Sunday, March 9, 2008

#30! Part 1 of 2

I turned 30 yoa yesterday.
I don't feel any different than 29,28 or 26.
It was a great weekend and full of surprises. Andrea started off the weekend by having me meet her at the Peacock, she told me that she wanted to hang out with me the night before my birthday since it was my birthday weekend. She was out on a bachelorette party so I couldn't figure out why she wanted me to join - she insisted that I come though, even though I wasn't excited about crashing their gathering. This got me thinking that she had put together a surprise birthday party. When I got there it was just the girls and after a half hour when my sister and brother-in-law showed up as we had planned I thought that was it for sure, Andrea really did just want to hang out with me for my weekend.
Then about an hour later out of nowhere my buddy and old roomy Ian shows up from Minneapolis. This was a great surprise as I haven't seen him since September.
Ian had told me he was only going to be able to stay until Saturday afternoon and then he had to go back, I didn't believe him at first, but I thought it was possible and didn't say anything more about it. We went out to the Tumble Weed bar and shot some pool and had a few beers, and the we went to my friend Shane's for a while and had few more. It was a good night.
On Saturday, we went out to my sister and brother-in-laws place which is about 20 miles NW of town and shot pistol and rifle (yes, very redneck of us I know). It was a lot colder than we anticipated as the wind had picked up but that didn't stop us. I had about 10 half drank bottles of water that had frozen in my car, so I filled them up to the top and set them out to be shot. Very amusing, and we video taped some of the explosions. No animals were hurt. Only bottles, steel targets desigend to be shot, and old scrap wood. I will post the videos as soon as I get them from my brother-in-law.
Well, the afternoon passed and Andrea and I had plans to go to a unique restaurant here in town the Pirogue grill and the time also came for Ian to leave. I was really sad to see him have to go, I don't know why it was so hard for me to see a good friend go this time, but it was.
As for the Pirogue, I will rate it a weak 9/10.
The atmosphere was really neat, something I would not expect to see in Bismarck. The service was good, but there was a few times where I felt like our main server and one other girl server or water filler (not sure what exactly she was) gave some looks to each other and just reactions I noticed when they passed by us that made me feel like they thought we really didn't belong there or something to that effect. Which they couldn't have been more right, I did think the prices were obnoxious - but we were dressed nice and we weren't making any requests let alone unusual ones. So, I didn't understand that.
Anyway, I will go on.
They are definitely on the high end of bismarck dining at 6 to 12 for the appetizers, 6 to 12 (I think they went to 12) for the salad if you decided to get one, and then 19 to 30 for the main course. I didn't look at the wine list but I'm sure it started at 25 and went up.
We started by oredering the eggplant, portebella mushroom, tomatoe, mozzerella appetizer served with a tomatoe balsamic sauce. It looked really small, but turned out to be just enough to satisfy us concerning quantity and the quality was fantastic. If you decide to try and make this soon, as I am, all of the aforementioned was layered, except for the sauce which was served on the side.
As for the sauce I belive it was a puree of roasted redpepper, sun dried tomato, olive oil and balsamic vinegar with the consistency of tomatoe paste. (I don't know that for sure though, I will be experimenting with that combo and let you know).
We also got a bottle of wine, which was a Pinot Noir. Andrea really likes Pinot Noir and it was a bit sweet for a Noir, but still had the expected astringing property - I prefer a sweet or semi-sweet red, but it was good.
As for the main course Andrea had pork tenderloin which was filled with an apple and pecan filling (or something close to this I can't exactly remember), on the side was butternut potatoe squash, and a small mix of steamed carrot and squash. It was pretty good, it was one of the nightly specials and I think it was 19.
I had something called the Kurobuta Pork. I'm not sure, but I think Kurobuta is Japanese for "Over Rated". I asked the server to tell me about the Kurobuta and what made it so good - as it was the most expensive thing listed on the menu. She started off by telling me that it is the Kobe of pork. Kobe is another Japanese name which is associated with the highest quality beef. I have been told this is very good. Anyway, I said what exactly is that then - she went on to tell me that the pig is not raised in a pen, they are fed high quality organic feed, beer and stuff...
Hmm, I don't know if it was one or the combination of the facts that I had a gift certificate which was going to pay for the majority of this meal, it was my birthday, the fact that Andrea and I rarely ever go out for dinner, or that I had the opportunity to eat a pig that was fed beer and stuff (I assume by stuff she probably meant organic potatoe chips and cheetos or something to that affect). So I orderd the Kurobuta pork, which was recommended by the chef to be served medium rare or medium. I went with medium, as eating semi-cooked pork is a bad idea no matter what the social class of the animal before it is processed.
It was a very succulent (yes, I did just use that word - first time ever) piece of meat about an inch thick with 1 rib still attached. Juicy grilled and it was tasty and my thoughts were that I had not been ripped off (as I fully expected), but this is what I would expect at the least for a 30 meal, accompanied with the same sides as Andrea.
I did taste Andreas pork tenderloin and not to my surprise it was every bit as good as the Kurobuta.
That being said, take my word for it you are not missing anything if you never try Kurobuta Pork.
That was not the end of the night, I will give a part 2 sometime within the next few days... as this is getting long.
Thanks for my Birthday dinner Ben and Hal!!


UltimateP said...

Happy B-day Blake!!!

Plains folk said...

Thanks ultimatep!

Stryrker said...

Happy belated Bday. Good to hear you had a nice time.

And nice choice on not getting the rare pork. The threat of Trichinosis has me avoiding most pork products to begin with. Except yummy bacon.