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Eats and Drinks

Best Restaurant

Peter's Inn

Michael Northrup

504 S. Ann St., (410) 675-7313

Posted 9/17/2003

Every restaurant would be great if it weren't for customers. All of that pandering to their finicky tastes, babyish preferences, and bizarre dietary needs can suck the marrow right out of the fiercest chefs. The urban oasis Peter's Inn lists six or so items on its chalkboard, and that's that. The menu, which changes weekly, typically includes one appetizer (maybe Thai beef salad in cucumber cups, hope you like it), a seafood or fish dish, something with chicken or pasta, and a steak--a really great steak, prepared, maybe with shallots, peppercorns, and brandy butter. So you pays your money, and you takes your chances, and it inevitably pays off. The food is nourishing and imaginative, but truly not fussy. Co-owner Karin Tiffany runs the kitchen, and the only concessions she makes are to the seasons--if tomatoes aren't looking good this week, they're off the menu; if leeks are peaking, let's use them. How about the soup? Maybe in winter. Dessert? Usually not. The restaurant space itself--a few tables in the front bar, a few more in a square dining room--is a tumble-down affair, not even particularly comfortable. This is not a temple for fine dining (temples are for praying), it's a bar with the most reliably sane kitchen in town.

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Other Awards for Best Restaurant:

Martick's Restaurant Franšais, 9/18/2002

The Helmand, 9/19/2001

Karabelas Cuisine, 9/13/2000

Pierpoint, 9/15/1999

The Helmand, 9/17/1997

Nam Kang, 9/18/1996

All Awards for Peter''s Inn:

Best Restaurant Wine List, 9/16/2009

Best First-Date Bar, 9/17/2008

Best Bathroom, 9/20/2006

Best Steak, 9/18/2002

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