I have been having a hard time coming up with lunch places that are nearby that aren’t all my usual standards. I frequent the same 4-5 places for lunch a lot, but I have written them up before, and I don’t want to bore you with all the same places. Most of the new places on my list are a little farther afield, so I have to have a decent amount of time to fit one of them in. So we randomly decided to try Sullivan’s for lunch and see what was up. (Not to mention a reader recently asked for a review.) We have been there for dinner a couple of times, pre-blog days, and to be honest, were never overly impressed, but I heard they have some good lunch specials.
I do like the interior of the restaurant of Sullivan’s. It is a nice open room, with the kitchen at one end, with a nice feel to it. Lots of wood and a large flower arrangement in the center. The place was not that crowded when we got there but by the time we left was pretty busy for a weekday lunch, mostly with business people I think. They have the “business lunch special” which is a pretty good deal—you get a soup or salad and either a small filet, salmon or chicken for $18.00.
I wasn’t in the mood for a straight steak, so I went with the steak salad instead. It was really nice. It was mixed greens topped with crumbled blue cheese, tomatoes, some large chunks of roasted potatoes, a filet cut into fairly large slices, and lots and lots of fried onion strings and blue cheese dressing. I liked that they asked me if I wanted the dressing tossed throughout or on the side. I said both, never trusting they will properly dress it, but in this case they did. The dressing was appropriately tossed throughout and I didn’t really need the dressing on the side (hubby liked it for dipping his fries though). The steak was good quality, and had a great flavor. It was well seasoned and cooked on the rare side of medium rare, which is great for me. There were maybe just a few too many onions on top, as they made it kind of hard to get to the rest of the stuff underneath. But a couple of them in each bite added a nice flavor as well. The only thing on the salad I did not care for were the potatoes. They were too large and too dry inside. On a salad, I liked smaller, less dry potatoes that are maybe blanched instead. Little fingerlings or red potatoes maybe. You had to cut these into smaller pieces and they didn’t really add anything to the salad.
Hubby ordered the chicken pesto sandwich with fries and was a bit disappointed in it. As is the classic problem with chicken sandwiches (in my opinion), the chicken was too dry and there wasn’t enough sauce to balance it out. Just a little bit of pesto on the bun. He thought maybe the restaurant was worried people wouldn’t like too much of the pesto or something, but if that is the case, maybe they could make a pesto mayo or something. He had several bites of my salad and also thought it was very good. Much better than his sandwich.
The thing that annoyed me the most about this place was how slow it was. For a place that sort of seems to cater to business people, you would think they would make sure the food was coming out at a fairly rapid pace. Not so. And our server seemed to disappear for long periods of time. In fact, the manager delivered our meals. The lunch took quite a bit longer than I thought it should. Had I known, I probably could have just gone ahead and gone downtown.
But, all in all, if you want a great steak salad, and you have a bit of time, this was pretty good... When the mood hits me, I will probably go back for lunch and get it again.
3316 East 86th Street