River North meets Logan Square: Not your typical beer dinner

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Monday, February 17, 2014 - 11:32am

The growth of craft beers has led to one of my favorite trends: beers dinners. As the trend spreads across the Chicago, I was surprised and excited to see Sullivan’s Steakhouse and Revolution Brewing join forces.

To me Sullivan’s is deep leather booths, dark wood paneling and white table cloths. It’s the kind of place you would expect to see a group of consultants or lawyers go for lunch at noon and not leave until 3:00pm.

Whereas Revolution is the working man’s beer and I half expect it to be served with a cigarette and a shot of whiskey.

So what could these two groups possibly have in common? More than I thought.

To see and taste firsthand the partnership, Sullivan's culinary team invited me to their beer dinner and I gladly took them up on the offer.

Using Revolution Brewing’s beer list as inspiration, Sullivan’s Executive Chef Jesus Garcia created a five-course menu that highlighted the restaurant’s specialties and surprised attendees with a few unexpected items.  

Throughout the evening guests eagerly enjoyed everything from smoked salmon and tuna tartar hors d'oeuvre paired with Bottom Up Wit to an herb crusted pork tenderloin paired with TV Party Rye IPA and a dry-aged New York strip steak paired with A Little Crazy.

The pairings and execution was nearly flawless and one of the highlights was a beer cheese soup paired with Anti-Hero. In addition to being perfect for the weather, the soup highlighted the robust toasted grain and caramel flavors of Revolution's Eugene Porter.

For those that’s haven’t cooked with beer, a porter reduction has the potential to be a tricky as the process magnifies the flavors, reduces some of the delicate aromas. If done incorrectly, it produces a very bitter result. However, that wasn't the case at Sullivan's. Instead, I think everyone at my table could have eaten three more bowls of it.

By now you’re probably wonder, “Joe where is the food porn (aka pictures)? And what the heck do these two groups have in common?”

First off, I failed to take pictures because the food looked awesome, I was sitting at a table of guys and I wasn’t thinking about you. I’m sorry. It won’t happen again.

Secondly, expertise. For the same reason a group of consultants or lawyers could camp out in the dining room for three hours, a group of beer drinkers and meat lovers spent a Friday night at Sullivan’s.

Both Sullivan’s and Revolution Brewing are at the top of their field!

As someone that sees dozens of prix fixe menus a week – especially around Valentine’s Day – most of what I see is mundane and overpriced. But the Sullivan’s beer dinner was creative and the $65 price was spot on for everything you received.

For the sake of beer drinkers and meat lovers, I hope Sullivan’s Steakhouse continues to host great events like this.


Joe Piehl's picture
Chicago Editor Joe Piehl
Joe Piehl

A TLT contributor since 2010, Joe is the Chicago Editor. Outside TLT, Joe keeps an eye out for awesome activities and he writes a travel blog: Joe the Explorer.

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