Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Frontier

Location: 1072 N. Milwaukee
Cost: About $30 per person

It's good to have friends that are persistent about making plans. A few weeks back when I was in the inevitable funk that comes along with constant studying, my friend Amanda started to get on my case. We live five minutes from each other and yet hadn't hung out in a really long time. So she put together plans for dinner with the two of us along with J-Ho and Sal. We threw around a few ideas for places and ended up at Frontier.

Logistics
The setup at Frontier is two main rooms, one with a bar and another with some larger tables. I thought it reminded me of the Goose Island Lincoln Park location just with slightly different finishings. When I called to make a reservation, they told me that they only take ones for large parties or for people ordering a whole animal. I was thoroughly intrigued by the idea of getting a whole animal but was outvoted by my fellow diners. I think I may go back soon with some other writers to try this out though. Luckily for us, we got by just fine without a reso and got sat immediately (7 PM on a Friday).

Our service was solid. The waitress kept the drinks coming, was honest and informed on the dishes, and took her time when she realized we wanted to sit and talk a bit. Sandwiches were a little bit north of $10, and entrees were mostly in the upper teens. Portions were universally pretty large making it pretty worth the money.

The Food
Being a gastropub of sorts, I made us order some "snack" items. By that I mean the Habanero House Pickles and Deviled Eggs. We also got some Lollipop Wings for an appetizer. The pickles were really pleasant with a spicy aftertaste. The eggs had a really strong mustard flavor. I thought they were alright, but Jess swears she makes better ones (I'm still waiting to see). The wings were way more interesting then they seemed at first. They took the white meat from chickens, mixed it with spices, breaded it, and then stuck the bone back in (hence the name lollipop). There was just the right amount of heat and juiciness. Plus, because of this new chicken wing "mechanism," you could get all of the meat off of the bone.

The Lollipop Wings

The Habanero House Pickles

 The Deviled Eggs

Before going into our main dishes, I should explain a bit more about Frontier. The basic idea is that the menu is composed of animals which could be hunted on the "frontier." So there are a lot of options for meats that you don't typically find. For starters, J-Ho got the Kangaroo Carpaccio. Amanda ordered the Amish Roasted Chicken, Sal got the Venison Cheesesteak Sandwich, and I got the Blackberry BBQ Rabbit. I'd never had kangaroo, and I was pretty excited to try it. For the most part, I couldn't tell that there was anything special about it, and the garlic bread pieces that came along overpowered the meat. The venison cheesesteak was tasty, a bit more savory than a typical cheesesteak, but otherwise pretty simple. The bun was too basic though. The chicken was my favorite dish of the night. It had this awesome bourbon sauce and came with a cool watercress salad and this excessively creamy mac n cheese. I was a bit hesitant about getting the rabbit because it came with succotash which I typically don't have much of a taste for. I wolfed this one down though. The portion was huge, and of all the game hunting animals we ate, this was probably the most differentiable.

The Amish Chicken

The Blackberry BBQ Rabbit

The Kangaroo Carpaccio

The Rosemary French Fries

 The Venison Cheesesteak

Overall
So from what I can figure, the point of Frontier is to be a gastropub with some sweet game hunt food. Some of the unique meat quality was a bit hidden by the dishes they were incorporated in to (i.e. venison cheesesteak), but a few stars stood strong. We all really enjoyed the chicken plus the mac n cheese it came with. I'm pretty excited to try a whole animal dinner in the future. For now I'm giving Frontier 4 out of 5 Pearls.


Frontier on Urbanspoon

4 comments:

  1. It's on the list and quite high since I live so close. Looks pretty good actually.

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