chicago food

Sullivans Steak House - Attainable Fine Dining in Chicago

Thursday, August 27, 2015 HALFSTACK MAGAZINE

Going out for a fancy meal can be a bank breaker, especially when you're a young twenty-something on a budget. There are times when splurging is on the agenda - a special date, anniversary or new job offer. BUT, who is to say that you have to break the bank and splurge when there are plenty of affordable fine dining establishments in the city of Chicago?

Yes, you heard that right, "affordable fine dining" right here in Chicago. You've heard of all the steak houses in Chicago, but how many of them have you actually frequented? Well, Sullivan's wants to change that. It has established itself as an approachable fine dining restaurant with a fun and elegant vibe. They have an extensive range of pricing on their menu which gives an opportunity to buy up as well as offering budget friendly options for those patrons who are looking for them.

Sullivan's Chicago Bar - Photography by: Dwight Bejec

With true Southern hospitality, the Sullivans team welcomes visitors with a smile and a warm greeting. General Manager, Scott Lohr and our server Mike really emphasized that Sullivans is all about creating a friendly and welcoming atmosphere. They want people to feel like old friends or family being invited over to dinner. This is even evident in the way the serving and house staff work together. The team work is impeccable and at one point there were 3 people working together to get our table prepped for our next course.

Sullivan's proudly serves a well-rounded selection of wine and spirits. Their extensive wine list is a recipient of Wine Spectator's "Award of Excellence" and offers an array of selections from around the world for everyone from the novice to the wine connoisseur. Their book of wines is nearly 30 pages long and while that seems like a lot, they do offer an amazing price range that helps to ensure people can find something suitable for their budget. Their sommelier has an abundance of intricately selected wines from the Napa/Sonoma area, but really enjoys throwing in a twist with wine selections from unique regions. The assortment also allows for beautiful pairings with each meal and the servers are well versed in helping patrons select the best wine to coordinate with their meal. The cocktails are a mix of traditional as well as interesting seasonal mixes. The summer signature cocktail was the "Knockout" that showcased in house hand pressed pineapple and it truly tasted like summer.

Chef Jose Garcia and his team - Photography by: Dwight Bejec

Sullivans is doing a great job when it comes to offering a seasonal menu that utilizes product at the peak of their season when it tastes the best. The summer menu will be ending this month and the fall seasonal menu will be picked up in September. Sullivan's is known for their steaks, but they have an abundant seafood selection that is fresh and beautifully prepared.

White Cheddar Au Gratin Potatoes - Photography by Dwight Bejec
The options for appetizers, dinner and desert are wide and create a variety for different palates and price points. You can go the expensive route or you can find something good at a relatively lower price point. Their appetizers are perfect for sharing. The White Cheddar Au Gratin Potatoes are mouthwatering and the perfect comfort food. Sullivan's shaved brussels sprouts will turn any veggie hater into a lover. Mixed with caramelized onions and bacon, one would never guess that brussels sprouts could taste so good.

If you want to check out the seasonal summer menu before they end it in September, be sure to try the "Summer Fling" which is filet mignon and half a live main lobster. The perfect pairing for a surf and turf. They also had an amazing peanut butter black bottom pie (Salted Peanuts, Caramel & Chocolate Shavings) only on their seasonal menu, but patrons insisted it be kept as a regular item. The warm chocolate cake with raspberry sauce & vanilla bean ice cream with a $10 glass of port was the perfect way to end a meal at Sullivan's. The sweet port paired well with the deep flavors of the raspberry and chocolate.
Peanut Butter Black Bottom Pie - Photography by Dwight Bejec

Warm Chocolate Cake & A Port - Photography by Dwight Bejec

The dry aged long bone 26oz rib eye is the most expensive steak on the menu at $68, but the size of it is perfect to pack up a to go after your meal. Most patrons are not able to finish up this behemoth piece of delectable meat, but they have lunch and a small dinner for the next day. It's almost like you're getting three meals in one - a little secret for the budget savvy person in you. The meat was well seasoned and cooked medium rare to order, the juices settled inside the meat and each bite was savory and filled with flavor.
Dry Aged Long Bone 26oz Rib Eye - Photography by Dwight Bejec

Sullivan's also offers a great prix fixe menu. At $42 the "Sure Thing" menu offers patrons a selection of 1 starter, 1 entree and a soup or salad, all for $42. A great way to enjoy a luxurious meal on a budget. Their bar menu also offers much more price conscious offerings and is a great spot to hit up for happy hour. They offer an array of burgers and bites that are sure to be delicious and filling.  

Interior Shot of Main Dining Room - Photography by Dwight Bejec

The interior of the restaurant gives off an "old world" vibe with modern nuances. Housed in a historic two-story building overlooking Hubbard and Dearborn streets, diners can observe city life bustling below from the main dining room as well as from the private dining rooms for a unique Chicago steakhouse experience.The staff keeps the space impeccably clean including the kitchen. Chef Jesus Garcia runs his team smoothly in the back of the house and puts a lot of TLC into each of the dishes he pushes out to the front of the house. General Manager, Scott Lohr, has been with the company for quite a few years, first working at the Naperville location and then moving up to his current role at the Chicago location. One truly understands the family vibe that has been built into his team and staff and that shows in the genuine care they put into their job.

Large Wine Selection - Photography by Dwight Bejec
Enjoy a Cigar - Photography by Dwight Bejec

If you're a fan of good food, good people and a good time, make sure to add Sullivan's to your list of restaurants to hit up, before the end of the summer. The menu is amazing and truly advocates for attainable luxury. Sullivan's also has live jazz during the week. You can enjoy a glass of wine, a good steak, listen to great jazz and pick up a cigar for the way home. If that isn't the epitome of old world Chicago, I don't know what is.

You can check out the Jonathan Wade, Alex Austin & Michael Gock Duo this Thursday August 27th at 5:30 PM. Sullivan's is located 415 North Dearborn Chicago, IL 60654 and open for dinner from 5:00PM-11:00PM (Mon-Sat) and 4:30PM-10:00PM (Sun). They are open for cocktails: Monday - Friday: 4:00pm - Close Saturday - Sunday: 3:00pm - Close. You can book a reservation online HERE or call:  (312) 527-3510. For the suburban readers - there is also a Naperville location at: 244 South Main Street

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