A few nights ago we had what should have been an Urbanspoon sponsored "podium" night. The top 3 ranked Chicago bloggers (#1 Jeff, #2 Me, #3 Krista ) all got together to enjoy a glorious Chicago summer evening on the new Frontier patio. It was $2 Tuesdays that included beer, oysters, game tacos and deviled eggs. We also had the distinct pleasure of meeting The Nordic Nibbler who is in town on holiday.
I didn't quite know what to expect from Frontier but after seeing the set-up I understand that it's a bar first and foremost with a unique take on gastro-pub/bar food. They highlight the 20 different oyster options, as well as whole animal service for large groups. Other unique animals featured include goat tacos, pulled boar, bbq rabbit, vennison cheese steak and smoked guinea hen - for examples. I really like the idea of being a neighborhood "bar" that can do a little of everything. There's interesting food, a nice beer list, TVs a plenty, and DJ spinning on the weekends. Add to that a really nice up-scale patio beer garden with a fireplace and it equals a solid hangout for almost any occasion.
Besides taking full advantage of the $2 half pints all night, I indulged in a very good traditional deviled egg. I don't know a lot of people that like deviled eggs but it brings me back to my childhood AND the good ones are quite tasty. These were simple but hit the spot, and for $2 I would have ordered more but I think my doctor wouldn't allow it. I also tried a $2 boar taco (picture forthcoming...) which was nice with some mango and onion but I would have liked some salsa on the side. A table of three guys next to us ordered an entire platter of tacos, they had a good plan.
Erica ordered the mac n cheese for us and it was very good. There's a nice baked top and very creamy cheese throughout. Comfort food indeed. My observation with the food is that for every really nice dish there was an equally mediocre dish. Compared wit the mac, the the parmesan gnocchi was very uninspiring and lacked distinct flavor.
Other people ordered a hummus plate to share, some sliders and more tacos. From the sounds of it the sliders were delicious and highly recommended. I almost ordered some for myself but instead took a recommendation from our server and chose the ahi tuna sandwich.
The french fries were very good and crispy with hints of rosemary. The blackened ahi was actually tasty and well cooked. It would have been much better if they just serve the tuna without the sandwich. I liked the sandwich but the tuna gets lost in the wasabi mayo and bread. They should either double up on the tuna (my preference) or remove the bread and flavor disguising mayo.
We all had a great time sitting outside drinking and eating on a gorgeous night. I could easily turn that into a habit and recommend Frontier for many a causal beer and burger nights (especially since it's walking distance to our apartment). The food program has some very cool and tasty items, as well as some things that could use improvement. But with all of the other great features I know they'll have the time and resources to adjust and improve on an already good food program.