Writer / Christy Heitger-Ewing
Photographer / Justin Sicking

Peterson’s, a family-owned, award-winning restaurant, is celebrating its 25-year anniversary. The restaurant came into existence because Joe Peterson, a chemist by trade, used to travel around the country for his local business and would often entertain clients at high-end restaurants.

“I’d be so disappointed in the service, the food, or the pricing that I thought, ‘If I were ever involved in a restaurant, I would cater to the customers and treat them right,’” says Peterson.

Although he had no experience in the culinary world, he bought and remodeled the old Frisch’s Big Boy building, hired a top chef, assembled a qualified staff, and opened Peterson’s in March 1999.

“I wanted a place for people in Fishers and the northside of Indy to have a delicious steak or seafood meal, complete with exceptional service and wonderful ambiance,” he says.

People often frequent Peterson’s to commemorate a special occasion such as an anniversary or a birthday.

“If you really want to entertain someone or celebrate with friends and family, this is a great place to go because you won’t experience any surprises,” says Peterson, who has 50 employees, some of whom have been working there for 22 and 23 years. Peterson’s is open Monday through Saturday for dinner, as Peterson wants staff to have time with their families on Sundays.

He notes that the recipe for a wonderful dining experience is superior service followed by tasty food and nice ambiance, which includes cleanliness, dim lights and soft music.

“People don’t realize that you have to have everything together,” he says. “You can’t just have one good thing and two bad things, or even one bad thing. People are paying good money, so they deserve to have the very best.”

One of their popular appetizers is the Maine Lobster Tempura Fingers, which are served with honey mustard, peppercorn-infused drawn butter. They are also known for their juicy, flavorful steaks; the eight-ounce Center Cut Filet Mignon is their top seller, served with house-made au jus. The JCP Center Cut Double Filet Mignon is a 14-ounce filet named after Joe Peterson. Their dessert specialty is homemade bread pudding, which includes vanilla bean ice cream and Chantilly cream.

The menu also includes some family-favorite recipes that go back decades, such as the au gratin potatoes with crispy applewood smoked bacon. They also occasionally offer sugar cream pie that’s rolled by hand to make it crumbly and moist.

Petersons Restaurant Bar“You’ve got to offer some options that people can’t get at other places,” says Peterson.

Bartenders create specialty drinks that regularly win local Indy competitions. Plus, the restaurant team takes pride in having the best wine list in the Indianapolis area. They have more than 400 wines in stock and have won Wine Spectator’s Best Award of Excellence for nearly 25 years. Other honors include OpenTable Diner’s Choice awards, as well as inclusion in Indianapolis Monthly’s Best Restaurants and Favorite Steakhouses listings.

Peterson’s favorite part of restaurant ownership is hearing the comments from satisfied guests like Dr. Michael Meneghini, who has been a loyal patron of Peterson’s for 15-plus years.

“It’s family owned, and you feel it the moment you walk in the door,” says Meneghini. “The service is impeccable and many of the amazing staff have been there for as long as my wife and I have been patrons. The food is absolutely outstanding. Peterson’s is my favorite venue in Indy for a business dinner, an evening out with friends or a date night with my wife.”

Eric Vorm, a frequent guest at Peterson’s, calls it his absolute favorite restaurant.

“The food is always fantastic, and no matter what I order, I’m always delighted with my meal,” says Vorm. “Servers are great and always efficient, happy and polite.”

Mike Bush has selected Peterson’s for his company Christmas party several years running.

“From the time you’re greeted at the door to sitting at your table – or at the bar, my favorite – the service is unparalleled,” says Bush. “It’s hard to find better service, and variety of top-shelf food and cocktails in a warm and friendly atmosphere.”

Although it was a risky endeavor to open Peterson’s 25 years ago, Peterson says he and his wife, Marilyn, with whom he has four children, take great pride in the restaurant’s reputation for “only the very best.”

“She was apprehensive back when we first opened,” says Peterson. Marilyn, a retired nurse, knew that it’s tough to make it in this industry. She’s learned to trust me and the people I hired.”

He credits the restaurant’s success to his knowledgeable staff and to having a good location in a growing city.

“Twenty-five years ago Fishers was a small little one-horse town and now it’s a growing, top city,” says Peterson, who also owns other commercial properties in the area. “There’s a lot of traffic coming off the interstate so people find us by accident, but most people come here because of word of mouth. People try us, like it, and post about it on social media.”

To celebrate the restaurant’s 25th anniversary, they plan to hold several special anniversary events in April. It’s a way of saying thank-you to their faithful guests.

“The celebration will be centered around our loyal customers, not us, because our success is all thanks to them,” says Peterson.

Peterson’s is located at 7690 East 96th Street in Fishers. For more information, call 317-598-8863 or visit petersonsrestaurant.com.


2024-01-30 Petersons-68

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