The Baton Rouge dining scene presents a plethora of pleasing places from which to choose. From authentic Asian cuisine to Cajun and Creole, the Red Stick has it all. Baton Rouge also claims some great spots to belly up to the bar and grab an adult beverage. The capital city has numerous specialty bars in all areas of town. These establishments have decided to capture a specific market in the world of indulgence. While some prefer to stick to their neighborhood pub, Baton Rouge has specialty beer bars for the adventurous hop head, hand-crafted cocktail bars for those who want the classics, martini bars for sippers with style, whiskey bars for the manliest of men (and the most ladylike of women), and wine bars for lovers of the grapes.
The Adventurous Brewster
The Pelican House: 2572 Citiplace Ct.
With 136 beer taps, The Pelican House is a great place to get your favorite craft beer on draft. Within the past couple of years, the Louisiana craft beer movement has made a lot of headway. Craft beer is special to Baton Rouge because out of the nine currently active breweries across the state, Tin Roof Brewery calls us home. If you swing by The Pelican House you can find plenty of Tin Roof’s brews on tap along with some from other beers from around Louisiana and across the country.
The Patient Drinker
Olive or Twist: 7248 Perkins Rd. Suite A
Hand-crafted cocktails take a few moments longer to prepare than a simple bourbon and Coke, but they’re well worth the wait. Olive or Twist is a bar focused on mixing drinks containing old and modern elixirs, with a variety of ingredients that are historical in nature, and bringing them to fruition during times of high-volume service. They, too, like to support the local movement by using liquors from the Donner-Peltier Distillery in Thibodaux, such as Oryza Gin and Vodka and the Rougaroux Rums.
The Fancy Sipper
Duvic’s Martini Lounge: 2854 Kalurah St.
While many bars in Baton Rouge serve up martinis, few have made it their sole purpose. Duvic’s has a full bar, wine and an advanced bottled beer selection, but if you really want to see what they’re made of ask them to shake up a martini. They have an extensive specialty martini list and can recommend a concoction to suit your taste. The best part: they have $5 martinis all night on Wednesdays. And while you might think a martini bar is a pinky-out sort of establishment, Duvic’s is actually about as laid back as it gets.
The Whiskey and Whisky Drinker
Lock & Key Whiskey Bar: 5110 Corporate Blvd.
A true whiskey bar through and through, Lock & Key has more than 260 whiskeys from which to choose, and all of their cocktails are whiskey based (even the Bloody Mary… ahem, Bloody Scotsman). A warm welcome, leather couches and an experienced staff stand ready to help you find that perfect whiskey you didn’t know you were in love with. You can also relax to the music of the in-house piano.
The Conversational Consumer
Blend Wine Bar: 304 Laurel St.
A wine bar is usually designed for comfort — an extensive wine list, plush couches, dim lighting, soft music and cheese boards are commonplace. Blend Wine Bar downtown fits this description perfectly. It’s a great place to have after-dinner drinks, enjoy a nice evening out or relax with a date. Their well-currated wine list also complements their local menu options.
The Can’t Decider
The Cove: 2561 Citiplace Ct.
If you can’t decide what you’re in the mood for, the Cove is always a good option. With one of the largest collections of alcoholic beverages anywhere in the southeastern United States, the Cove has any drinker covered whether they covet the latest brews, the oldest cocktails, a glass of wine or just about any spirit imaginable. The Cove is really like three bars in one, so chances are that you can make everyone in your group happy here.
Jay D. Ducote is the author of the food and beverage blog Bite and Booze and host of the “Bite and Booze Radio Show” presented by Calandro’s Supermarket on Talk 107.3 FM in Baton Rouge at 5 p.m. Saturdays. You can find him online at biteandbooze.com or follow him on Twitter @biteandbooze.