There isn’t a sign or an address marker on the Ann Street row house where Peter’s Inn is located. Just open the door and hope that you’re in the right place.

The lack of signage isn’t an effort at secrecy, says chef and co-owner Karin Tiffany. “I just didn’t have enough money to get it,” she said. "People seem to know it’s there.”


Previously, big painted letters spelled out the restaurant’s name on the front of the Fells Point building. But that sign was destroyed in a fire Dec. 28, 2017, while Tiffany and her husband, Bud (they run the restaurant together), were asleep upstairs.

After months of construction and wrestling with insurance companies, the place has fully reopened and is thriving. Owners were helped by $22,000 raised through GoFundMe, a testament to how customers feel about the place.

By the looks of it, Baltimoreans are still very much in love with Peter’s Inn, which was packed tight during a recent weekend visit.

First impressions: The dining room is cozy and personable — with fewer knickknacks than before the blaze. A 233-pound marlin Bud Tiffany caught decorates the wall above the bar. “It still has character, but it’s not as junky,” Karin Tiffany said of the restaurant. “I’m kind of a hoarder. A lot of what you don’t see is above your head.” We were seated in a lovely back room, beneath the serious faces of century-old portraits of Karin Tiffany’s relatives, which survived the blaze.

Must-tries: Our charmingly theatrical server gently guided us through the handwritten menu, offering confident recommendations that we followed like obedient schoolchildren. He raved about the garlic bread, slathered in the restaurant’s own “Streckfus Spread,” a pesto-like mixture of pine nuts and gorgonzola with enough garlic to ward off vampires. We fell in love with a $36 New York strip steak, wonderfully fatty and served with a ribbon of buttery mashed potatoes. “When people come here and pay that much money for a steak, it better be spot on,” Karin Tiffany said. “People tend to take customers for granted.” These days, she doesn’t take anything for granted.

A side dish of creamed spinach ($9.50), with bacon, sauteed fennel and a splash of Pernod, was so decadent that my companion threatened to drink it from the bowl; it initially arrived cold; the kitchen quickly reheated it for us. For dessert, we tried an innovative beet cheesecake that arrived with a chocolate banner that said “Congratulations" on it. We wondered if there had been a mix-up in the kitchen, but Karin Tiffany explained in an email that all desserts come with such kudos, “for absolutely no reason.”

Special touches: Tiffany names all the drinks herself. “I typically come up with these ridiculous names for no particular reason," she said. We ordered “Dolly Parton Is a Goddess.” (As my dining companion pointed out, you can’t not order a drink called “Dolly Parton Is a Goddess,” though the concoction of bourbon and apple cider was too sweet for his taste.)

A note on the menu and website says “RIP -> SGH,” an homage to former staffer Sam Holden, a prominent Baltimore photographer who died in 2014.

Pro tip: We made our reservations via email. Book ahead: no same-day Friday or Saturday reservations are permitted, but the restaurant always keeps a few tables open for walk-ins.

Bottom line: There is something so very Baltimore about Peter’s Inn. The restaurant is brimming with history and character, with a reassuring steadfastness and the resilience to come back from tragedy. Despite whatever imperfections in our meal — the cold spinach comes to mind — it’s hard not to appreciate it. And the steak, as promised, was spot on.

If you go

504 S. Ann St., Fells Point. 410-675-7313. petersinn.com. Serving dinner Tuesday through Saturday. Accepts reservations.