Restaurant Impossible Review — Sullivan’s Grill (Fruita, CO) Closed

(Last Updated On: March 20, 2013)

In this mission, Robert is off to Fruita, Colorado to help out a restaurant called Sullivan’s. The owner recently lost her husband and her resturant was suffering, so she definitely was in need of a hand.

Sullivan’s Grill | Click here for the resturant’s website
Sullivan’s started out as a Mexican restaurant, but the owner was looking to turn it into an Irish joint. I don’t think anything on the menu really reflected that. Seems like they were headed that way with the decor but never fully made the change on the menu. What was on the menu was a lot of dishes featuring their green chili. Problem was that their green chili was very soupy and didn’t pack any flavor. The cook didn’t want to take any responsibility for that, said it was just the house recipe. Overall, the cook was being very defensive, when Robert brought up anything she needed to work on.

Another thing that did not look appetizing on the plate were the green beans. They came straight out of a can, so they had that very un-fresh looking green color. It’s very frustrating when you go to a restaurant and you get canned vegetables. Frozen would even be a better option. I think often people overlook the side veggies. I try to make tasty vegetables to go with my meal. I don’t like just plopping something on the plate. If you are low on ideas on how to cook vegetables, try roasting them, that always brings out a nice flavor (try roasting Brussels sprouts).

Robert then challenged her to make any dish she wanted to show off his skills. She came back with a simple ribeye steak and a pretty ordinary salad. Robert went to the kitchen to show that he could turn out a gourmet meal with the ingredients & tools she had at her disposal. A link to that recipe can be found below.

With the owner having to work 80 hours a week, I think she was just over worked, and that is when details can be missed such as losing $18,000 a year on coffee. I think her kitchen staff were lacking some of the training they needed. She did have one cook I turned out a lot of bland food until I learned on how to make flavorful dishes. When I become equipped with the knowledge of how to make food good, what came out of my kitchen was much better.

The Recipes

Braised Pork Green Chili | Click here for the recipe
Robert taught the kitchen crew how to make a good green chili, using fresh ingredients. One of the recipes include pork mixed into the sauce.

Seared Rib Eye, Tomato Pan Sauce | Click here for the recipe
This what Robert made to show the cook what could be done in that kitchen. The sauce for the ribeye includes cranberry juice, something you wouldn’t expect to find in a tomato sauce.

I found reports that Ginny was looking to sell the restaurant. The article I found about this was for a paid newspaper site, so I could only see the preview. A couple other websites are reporting the restaurant is closed – there hasn’t been a new review on any of the popular review sites in months. The website still works but the facebook page does not. I don’t know if she sold the business or just gave up. If anyone has more information I would love to hear from you.

If you want more Robert Irvine recipes, here are some of his available cookbooks:
Impossible to Easy: 111 Delicious Recipes to Help You Put Great Meals on the Table Every Day
Mission: Cook!: My Life, My Recipes, and Making the Impossible Easy

2 Replies to “Restaurant Impossible Review — Sullivan’s Grill (Fruita, CO) Closed”

  1. What a great blog site! Love your reviews and also your recipes. How nice to see a family looking for very healthy ways to feed their children.

  2. Eric Samuelson says:

    Thank you for the kind comments!

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