Saturday, May 30, 2009


The Pirogue Grille is a very comfortable space finished with exposed brick, woods, and metalwork. Local artwork adds a splash of color to the welcoming neutral color palate.

I was anxious to return to North Dakota, knowing I had reservations for another fine dining experience at Pirogue Grill. The very talented chefs continue to impress using a hands-on approach to their incredible creations in the kitchen. Nothing is pre-made. Everything is fresh & homemade. Quality is found across their seasonally changing menu.

I sipped a perfect Belvedere martini, slightly dirty, as I studied the new menu. I quickly determined it would be difficult to make my choice from the tantalizing options. Again, the only negative I experienced this evening were the pimento stuffed olives in my martini. This is easy to overlook considering the experience that followed.

I started with the BBQ Rabbit – tender morsels of rabbit in a BBQ sauce of ketchup, root beer, onion, ginger, brown sugar + a couple of secret ingredients (I was told) rested on a dense but moist wild rice and potato pancake. The plate was garnished with bits of dried apricot and green onion. Yumm!

The first soup I tried was the Roasted Corn and Bison – a delicious veggie based thick stock loaded with roasted corn, tidbits of grilled bison, carrot and onion.

My second soup was the Wild Asparagus – a smooth puree of grilled wild asparagus in a veggie based stock and garnished with bits of grilled asparagus. Fantastic!

For dinner, I ordered the Sautéed Sea Scallops with Fenugreek Curry Cream sauce – the four perfectly sautéed scallops swam in an incredible, light sauce of fenugreek, garlic, curry, lemon juice and cream. Sides of steamed yellow peppers, spinach & broccoli and a mound of fluffy jasmine rice rounded out this over-the-top entrée. Fenugreek seeds are roasted & ground on premise. Fenugreek leaves are one of the world's oldest medicinal herbs. The small stony fenugreek seeds come from the pod of a bean-like plant grown in Egypt, England, India, & the Mediterranean. The ground seeds are aromatic and have a burnt sugar-like flavor, often used in curries.

I discreetly caught the remaining scrumptious sauce with pieces of fresh bread served with the meal. I know this is not appropriate, but the sauce was too good to leave behind. Oh yes, Pirogue scores major points for serving soft butter with their homemade bread. It is so disappointing to try to spread a chuck of chilled butter over a piece of warm, soft bread!

It was now time for dessert – a wonderful wedge of Citrus Honey Custard tart. The very smooth custard was accented with fresh lemon and lime juice. This slice of decadence had a generous drizzle of homemade caramel sauce. I enjoyed a cup of Italian Roast coffee with my final course. Believe me, I had room for no more!

Derrick, our refined and very friendly server, added to this fantastic culinary experience. His knowledge of the menu and the dishes’ preparation was impressive. I hope he is on staff when I return for another meal near the end of the year.

Pirogue has been serving incredible cuisine for a short 3+ years, but it has made an impressive mark. Gourmet Magazine (October 2007) named Pirogue Grille as one of “The 100 Best Farm-to-Table Restaurants in America.” I repeat, Pirogue is probably the best fine dining experience in Bismarck.

Pirogue Grill. . . a “Big City” dining experience found on the plains of North Dakota!

Link to prior Pirogue Grill post

Mmm, Mmm, Mmm…





$ 10

$$ 20

$$$ 30

$$$$ 40+


+ Stop bothering me!

++ Anyone here?

+++ Stopped when in the area.

++++ As needed and friendly.

+++++ Invisibly perfect!


✦ “One visit too many!”

✦✦ “Convince me!”

✦✦✦ “I’ll be back!”

✦✦✦✦ “Same table next week!”

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