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Chef’s latest? Smoked gator

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Updated: July 28, 2012 6:10AM

When it comes to creating new dishes, Brian Jupiter is all for taking culinary creativity to the limits.

“It’s a learning experience for myself, my staff and my customers when we use crazy ingredients,” said Jupiter, chef of Frontier, 1072 N. Milwaukee .


piter’s “Odd Bit Mondays” menu has yielded dishes such as Buffalo fried pig tongues with watercress salad; bison marrow with bourbon onion jam and crostini, and lamb neck gyros.

“I enjoy really pushing the envelope,” Jupiter said. “We are extremely unique in a great food city, and it’s time for us to be noticed.”

So it’s no surprise Jupiter’s newest entree — a whole smoked alligator stuffed with entire chickens, catches diners’ attention.

Brought in from Louisiana, the alligators are rubbed with spices then stuffed with whole chickens (one to two based, on the gator’s size) and cooked five to six hours in a smoker with apple and cherry woods.

Making a show out of the presentation. Jupiter parades the gator on long cutting boards through the restaurant.

“When we presented our first gator, guests went crazy, leaving their tables and snapping pictures,” Jupiter said.

So much for show and tell; how does the exotic reptile taste?

“The meat is very tender,” chef says, “and tastes like chicken or frog legs.”

The complete meal (whole smoked alligator with Caesar salad; cornbread; duck and andouille sausage jambalaya, and succotash), feeds 8-12. The cost starts at $575, which is based on market price.

Orders must be placed five days in advance and must be reserved with a credit card. Whole smoked pig, lamb, goat and wild boar also are available at market place.

For more information, call (773) 772-4322; thefron

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