Frontier | Bar review
The look of this new bar is inauthentic, but the food is the real deal.
So the hipster-vintage-saloon aesthetic of Longman & Eagle and a taxidermy grizzly bear wander into a sports bar. This is pretty much the setup of Frontier, a new tavern from the folks behind Lottie’s and The Pony Inn, which mashes North Woods lodge elements (more waxed wood than a Home Depot catalog) into the neighborhood-tap mold (flat-screens, flat-screens and…oh look, another flat-screen). In a city of great beer lists, the one here goes just a step beyond passable, while the cocktails (such as the ginger-beer-and-bourbon Tumbleweed) quickly taste watered down and didn’t have much balance to begin with. It’s an experience that seems perhaps better in concept than in execution. But then the food—via chef Brian Jupiter—arrives. Sliders are dry and disappointing, but pickles provide their perfunctory crunch and char-broiled oysters are pretty impressive for a bar. And the whole cornmeal-crusted fried snapper with spicy rémoulade sauce? It flips this whole place on its head. To enjoy Frontier, don’t look around: Just get started on your plates.