Fine Dining in Fishers
Peterson’s celebrates 18 years
When Joseph Peterson decided to open a restaurant in 1999 he had plenty of experience in the corporate world running the family business, Crown Technology, but zero experience in the world of fine dining beyond entertaining clients at high end restaurants over the years.
“I thought by providing the same type of products, service, pricing, etc., that we did at Crown, it would be successful,” Peterson said. “We wanted to be a ‘one of a kind’ destination place in the Indianapolis area.”
Peterson opted to open the eatery, aptly named Peterson’s, in Fishers - which was on the verge of expanding at the time.
“Frisch’s Big Boy restaurant was available and we visualized that great things could happen at this location,” he said.
His goals then and now remain the same - not only to provide the best steaks and seafood in the area, but offer “unbelievable service and ambiance.”
“I wanted customers in the Indianapolis/Fishers area to have a top of the line restaurant to come to and be sure they would always have expectations of ‘Only the Best.’” Peterson said.
That experience starts when customers first walk in the door and are greeted by a “Director of First Impressions.” It continues as they walk into the warmth of the dining area with its high end dark wood, dim lighting and country club atmosphere. Bar seating, two private dining areas and out of the way tables for a romantic evening are also available.
“We want customers to feel relaxed and somewhat casual, but still high quality,” Peterson said. “We also want the customers to leave with even greater impressions so they come back.”
Menu favorites are wide ranging - from Lobster Fingers, Prime Rib Egg Rolls, Crab Cakes or Lobster Bisque to start the meal; to Filet, Rib Eye and NY Strip for the main entree. Popular sides include Au Gratin (a family recipe) and Brussel Sprouts. And, don’t forget dessert to cap off the evening - Peterson’s Sugar Cream Pie is a bit hit, according to Peterson, as well as the Cheesecake and Chocolate Cake.
Executive Chef Dave Foegley changes the menu in the Spring and Fall with features and specials changed about every two weeks. The Chef also takes advantage of locally grown and supplied items, Peterson said.
Then, there’s the extensive wine list - about 450 different selections with a featured wine program with Robert Mondavi. “We have a continuous education of the staff and guests using a monthly wine dinner program,” Peterson said.
In May Peterson’s hosted an Italian dinner with one of the editors from Wine for Dummies and Bryan Huff from Banfi Imports - one of the largest importers of Italian Wine in the U. S.
Peterson isn’t in the restaurant on a daily business but does check on all operations, sales and customer comments with help from his management staff - daughter Carrie Benko, Jeff Buckner, General Manager Bradley Phelps and Chef Foegley.
While Peterson always expected the restaurant would still be going strong after all these years, it hasn’t always been easy. He credits his clientele for continued success.
“Our clientele appreciate great food and service and don’t mind paying a reasonable price for it,” he said. “We all take pride in satisfying them and having them come back over and over. Without their loyalty, we could not have made it this long.”
Don’t expect to see Peterson’s franchised though - Peterson said it’s not something he’s interested in because he wouldn’t be able to ensure the same great food, service and ambiance.
As for the future, Peterson hopes to add private parties, and corporate dinner meetings to grow the customer base.
“We think as Fishers grows, so will Peterson’s. If we can serve at least 50,000 or more customers per year, we will feel blessed,” Peterson said. “When you have your name on the restaurant, you don’t want to disappoint anybody. A simple “attaboy” is good for me.”
By Chris Bavender