Day 1 Dinner Debriefing: Pirogue in Bismarck

A guy who lives in Bismarck and fishes in Kenora told us that if we like Bistro: An American Cafe, we’d love Pirogue. So we went there, and he was right. Although it has a reputation for being expensive, there was a three course menu for $30 with several choices for each course, and ordering off the menu wasn’t a lot more. Our server was Terrie, and she was charming. She had a gift for formal service without making you feel pressured to dust off your etiquette lessons.


Caroline chose to order a la carte so she could have an appetizer to start, then a salad and another appetizer for her main course. She chose the walleye trio to begin, with a morsel of smoked walleye, a little walleye wrapped in prosciutto, and a tiny walleye cake. Then she had a beet salad with goat cheese and her second app was rabbit in phyllo pastry. I sampled most of it, and I can vouch that it was all very nice. The smoked walleye was her favourite.


I went with the prix fixe dinner, choosing the iceberg wedge salad, pork tenderloin with vidalia onion marmalade and a strawberry crumb cake. I know some people would say iceberg lettuce is tasteless, but I love the texture, and the avocado dressing and bacon bits were both sublime.
The pork tenderloin was nice, although I had plate envy of another guy’s flatiron steak, it was the size of Caroline’s fist. My dessert was also very good, a little like the strawberry biscuits I make at home, but softer. Caroline ordered the Creme Brulee, and she says mine is better. Mine isn’t topped with a lovely homemade almond cookie, but I get my texture right by cheating with a power mixer. This chef used a hand whisk, which is proper, but the creme was runny with lumps. Nice work on the sugar glaze though. We traded desserts, which means I ate nearly all of hers and half of mine. Score!

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