Chef of the Month

Anthony Bachman: JT Cigarro’s Is His Oyster

By Andrew Jason

Photos by J. Alan Paul Photography

An oyster bar in Fargo? What?!? While you may think the concept is crazy, you won’t be saying that after trying the food at the new JT Cigarro Lounge and Grill. Anthony Bachman is the man responsible for bringing this new food group to Fargo.

The new JT Cigarro is the definition of upscale bar food. According to Bachman, 95 percent of everything is made from scratch and the menu features a variety of dishes ranging from oyster po’boys to salmon BLTs to feta cheese meatloaf. The whole idea is to provide the customer a quality meal while bringing the quick service of bar food. (Their goal is to have a 15-minute ticket time for lunch.) The challenge of mixing quality and speed comes with its own rewards and challenges.

“I think it’s a lot more fun,” Bachman said. “It’s quicker pace. You have to have bar food a lot quicker. You’re doing a lot more people in a time period. It’s a challenge.”

Although Bachman is originally from Langdon, ND, this isn’t his first foray into the world of cooking oysters. After graduating from Le Cordon Bleu in Minneapolis, he ended up working at a restaurant in San Diego where he learned how to work with the slimy and delicious mollusc.

He came to JT Cigarro from Santa Lucia. He developed the new menu for JT’s. Although it is an oyster bar, there’s a lot more to the menu than just that. The lineup includes many burgers, pastas and other delectable foods.

This type of food works perfectly with Bachman’s cooking style. “When I first went to school, I wanted to do fine dining and then after my internship, I moved back to Minneapolis for a while and I worked for this restaurant called the Town Talk Diner, which was featured on ‘Diners, Drive-ins and Dives’. When I was there I fell in love with the finer, diner-type food. There’s so much you can do with a regular burger.”

Feta Cheese meatloaf

1 lb. ground beef

1 lb. ground pork

1/2 cup feta cheese

2 eggs

3/4 cups bread crumbs

2 t. salt

2 t. pepper

1/2 onion chopped

1/2 t. cayenne

1/2 T. granulated garlic

1/2 T. dried Parsley

1/2 T. dried oregano

Bacon to wrap

Combine all ingredients mixing with hands to get everything well combined. Then form with hands into loaf on a sheet pan. Once formed, wrap with bacon then bake at 375 degrees for 35 to 45 mins.

Written by Andrew Jason

Andrew Jason is the Editorial Director at Spotlight Media. He oversees the production and the wonderful team behind Fargo Monthly, Fargo INC!, Bison Illustrated and Design and Living magazines. In his free time, he enjoys running marathons and pretending he's a much better piano player than he actually is.

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