THE EATBEAT: Marilyn reviews three Bismarck eateriesPirogue Grill, Peacock Alley and Fireflour Pizza stepped up with tastings for participants in during a June workshop for North Dakota Bloggers and Writers in Bismarck.
By: Marilyn Hagerty, Grand Forks Herald
• Pirogue Grill, 121 N. Fourth St., Bismarck, (701) 223-3770
• Peacock Alley Bar and Grill, 422 E. Main St., (701) 255-7917
• Fireflour Pizza, 111 N. Fifth St., Bismarck, (701) 323-9000
If it isn’t the finest restaurant in North Dakota, Peacock Alley in downtown Bismarck is right up there — tapping at the door. The restaurant features walleye cakes, Tequila lime shrimp and their “Hanger” steak, which is sliced, ladled with smoky chipotle “chimchurri” and topped with seasoned ahi tuna tartar.
Peacock Alley, Pirogue Grill and Fireflour Pizza stepped up with tastings for participants in during a June workshop for North Dakota Bloggers and Writers in Bismarck.
We went away from the experience impressed by the use of home-grown ingredients at Pirogue Grill. We heard the history and tasted the angus beef creations at Peacock Alley in the historic Patterson Hotel. And we sat outdoors in the heart of Bismarck to savor the unique pizza turned out with organic flour by Fire Flour Pizza.
Pirogue steps forth with such seasonal treats as a rhubarbini — a rhubarb martini. The samplings included roasted beets with Wisconsin goat cheese and spiced pecans. And there was a taste of sautéed North Dakota bison medallions with morel mushroom sauce and roast barley pilaf.
A welcome to the Peacock Alley in the historic Patterson Hotel building was conducted by owner Dale Zimmerman. He was waiting in Peacock Alley with tastes of North Dakota paired with samples of North Dakota ales and beers.
There was roasted red pepper hummus served with pita chips and cucumber slices. We moved on to a prime time eggroll with sliced prime rib, peppers, smoked gouda and spicy Thai sauce. A taste of walleye cakes was served on a bed of sautéed peppers and onions topped with remoulade and tomato, onion and basil.
Peacock Alley’s Hanger Steak is described as a cut of beef prized for flavor. There is only one such steak from an animal. Some butchers used to save it for their own eating pleasure. The Bismarck restaurant serves it medium rare to ensure optimal tenderness.
The memorable farewell to Peacock Alley was a tasting of holes of donuts made on the premises and served fresh and warm rolled in cinnamon sugar.
The third stop for bloggers and writers was Fireflour Pizza — a place that has been part of the downtown Bismarck scene since November. And it has made its mark with pizza lovers who appreciate the extra dimension of starters such as “Goddess” with lettuce, tomatoes in shaved fennel and creamy basil dressing.
Pizza customers of Fireflour are attracted to its gelato and sorbet, made on location. They make a fine finishing touch to pizza dinner. Some buy it by the pint and half pint to take home.
On June evenings, there is seating at tables on the sidewalk in front of Fireflour Pizza. It’s close to the outdoor seating for Laughing Sun Brewing Co.
Our group tasted the pizza called Daisy with crushed tomato, mozzarella, basil and sea salt. Then, there was a sampling of Iowa, one of the 12 served in Neapolitan style for one or two persons. The Iowa is described as la quercia prosciutto, arugula, crushed tomato, fresh mozzarella, sea salt and “evoo.”
I asked, “What is evoo?”
Others kindly explained that means extra virgin olive oil.
Reach Hagerty at email@example.com or (701) 772-1055.