50 Shades of Dining

A cheesy adult novel about S&M fantasy isn't the first thing I'd expect to translate to a dinner menu, but I'm not one to judge. As the feverishly popular 50 Shades of Grey prepares for its theatrical release on Valentine's Day, a couple restaurants are serving up aphrodisiacal brunch and dinner menus inspired by the book-turned-film. Leave your... equipment... at home though. 


Sullivan's Steakhouse
Sullivan's Steakhouse. Imagine this blindfolded.

In honor of the film, Sullivan's Steakhouse is hosting a special Aphrodisiac Dinner on January 29. Unlike many aphrodisiac menus centered predictably around oysters and chocolate, etc., this one is unique in the fact that it's a blindfolded dining experience. It's essentially a bit of light S&M with a side of steak. The blindfolds are optional — they won't force you to dine blind — but that's a big part of the fun. Lower your inhibitions and enrobe your eyes. This aphrodisiac menu runs from January 30 through February 20 for Valentine's Day festivities, but this blindfolded experience is a one-night affair. It's a three-course meal that begins with "In the Grey" violet cocktails, oysters, and smoked salmon. First course is king crab cocktail, followed by a choice of pine nut-crusted salmon or a duo of beef filet. Warm banana Nutella bread pudding is for dessert. The price is, fittingly, $69 per person and dinner begins at 7:30 p.m. Call to make reservations. 

Over at Carnivale, the lustrous West Loop restaurant embraces its sensual side with a special "50 Shades of Red" brunch fashion show on February 8. This one is a little more wholesome considering it's a daytime brunch and there aren't any S&M accessories involved. It's also a three-course meal, albeit this one is aligned with a crimson fashion show displaying evening wear and lingerie, all organized to "inspire" guests for Valentine's Day. Mmhmm. Tickets are $45 per person and brunch kicks off at 12:45 p.m. 

- Matt Kirouac