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Posted by William on 03/11/2012
We sat at the bar and ate dinner there. We did not want to wait two hours to be seated, it was a lot of fun. Food and margaritas were pretty good!
Posted by Danny C on 12/12/2011
Was let down. Tasty but very expensive for tacos and guac. Drinks were very expensive. Will not go back. Party of 4 was $ 190.
Posted by corny on 09/08/2011
Former Chicago resident. Long time advocate of Mr. Bayless. Problem #1 - Early on a Wednesday evening - we were told we'd have a 1.5 hour wait. WHAT? Given the fact that the dining room had empty tables and the bar was nearly barren, the prescribed wait seemed odd. We ordered drinks at the bar and not 2 sips in were told our table was ready. A fluke you say - well, the same thing happened 2 nights later. I've experienced bait and switch hosting in NYC - where I've lived for 10 years - but at Frontera? A restaurant inspired by Mexican peasant food? Problem #2 - Frontera, interesting and well priced ten years ago, is feeling outdated and extremely over priced. $18 for 3 tacos you'd pay $5 for in the place that inspired them? I know it costs much more to run a restaurant in the states - and to do so with quality, sustainable ingredients... but Frontera is literally pushing the Frontier on price. Problem #3 - The decor looks dated. The upholstery (an economical choice in it's day) holds loads of food debris. The fabrics are starting to look like old-school Cirque-du-Soliel. The paint job is no different than the dozens of cheaper Mexican options in the city. Problem #4 - The food. It's just... good. But it no longer takes me beyond what I expect from "authentic" Mexican food the way Frontera did 10 years ago. We're now basically getting a sampling of the same dishes we'd get in Mexico - but paying 4 or 5 times what we'd pay below the Frontera. Inspiration has died. There are dozens of dishes I've had in Mexico just in the last year that would seem to be ripe for a Bayless translation - yet the menu has the same basic dishes and flavors it started with. The reality is that every major city in America has a high end, "authentic" Mexican restaurant nowadays. Many of them, no doubt, inspired by Mr. Bayless and Frontera. Frontera is resting on it's reputation and on the fact that a new crowd is gathering based on it's chef / owner's more recent media successes. I enjoy visiting - in the same way I enjoy visiting the pizza place I thought was awesome as a 5th grader. For the novelty. They do a great job. They care. They really want you to have a good meal. And spend a lot of money. But somewhere along the way, the spark that made Frontera / Bayless something unique in the restaurant world has been lost. To time. To fame. To the bottom line. To somewhere. Not sure.
Posted by CK on 08/13/2011
I have no words to describe how good everything was
Posted by Mark Segura on 08/06/2011
Being from Chicago and eating Mexican 3-4 days a week, this place is disappointing. If you are from Chgo there are many places that are way better. Extremely over rated. I had chicken tacos husband had a steak. For the tacos bearly any food for $16, steak $36 not worth it. Expect the ceviche (appetizers) to be 3/4 liquid... mind you for $12-14 they are served in martini glasses, you are paying to eat at Rick Bayless, not for the food. Food was very spicy couldn't taste what you were eating. Best bet go to the bar . Great drinks, have chips and salsa and go out for beers somewhere else. Just b/c it's Rick Bayless doesn't mean anything. Much better Mexican in the city. Also, beware of warm beer and a server that never came by once to ask how our meal was. Check out other places. Don't waste time or money on Frontera. Cannot express how disappointing it was.
Posted by Roberta Robb on 10/21/2009
Chef Guarnaschelli, Alex's Day Off said Carne Asada at Frontera Grill was her favorite meal. My husband and I were disappointed. Refried beans is not gourmet Mexican. Way too pricey for the quality of the food. Love Mexican cuisine but this fell short for us. Our tab was $118 for two Carne Asada, 1 appetizer and two beers, two margaritas. We could have had real gourmet for that price. Not a good memory.
Posted by Eldiva on 07/16/2009
Bottom Line - there are way better mexican restaurants in the area AND with better prices. We had to make reservations 2-3 weeks in advance to get a decent time to eat but unfortunately the the restaurant does not live up to the hype. Surprisingly, the food was just ok - from the ceviche, to the queso fundido, the pork tacos, chicken mole to dessert(chocolate ice cream cake and the mint ice cream sundae). We gave it a fair shake but he food for the hype, the wait to get a table and the price is not worth mine or your time. I will defintely not be coming here again and I recommend you also skip it.