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Frontier, New Noble Square Tavern, Opens Tonight

By Anthony Todd in Food on Feb 10, 2011 4:00PM

Tonight at 4 PM, the newest addition to the 2011 Noble Square real estate explosion opens its doors. Frontier, a game-focused tavern with a grizzly bear standing behind the bar, has been under construction for months, and finally will let diners in this evening. We got a chance to sit down with the chef of Frontier a few weeks ago and talk about the new space. Plus, the official opening menu just arrived in our mailbox. Drool on, people!

Chef Brian Jupiter's goal is to create a relaxed neighborhood restaurant with great food. In a move that made us smile, he defined a "gastropub" as a restaurant pretending to be a bar. Frontier, for better or worse, is a bar that serves good food, not a fine dining restaurant with wood panelling and a down-home atmosphere that tries to trick you. The space is huge - Jupiter likened it to an "old saloon" that one might find in a mining town. 14 foot ceilings, exposed brick, and, oh yeah, the previously mentioned bear complete the image. Seriously, how often can you go and sip a beer while a bear stares you down?

The menu is filled with game: rabbit, elk, venison, buffalo. The prices are reasonable, topping out at about $20 a plate. The menu is broken into sections - "to taste" "to eat" and "to finish" - and most items are designed for sharing. We're particularly excited about the elk shepard's pie, with white cheddar and baby carrots, and the lamb spare ribs, served with duck fat fries. The menu has plenty of things for the adventurous eater, as well as the diner who just wants a good burger. 16 different beers are on tap, and there are several specialty cocktails. Go grab dinner sometime soon!

All photos by Mireya Acierto.

Frontier is located at 1072 N. Milwaukee Avenue.