With almost twenty locations across the country, Sullivan’s Steakhouse is one of those restaurants that is reliable, comfortable, and tried-and-true. With a menu that never changes, save for a few specials or a promotional menu, patrons know what they are going to get when they visit Sullivan’s, and that is likely why they keep going back. In a city with no dearth of steakhouses, Sullivan’s has learned to survive while others have not. It is a likely combination of consistent food, good service, great location, and reasonable prices that has kept them in the game.
My husband and I actually had our first date in the bar at Sullivan’s, so it holds a special place in our heart. We had the opportunity to return for a pre-Valentine’s Day dinner, and we were eagerly looking forward to it. I typically avoid restaurants around Valentine’s day because of dining rooms made up of tables of two, and Sullivan’s was no different. We were brought upstairs into what felt like the overflow section, and were seated at a nice table by the window. It was only a matter of time before the entire room was filled with couples.
Sullivan’s was offering a number of special menus that evening – a Fifty Shades of Gray-inspired aphrodisiac menu, a $42 prix fixe menu, a $59 Valentine’s Day tasting menu, and, of course, the standard menu. Between these menus, there was something for everyone in every price range. I chose to order from the Valentine’s Day menu, and my husband from the regular menu.
We began with the seafood tasting for two, which was offered on the Valentine’s Day menu. It offered 4 jumbo shrimp, 2 oysters on the half shell, and 2 ounces of seared rare ahi tuna. Along with my glass of Champagne, the cold seafood was a nice way to start the meal.
I then enjoyed the market fresh greens, served with sweet corn, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, with a nice vinaigrette dressing, though I was envious of my husband’s iceberg lettuce wedge with tomatoes and blue cheese crumbles.
For our entrees, I elected to go with the 1 pound lobster tail, and it did not disappoint. The meat was succulent and nicely cooked, and all it needed was a squeeze of lemon which balanced nicely against the sweetness of the lobster.
My husband really enjoyed the pan-seared sea bass “Hong Kong style” with baby bok choy and a sherry soy glaze. Typically, the addition of soy can make the dish overly salty, but that was not the case with this entree, as the sweetness of the sherry took away from the saltiness of the soy. It was a definite winner.
No visit to a steakhouse is complete without the side dishes. We stuck to healthy options and ordered the shaved Brussels sprouts, with caramelized onions, as well as grilled asparagus. Both were excellent, and light enough to allow for dessert, as well.
For dessert, I ordered the key lime pie with raspberry sauce. I was looking forward to a nice refreshing and tart custard with a buttery graham cracker crust, but I was a bit disappointed with Sullivan’s iteration. The filling was dense and a bit heavy, and the crust was quite thin and lacked that great graham cracker taste.
My husband had more luck with the bananas foster bread pudding, with caramel sauce and vanilla bean ice cream. It was warm, decadent, perfectly moist, and satisfying. Definitely a great end to the meal.
We had a lovely dinner at Sullivan’s, and were both pleased with our meal. Service was good, but our server was clearly new or brought in to cover the extra tables due to the Valentine’s Day rush. Sullivan’s is still a reliable restaurant in the bustling River North neighborhood, and a great spot for after work drinks, a comfortable dinner, or even a group event in a number of the private rooms. Sullivan’s is open for cocktails and dinner seven days a week, and reservations are accepted.
415 North Dearborn, Chicago, Illinois
While my meal was complimentary, all opinions expressed herein are my own.