Named after the latitude coordinates of Fargo, 46 North Pints & Provisions has opened its doors in Roberts Commons and is a breath of fresh and unique air for the neighborhood.
With a calm and collected atmosphere and an impressive menu, 46 North offers a little bit of something for everyone in the most literal (and delicious) way possible. We sat down with executive chef and owner Blake Itcerman and general manager Brandon Nilson to get the details on why this establishment is quickly becoming a family favorite.
A Place For All
Itcerman came to Fargo from the Black Hills about two years ago in hopes of settling down in a Midwest city in the process of revitalizing their downtown. His background as a fine dining chef mixed with his passion to open up a more casual establishment lead to 46 North being born––his personal version of a bar and grill.
“I am a firm believer in the revitalization of downtown America. Rapid City (South Dakota) was at the end of that road and Fargo is at the beginning. To hop in on the ground level was something that I was really trying to do. I wanted to find a town that was doing what I wanted to see done, and Fargo has that. That’s why I moved here,” said Itcerman.
With price points that fit every sort of bill, 46 North has a great range of approachable yet unique dishes and drinks. Itcerman said his goal was to have nothing on the menu over $30, so that you don’t have to break the bank taking your family or your date out to dinner. And speaking of families, 46 North also offers a kid’s menu and emphasizes being a family-friendly environment.
“I’m okay with sacrificing a little bit on the food cost side of things to make sure we’re an approachable place that has nicer food but at the same time it’s not going to crack open your piggy bank. You can order the $8 lunch special or the $29 ribeye, and there’s plenty in between to cater to every occasion” said Itcerman. “When I was designing the concept for this restaurant, basically our goal was to be an everyday eatery, downtown. But at the same time having the ability to upscale and sell a nice bottle of wine and some nicer entrees.”
“One of the biggest things for us is being family-friendly. Many places just tolerate children versus catering to them, to an extent,” said Nilson.
Eats & Drinks
The impressive part about 46 North is that you won’t see unfamiliar wacky dishes, but you’ll definitely see dishes that are unique, comforting and exquisitely executed. You’ll find elevated comfort food, in other words, flavors and dishes that are something you’ll know and recognize but at the same time, it’s all something that can be changed or made slightly different.
“A great example of this is our bison meatloaf. Everyone has had meatloaf growing up, but ours is a bison meatloaf wrapped in bacon and stuffed with mushrooms and topped with crispy fried onions. My goal was to make it something interesting and unique, but at the same time very comforting and approachable,” said Itcerman.
“We try to support local and feature local or regional items with a lot of our dishes or offerings as well. The bison meatloaf is North Dakota bison. We have spirits on the menu that use North Dakota grain, we have local and regional beer on tap––keeping it as local as possible without sacrificing certain qualities,” said Nilson.
As far as the beverage menu goes, it definitely covers a wide range of categories with the perfect mix of familiarity and entertainment. There are classic cocktails such as Old Fashioneds, Sazeracs and Manhattans, and then there are more crafted options. There’s the “High Plains Drifter,” a tequila drink but not a classic cocktail. The “Vinland” is a churched-up martini. The wine list is precise and to the point, but then you can also order a “Hired Man” –– a shot of Windsor and a can of Pabst Blue Ribbon for $6.
“We run a gambit of trying to lend to all different kinds of cocktail worlds. We have the high class stuff if you want it and are willing to spend money on it, but at the same time there are plenty of options otherwise,” said Itcerman.
“It just ties back to the fact that it’s an everyday place and for every occasion,” Nilson said.
“We’re never going to be stagnant.”
46 North has a lot in store for the future. Happy Hour menus just debuted, and a dessert menu is in progress as well as a more developed seafood menu. There’s a banquet room for private parties that are available for rental in the near future as well. And stayed tuned for Itcerman’s upcoming feature board, which will showcase daily specials and his love for interesting proteins.
“My philosophy in work is to be better tomorrow than you are today, and be better the next day than you are going be tomorrow. Constant progression. We are set up to do a lot of that right now,” said Itcerman. “We’re never going to be stagnant, we’re always going to be changing and hopefully for the better.”