28 years, patiently oversaw extensive renovations and a few months ago the restaurant reopened via a $6.5 million redesign. I was invited to experience the venue just days after a special VIP reopening and this looks like a spanking new dining establishment. For Fegitis, this meant acquiring an entirely new team of servers and kitchen staff and I’d say they did a fabulous job on that count. Our server, Angelique, has been with the chain for seven years. She originally worked at her hometown location in Gatineau. When she relocated to Montreal to study, Fegitis was fortunate to be able to hire her. Hats off for the terrific service!

    Having been to the refurbished Decarie location when it reopened last spring, I was very pleased to get an opportunity to come to the Quartier des Spectacles for this spot. The decor here embodies Bâton Rouge’s new identity and offers a modern take on the grillhouse experience right in the heart of downtown Montreal. The restaurant’s new design and layout boast a modern, laid-back look that strikes the right balance between comfortable seating and the lively bar atmosphere.

    This spacious dining room can seat a total of 278 guests. They also have a seasonal terrasse which can accommodate 80 people. I look forward to experiencing that next summer. The curated sound system and music create an ambiance that exudes casual elegance, while the lighting offers guests a varying atmosphere throughout the day. The new design and layout were conceived by Italo Di Pietro of Anonymus Concepts, and the entire project, including the construction work, did indeed add up to  $6.5 million.

    Server Angelique has seven years of experience with the chain.

    “We are very pleased to be reopening this restaurant and welcoming our patrons in this inviting, authentic and engaging environment,” says Jesse Campeau, Brand Leader at Bâton Rouge Grillhouse & Bar. “We will continue to explore grilling’s rich potential to ensure Bâton Rouge remains the go-to Grillhouse for all grill foodies.” 

    This is the only corporately owned Bâton Rouge Grillhouse & Bar. All of the restaurants fall under the MTY Food Group banner.

    Bâton Rouge Grillhouse & Bar’s raison d’être is grilling and offering each guest an authentic, multi-sensory dining experience with dishes prepared by a master griller.

    I started my meal with some piping hot creamy potato soup, topped with cheddar cheese, smoked bacon bits and scallions. As well, for an appetizer, I opted for lightly battered calamari, served with smoked jalapeño aioli dipping sauce. For the main course, I could not resist the rib steak, something that has slowly become a “go-to” choice for me at Bâton Rouge locations of late.

    The steaks here are Canada AAA hand-selected for superior quality and marbling, aged to tender perfection then seasoned with their spice blend. I also just love the fries here so that was an automatic side for me along with the fresh vegetables that came with the dish. My friend had their signature Louisiana chicken salad –  sliced chicken served with Thai peanut sauce on mixed greens with crispy noodles and pineapple-soy dressing.

    This was a lunch stop for me so I asked Angelique to kindly package what I did not eat so that I could save it all for supper. I also wanted to save room for one of my favorite desserts, a decadent piece of black forest cake. 

    This Bâton Rouge Grillhouse and Bar is located in Complexe Desjardins at 180 Rue Ste-Catherine W.. Call  514-223-0656 or log on to www.batonrouge.ca 

    Mike Cohen

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