In February, Sullivan’s Brings “Fifty Shades” to Life

Jason Yuhasz, general manager of Sullivan’s Steakhouse in Lincolnshire, is offering an appetizer/entree/dessert menu of aphrodisiacs, which include oysters, asparagus, strawberries and, of course, chocolate.

By Ronnie Wachter

Pioneer Press

contact the reporter Dining and Drinking Restaurants


Sullivan’s Steakhouse is tying into the “Fifty Shades of Grey” release with platefuls of enticing ingredients

Lincolnshire: never, ever known for its sexiness.


But fear not, middle-aged suburbanites, because big platefuls of aphrodisiacs are here.


“The process of eating oysters is a sexy event,” explained Jason Yuhasz, general manager of Sullivan’s Steakhouse.


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To celebrate the release of the steamy film “Fifty Shades of Grey,” Sullivan’s is tying together a three-course menu of dishes built around aphrodisiacs. The restaurant has had success with promotions related to the book-turned-movie before — but what started as a one-night fling in 2013 is going quite a bit further this time, and will last most of the month.


“Whether it’s science or whether it’s myth, there are certain ingredients you can eat that, for lack of a better phrase, they give off some libido-inducing qualities,” Yuhasz said.


Especially if the couple opts for the blindfold option. Yes: the meal can come with cloth eye-covers. When one surrenders their sight to their partner, Yuhasz noted, it heightens all of their other senses—taste and smell being pertinent to the meal, touch maybe later in the evening.


“If they want to experience it in that way, they can,” Yuhasz said of eating with blindfolds, which can be taken home, upon request.


First, a spolier alert: If you plan on going in blind, skip forward. For the less adventurous, the “Tempt Your Senses: A Blindfold Dinner Experience” includes:


• An appetizer plate of East Coast oysters on the half-shell with strawberry and mignonette sauce (some cultures have traditionally held both strawberries and oysters are aphrodisiacs)


• The main course, a pair of filet medallions with buttered lobster, topped with asparagus and shaved black truffles (the asparagus and truffles serving as this selection’s agents of romance)


• A banana-and-Nutella bread pudding with white and espresso chocolate sauces for dessert (the banana and chocolate are the keys here)


• To drink, Yuhasz recommends the new concoction that mixes the violet flower with simple syrup


There is no rope-tied-wrists option — that would make eating, or serving a blindfolded partner, a challenge.



Sullivan’s first experimented with “Fifty Shades” two years ago, putting on a one-night theme limited to their bar titled “Fifty Shades of Red.” The staff decorated their bar with “red everything,” Yuhasz said — including a red carpet — then asked visitors to dress in red, “a little more on the sexy side.”


The manager knows his territory, and said he wondered about how buttoned-down Lincolnshire would respond.


“It’s a fairly conservative area,” he noted. “I was a little nervous.”


But he said a surprising number of customers opened up new experiences that night.


“There are always people, in any area of the world, who are like ‘You know what, let’s go try that,'” he said.


And, a bit of research shows, there always have been. Potential aphrodisiacs come from nearly every culture the Earth has known, and have popped up at different points throughout history. The word stems from “Aphrodite,” the Greek goddess of love, but her potions, powders, foods and oils have come from Africa, Asia, the Romans and the Pacific islands.


They started as myths from simpler times, most earning the label simply because of what they look like. Bananas and clams, sure, but moving off Sullivan’s menu, the men of some cultures tried to empower themselves with a large animal’s horn or tusk.


“There’s no scientific method to it,” he said. “It’s about being a little light-hearted.”


Each offering can be ordered individually with anything else on the menu, or put together for $69. The aphrodisiacs will be available until Feb. 20.


“Come in, and loosen up the tie,” Yuhasz said.


What happens with that tie later in the evening is up to each couple.



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