By Pamela Bieri
Sullivan's takes steaks very seriously, perfecting an American steakhouse experience from its polished wood paneling, gold patina lighting, and waved glass partitions, to hand-cut signature steaks, extravagant entrees, and sumptuous seafood. This classic takes its name and theme from the late heavyweight boxer John L. Sullivan whose early 1900s fame launched a manly savoir faire for steaks, cigars, sports, and hand-shaken martinis. Vintage photos of Sullivan’s life and times add charm and authenticity.
Sullivan’s has held court atop the Gardens on El Paseo for 14 years, earning awards for the Best Martinis, Best Singles Bar and Best Steak House. Thick, juicy filet mignons; lavish, buttery New York strips; massive, 18-ounce bone-in Kansas City strips; and “heavy weight” contender, a 22-ounce bone-in cowboy cut rib eye all come with a complimentary sauce or butter topping. Wild salmon simply broiled, bacon-wrapped sea scallops, or ahi tuna steak crusted with sesame and chives are among fresh seafood expertly prepared by Executive Chef Kevin Favinger, at the helm for the past four years.
Sullivan’s also features a “seasonals” menu every four months, and The Sure Thing, a $39 three-course menu available year-round.
Sullivan’s award-winning bar attracts the crowds for happy hour from 4 p.m., and latenight drinks and light dining. Signature martini, The Knockout, blends Svedka Clementine vodka infused with fresh Hawaiian gold pineapple. Classic Manhattans, margaritas, a Napa Collins and blueberry lemon drop are also favorites. The dramatic curved bar, high top tables, and outdoor patio provide plenty of choice seating.
Along the main dining room’s back wall, a massive glass-enclosed wine cellar features 3,000 bottles offering some 300 to 400 vintages from around the world. The cozy Library with its bookshelves, leather booth seating, and subdued lighting, and the private dining room overlooking the Santa Rosa peaks, are other dining options.
Dining room opens at 5 p.m., nightly; bar at 4 p.m.; with live music. Reservations are recommended.
Sullivan’s Steak House
73505 El Paseo, Suite 2600, Palm Desert, CA 92260
• Cheesesteak Eggrolls
• Crispy Shanghai Calamari
• Iceberg Lettuce Wedge — Vine ripe tomatoes, crumbled blue cheese, blue cheese dressing
• Market Fresh Greens, sweet corn, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, and herb vinaigrette
• Garlic Horseradish Mashed Potatoes
• Caramelized Cauliflower, Warm Caper Vinaigrette
• Bone in KC Strip 18 ounce
• Seafood Trio — Salmon Fillet Oscar, Garlic Shrimp Bruschetta Style, Sea Scallops and Truffle Chive Vinaigrette
• Pan Seared Sea Bass “Hong Kong Style,” Baby Bok Choy, Soy Sherry Glaze
• Chili Crusted Ribeye, 14 ounce, Chili Crust, Roasted Red Pepper-truffle butter
• Steak Au Poivre, cast iron crab fries, bourbon and peppercorn sauce
• Bananas Foster
• Bread Pudding — Warm caramel sauce and vanilla bean ice cream
• Coconut Cream Pie — Shaved White Chocolate and toasted coconut flakes
• The Knockout — Svedka clementine vodka infused with fresh hawaiian gold pineapple
• Moscow Mule — Russian standard vodka, fresh lime juice topped with ginger beer
• Stanton Cab
• Amalie Robert Pinot
• Le Petite Cheval Bordeaux
• Haute Cabriere Chardonnay Pinot Blend
• Dunham Riesling
• Vavosour Sauvignon Blanc