South 9th Bistro

Formerly the Hungry Cat

Regena Ozeryansky  |   Wednesday Dec. 31st, 2014

It is our intention to deliver a new spin on the traditional dining reviews brought to you in recent years. A new perspective, one from a new resident, and the other, much more important, a perspective from the Chef of each restaurant presented. We feel, that every reader should have the opportunity to form their own opinion of local restaurants, and by bringing the Chefs & Managers to you the readers we can create added synergy in an already awesome town.

As I entered the South 9th Bistro, (located just across from the Montana State University Campus) I felt a true “uniqueness” that makes this cozy restaurant absolutely one of a kind. Just like the “orange” building it resides in, a 19th century Victorian structure, the restaurant oozes with personality and whispers tales of mystery. The 125 year old building has been residence to families, communities and more. Known to still have a few residents that peruse the 2 story dining rooms after hours, the building has been claimed as haunted. Imagine, having a few extra guests joining you for dinner? Wouldn’t that be fun? We thought so, and decided to sit with the courageous, innovative minds that make this special restaurant what is it, a bistro full of history, creativity, ambition, innovation and passion.

With it’s decorative art work and tasteful candle lit romantic ambiance, the dining rooms are cozy, comfortable and inviting. The edgy Cajun inspired re-vamped flavorful menu, is sure to satisfy everyone’s palette. With all meals prepared from scratch including breads, pasta, dough, pizza, deserts, etc. Under the direction of Chef Ryan Trenton everything is made in house, and with an emphasis on providing a memorable dining experience, quality 1st and foremost. The mission is simple- Great Food- Great Service- No Excuses- Period.

To keep with the theme of originality, we (Bozeman Mag) were lucky enough to have the opportunity to interview with all (3) three magic minds behind the curtain: Owner, Hank Fargot - Rest. Manager, Rick White and Chef, Ryan Trenton. An interesting blend of personalities, just like the formerly known Hungry Cat, this uplifting and new combination of energies suites perfectly the new named “South 9th Bistro.”   

BozeMag: What did you want to be when you grew up?

Hank (Owner): Still don’t know (smile) As adults, we’re constantly growing aren’t we?

Rick (Manager): Having been in many industries, everything from oil to vacuum sales, all in between. I like this position and feel it fits the best. I like what I do, and feel I’m good at it.  
Ryan (Chef): I loved cooking with my grandma as a kid, having grown up in Hawaii, I always wanted to be a lifeguard. Didn’t exactly turn out that way, but I’m happy.  

BM: Why did you choose the Food business?  

Hank: Coming from NY, I have a love for food and culture. I found that Bozeman had a broad canvas available to create new opportunities with food, and I felt good being able to participate in the making of the bigger canvas. Adding to the available options, and creating unique flavors, creations of food. I seek to create, not just another restaurant, but a true memorable experience for people, a place to come be with friends and have great times with great food. Creating what’s desirable, not just what’s acceptable- that’s not good enough.

BM: What do you feel, if anything, has changed about you as a Chef over the years? Expanded/ Shifted, etc?

Ryan:  (A young, ambitious, chef eager to create a name for the restaurant as well as for himself) admits his attitude. “I’ve learned a lot about myself over the years.” Thinking thru the question... “Working under really great chefs and being a sous chef in Hawaii has taught me about humility. I am excited and proud to be here.

BM: If there was anything about the restaurant industry you could change, what would it be?

Rick: Shares his passion for food and the varying opportunities he’s had in the industry which have allowed him to see the lack of creativity and quality in big box restaurants. “What’s really unique to the bistro, is that everything is made from scratch.” Bringing the farm to table movement closer and providing nutritious, flavorful options to the guests is important to me. No plastic food for this bistro! Unique food that our guests, perhaps have never seen before.

Hank: Not just another restaurant, we want people to talk about their good experiences and share them with others.  

BM: What do want guests to experience when they come to this restaurant?

Rick: I want guests to experience quality which includes high end service with education on food & wine. A Whole Experience and the best products with the best service possible.

BM: What’s most important for you to share with the readers & why?

Ryan: I’m new to the area, I’m ambitious, young, inspired and full of energy. Eager to express my creative cooking skills as well as make a name for the restaurant and myself.    
Rick: Home away from home. Education and fun experiences for all guests.

Hank: We will survive and thrive! Excited to show Bozeman another side of creative fare. Nothing they’ve seen before. South 9th Bistro is fine dining without pretense.

Bonus Question: What do you like best about Bozeman?

(Without even a blink of the eye) Ryan answers: The people! (smiles, and continues with) and the fishing! New life for my wife and I, we’re excited and happy to be here.

Rick: Bozeman offers a tangible sense of community and a very safe place to raise kids. He adds that he feels good knowing his daughter can grow up without the stress big metropolitan cities have. Best Valley in Town!


So next time you consider dinner, come join the team at the South 9th Street Bistro, you may find more than just wait staff and kitchen crew making noise! If you hear a light rattle of pans or see a fork slide by the floor on it’s own, don’t be surprised. Some of the guests at the Bistro just keep coming back.  

Dinner at the South 9th Bistro is available (5) five days a week. Tuesday through Saturday, 4pm to close. Brunch service will commence Sat, Jan 3rd & Sun Jan 4th from 8:30am-2pm. Take out services also available.

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