*Sponsored post-while I was given a complimentary meal, all opinions in this review are my own.
I am calling this Sullivan’s Steakhouse Experience because that is exactly what this was-a dining experience. When you walk in, you are greeted by a smiling group of hostesses, who quickly sat us at our table that is located in a dark but well lit open space that can only be described as old school meets modern chic. As a blogger, first impressions are everything when writing a review, and they did well right off the bat. On this particular evening I had been invitved, along with my friend Melanie, to see how the stone crabs were prepared and for her to try them as she is a seafood fan. As I took pictures of Chef Desmin cracking open these amazing look claws, dark black at the tips, bright pink and white where the meat is, we found out that the stone crabs are flown in fresh weekly, served within 3-4 days of delivery. One thing that surprised me was that you eat the stone crab cold, they are kept on ice until they are cracked. Chef expertly cracked the stone crabs open, sharing his knowledge and appreciation for this delicate seafood along the way.
Once seated again after enjoying the prep of Melanie’s four stone crabs, our server Melissa gave us a little history on the restaurant, menu, and herself. With Sullivan’s since they first opened 7 1/2 years ago, Melissa is the corporate trainer for the staff-a tidbit of information that seemed to fit and make sense at once. Melissa knows her stuff, down to the wine to pair with each dish (white wine for the stone crabs, Shiraz for the filet I ordered). Growing up around food, you can tell that Melissa is passionate about food, the flavors of wine with meal, and what she does for a living. On her suggestion we started with their signature martini, the Knockout. This drink is off the charts delicious-Svedka clementine vodka infused with fresh Hawaiian gold pineapples. This drink makes you feel like you are at the Oscars, sipping away while you wait to hear if you won the coveted award.
The stone crabs arrive, served with a side of dijonaise, the common dipping sauce for this delicacy. The meat, sweeter than regular crab, is tender and juicy, hearty and full of flavor. The dish that we came here to review not only meets, it exceeds expectations-now we realized why they are such a big deal (because they are a big deal).
For appetizers we had cheesesteak eggrolls, which can only be described as a unique play on an Asian dish that just works. Cheesesteak filling, sweet and spicy chili sauce, along with honey mustard make this a play on two dishes that work as one. Melanie had the Shanghai calamari, which she mentioned was not rubbery which can be a problem if not cooked right. She said it was sweet and sour, another Asian flavored dish that worked just right.
One sign of a good restaurant in my opinion is the bread-you need it. Sullivan’s has warm bread, brought out in loaves, served with simple butter that had me going back for a few more slices. A+ guys.
For our main courses, I went with an 8 oz filet, well done (I know, I know) with a bourbon peppercorn sauce and a gorgonzola garlic butter-a marriage of perfection, my steak was tender and buttery, juicy and simply flavored like a delicious steak should be. Shiraz is simply the perfect wine for this cut of meat, it’s not too dry, not too sweet, and went down like water. Melanie went with the trio of filet, old school style with one filet covered in bernaise and accompanied with lump crab and asparagus. She couldn’t stop raving at home perfectly medium rare her steaks were, and how amazing the toppings were. We went big and had the baked potato, dressed tableside with bacon and butter-and it didn’t disappoint, the size is perfect for sharing, if you are a nicer diner than I am! The three cheese mac and cheese, covered in garlic breadcrumbs makes my homemade mac and cheese seem like it’s from a box. Using big shell noodles, you have the crunch topping, the creamy inside, served in a cast iron dish. You can never go wrong with cast iron. Bubbly goodness is what we called it.
To finish off our meal we made the decision to find room for dessert-a smores mousse cake and a warm chocolate cake with raspberry and topped with vanilla ice cream. I can’t with this-and by I can’t with this, I mean we ate it all. The slight smokiness flavor comes through in your first bit of the s’mores cake, with it’s graham cracker crumbs and chocolate ganache. It was the P Diddy version of a campfire smore. The warm chocolate cake was like silk, marrying just right with the raspberry sauce and vanilla ice cream. It all melts together and you get a harmony of flavors when you take a bite. Normally I skip dessert, but this is a place that I will always leave room for more.
You feel right at home, you are made to feel like Janelle and Melanie, not table 14. The staff comes through to check how you are, the servers work in harmony, clearing plates, bringing food, and refilling drinks on cue. I felt very 1930’s, when going out was a treat, and an experience. If you are looking for great food, amazing staff, delicious pairings and awesome wine, try Sullivan’s. Take some friends to happy hour, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays are Swinging at Sully’s with special drink prices, a bar menu of food, and live music. In this day and age of rushing, instant gratification and nameless faces, it’s a breath of fresh air to find a place that makes you feel like you belong, you should stay as long as you like, and you will go back. For prices, hours, and menu, check out their website: http://sullivanssteakhouse.com/