#DateNight Food & Fashion: Summer Fling at Sullivan’s

Ahhhh summer. Is anyone else completely thrilled that it has finally arrived? I am firmly in the camp that summer doesn’t truly start until we have a string of gorgeous, can’t-stay-inside days. In the Midwest, let me tell you: summer has JUST started.

With all this weather craziness, it hovered around 100 degrees here in the Midwest last weekend. I had absolutely no desire to cook, grill, simmer, saute or any form of culinary effort. When I heard that my fave location for filet, Sullivan’s Steakhouse, had a new summer special, I booked a reservation and booked it over ASAP. The recently introduced the Summer Fling- a signature 6 oz. filet paired with fresh Maine lobster for $45. Surf & turf for under $50? You won’t find that many places, especially with the attention to detail and impeccable service like Sullivan’s has. I’ve said it many times, but they cook the perfect steak to my exact specifications. Sigh. Already planning a return trip for all the food I was too stuffed to order!

I can’t visit Sullivan’s without ordering their signature Knockout Martini: fresh pineapple-infused clementine vodka. This is probably my favorite martini around- not too sweet, not too alcohol-heavy, and I am guessing the name comes from the fact that these can sneak up on you!

We started out with the Crispy Shanghai Calamari- perfectly breaded and fried calamari and cherry pepper bites drizzled in a sweet and spicy chili glaze. It has just the right touch of heat tempered by the sweet glaze.

Next we moved onto Shrimp & Lobster Bisque- a decadent, rich mix of seafood, sherry and cream.

To lighten it up, I opted for the Heirloom Tomato and Buffalo Mozzarella Salad drizzled in aged  balsamic vinegar, pesto and salt flakes.

On to the main course, the Summer Fling! Bart opted to go all out and order his “Oscar Style”- lump crab, asparagus and Bearnaise sauce atop a perfectly cooked filet.

We ordered the Garlic Horseradish Mashed Potatoes as a side to share. This is one of their signature sides, and I make sure to order this tangy twist on the standard mash every time I visit.

For dessert, they had an impressive selection of house-made sweets: from Peanut Butter Black Bottom Pie to Bananas Foster Bread Pudding to S’Mores Mousse Cake, it took every bit of willpower to stick with a frothy cappuccino. I used to wait tables years ago, and noticed that many restaurants don’t actually make their own desserts- they defrost, thaw, or heat up a concoction that comes from somewhere else. At Sullivan’s everything is made in their kitchen, and they don’t even own a microwave.

Want to dine outside? The patio at the Lincolnshire location overlooks a reflecting pond, and offers a secluded destination to enjoy the summer breeze.

As for the fashion on this steamy evening, I pulled out the one pair of shorts (Me, shorts! HA!) that I own. I actually love these- they are from Banana Republic at the Fashion Outlets of Chicago.  I am normally not a fan of shorts because they aren’t the most flattering apparel item, but one of my gal pals threw them at me in the store and I decided to step outside the box a bit. If you tuck a shirt in the front and leave the back out, it gives a more relaxed vibe (as opposed to the “American tourist tucking his t-shirt into his shorts” vibe).

The shorts are a light tweed with metallic thread woven through and only cost $8. I paired it with a skinny gold belt from Old Navy and a silk tank from the Banana Outlet as well (under $10).

I can’t recall where I purchased the earrings I wore to dinner, but the earrings above are from Rocksbox– the jewelry rental site that I adore. If you aren’t familiar with Rocksbox, you select your favorites online and they send you three items at a time to borrow according to your taste. You can keep them at a discount, or send them back to swap for new pieces. At only $19 per month, it is a huge cost savings for me as opposed to buying new jewelry all of the time. Want a free month? Use my code CHERYLBFF54.

The shoes are my splurge but I wear them ALL the time- BCBG Darron Pumps from DSW ($69.95). They look fabulous with these shorts!

Sullivan’s is fairly casual as far as steakhouses go- I felt comfortable in dressy shorts, and would feel equally comfortable in a floaty maxi dress or even cocktail dress. They even had live jazz playing the night we dined, which added to the classy, throwback atmosphere.

Make sure to stop in for their Summer Fling before the season is over! This deal will be available until Labor Day, so make sure to book a reservation ASAP. Cheers!

Disclosure: I was provided with a dinner at Sullivan’s Steakhouse for review purposes. All of my opinions are honest and my own.