Back in January, we traipsed over to Peter’s Inn for a delicious and unexpectedly gourmet meal. Not to be confused with Pete’s Grille, the tried-and-true breakfast joint on Greenmount (which, by the way, is also worth a visit), Peter’s Inn is an eclectic award-winning restaurant on South Ann Street in Fells Point. It was rated among Baltimore’s Best Restaurants in 2012, and after our meal here we can see (and taste!) why. The fact that we haven’t been able to get this dining experience out of our heads over month later is a testament to how much we enjoyed each dish!
Every aspect of Peter’s Inn adds to the unexpectedness of their gourmet dishes: their ever-changing menu, their diverse crowd of diners, the fact that they don’t take reservations, their live-in owners, the random decor and their food that prompts an unanticipated degustation. These surprises and unique qualities, in our opinions, are what bump Peter’s Inn toward the top of the list. The menu changes weekly save for a few signature dishes including their salad, tuna nachos and steak. We always love a restaurant with a changing menu because it means, no matter how good the restaurant, you know the food is fresh.
The changing menu, in the case of Peter’s Inn, also means a short menu, which helped us narrow down our few favorite dishes in no time. We decided on the Baby Kale Salad with blue cheese, lardons and dried cranberries, Seared Scallops with parsnip purée, scallions and bacon, Tuna Nachos with avocado, beets and seaweed salad with a wasabi sauce, and finally a classic Filet Mignon with mashed potatoes and vegetables (yes, friends, it was just the two of us eating...we were famished). The baby kale appetizer started off the meal strongly; the sweetness of the salad dressing and dried cranberries mixed with the bitterness of the kale, the intense flavor of the blue cheese and the saltiness of the lardons (cubes of bacon) made this a incredibly succulent salad.
Next came the steak, scallops and nachos. The presentation of the entrées was exceptionally formal, which we soon discovered was extremely appropriate given the refined flavors of the dishes. The steak was a rather traditional filet mignon with puréed mashed potatoes and flavorful vegetables (we suggest combining the meat, the potatoes and the vegetables in one bite to optimize taste). The scallops were seared to perfection atop the creamy, surprisingly sweet, parsnip purée. Similarly with the kale salad, the bacon in this dish was a nice compliment to the sweetness of the rest of the plate. The tuna nachos had a similar level of diversity in its flavors, but the Japanese essence of this dish was a complete flip from the scallops and steak. The textures, specifically the crunch of the nachos combined with the tenderness of the tuna, made it our favorite entrée of the evening. After completely cleaning the plate, we realized why our waitress told us that she has ordered this dish every time she has dined at the restaurant (even before she worked there!). We were so transported by our entrées, that whenever we lifted our heads from our plates, we forgot we were, in fact, eating in a pub.
Dessert was another simple decision for us, there was only one option: Pot du Crème (chocolate, French custard) with blackberries and ice cream. It was a very straightforward dish, also elegantly presented and just as tasty as the entrées we inhaled moments before. Needless to say, we licked the ramekin clean.
The crowd is as diverse as its menu. During our meal at Peter’s Inn, we were surrounded by a number of first daters. Perhaps it is the intimate tavern setting that draws these new couples in. The rest of the restaurant is made up of old-faithfuls as well as what the restaurant itself refers to as “motorcycle enthusiasts.”
Whether you’re looking for an intimate, yet casual location for a first date, or your just looking to have a fun night with friends (we’ve heard their wine glasses are quite generous), we guarantee you will be pleasantly surprised by Peter’s Inn. Don’t be fooled by the old-fashioned exterior, the food served inside Peter’s Inn is as state-of-the-art as you can get.