Goodbye, Sullivan’s

Maybe the 7-year itch is a real thing.

I put in my notice at Sullivan’s Steakhouse. I’ve been there nearly 2.5 years, but working only once a week for at least six months means this was inevitable. As of right now, Cathy is discouraging me from pursuing more restaurant work and she’s not wrong. I’ve earned a break. I need a break. The restaurant industry has done me more good than harm, yet it’s not getting easier to do the job with each passing year. I have to look to the future and figure out what’s best for my family and myself.

Sullivan’s taught me a lot about steak. Before working there I never knew the difference between T-bone and Porterhouse, dry aged and wet aged, or understood why certain cuts were more popular than others and the advantages of a bone-in cut. I learned a lot about cooking to certain temperatures, and the benefits of broiling over grilling. They also have one of the best vinaigrettes I’ve ever tasted.

Sullivan’s gave me a little more wine experience. I wish it had involved more opportunities to try wine, but I did get a better sense of the labels that are popular and tend to headline most lists, like Caymus, The Prisoner, and Duckhorn.

Sullivan’s also elevated my fine dining experience. As much as spending half an hour detailing a table at the end of my shift is annoying, it was also educational. If I do return to food service, I have more options for employment across the spectrum from casual diner to fancy supper club.

For now, I’m done waiting tables. I’ll miss the family meals, and the discounts, and the free leftovers that fed me well over the years. Thankfully, my own cooking skills have improved enough that I feel more confident about cooking a steak at home, or properly seasoning a meal.

So goodbye, Sullivan’s. I’ll miss the crew most of all. I hope to return with as much frequency as budgets allow, but until then, if you want a really great steak in the western suburbs, Sully’s is hard to beat. Enjoy!