Day One Dinner Debriefing: Pirogue Grill, Bismarck

We called Metro taxi half an hour before our dinner reservation and they said they’d need twenty five minutes to pick us up. Regular readers will feel a frisson of dread: we are jinxed when it comes to cabs. Metro surprised us by showing up in just ten minutes, so we arrived a minute or two early.
The Pirogue was lovely. They didn’t have a Syrah by the glass, but recommended a nice Cabernet which I did enjoy. I’m sorry, I didn’t see the bottle and I’ve forgotten the name. Caroline opted for a KJ Chardonnay and decided to have a salad and two appetizers rather than tackle a big entrée, so she started with the lobster perogies. I tasted one. Very nice. Then she had the beet salad with goat cheese and candied pecans. I’m not a big fan of beets, so I took her word for it that it was excellent. She finished with the walleye trio, which she’s had before. She doesn’t really enjoy the walleye wrapped in Prosciutto, but she loves the smoked walleye, and the walleye fishcake is very good, too. I started with the corn and bison soup – think of a Scotch broth, but with bison instead of mystery meat, and corn instead of barley. It was very tasty. Oh, and their fresh bread is nice, too. There was a whole wheat, and a paler bread with sunflower seeds that was very soft and light. I had the Bib lettuce salad with white cheddar salad dressing, which also came with fresh apple slices and lightly candied walnuts. I know some people put cheese and apples together, or even have cheese with their apple pie, but I never really got it until tonight. It was a delightful combination. Last time we were here, I had a severe case of ‘plate envy’ when a table near me ordered the lamb, so tonight I chose that for my entrée. It was very good, and the chef boned it and presented it as little medallions. It’s so nice to have a lamb dinner that you don’t have to hack to pieces. It came with a pilaf that may have been teased out with pan drippings or a beef stock. We shared a dessert, choosing the Amaretto cheesecake with sour cream topping. Light and delicate, with the topping leaning toward a soft icing. So four courses, four hits. The restaurant was busy, but Debbie looked after us easily and effectively.
Then we called for a cab back to the hotel. Half an hour, we were told at 2000. Fifteen more minutes, we were told at 2030. Ten minutes, we were told at 2100. Cab arrived at 2115. Supposedly, the car that was ‘on its way’ at half past was involved in an accident. Well, it was snowing all evening, so someone might have been careless, but it was hardly a storm. Tomorrow, I think we’ll try to walk for dinner in Bozeman, because if I have to wait an hour and a quarter for a taxi two nights in a row I’ll be catching a ride in a police car.

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