Indy’s Great Steakhouses: Peterson’s

The Multitasker
Stylish mahogany trim and plush leather booths exude a polished elegance that helps this dimly lit, far-northside veteran toe the line between fine restaurant and broad-shouldered steakhouse. The Peterson’s menu embraces an equally sophisticated selection of sauces and enhancements longer than the actual list of steaks itself. So go ahead and fatten up your filet with the tangy crunch of a bacon–and–bleu cheese crust or the earthiness of foie gras. In fact, Chef Ricky Hatfield fancies a little adornment in his kitchen. Every cut, whether the marbled ribeye or the New York strip, gets dressed up with a custom blend of salt, pepper, paprika, and sugar before developing a gorgeous char in the broiler. Then a rich cabernet veal jus (which is simmered for three days) gets drizzled onto “unenhanced” steaks.

If you still haven’t surrendered your fork after the main course, pastry chef Hattie McDaniel’s ethereal dessert selections are no sideshow. Try the towering chocolate cake: It practically hops off of the fork and into your mouth. 7690 E. 96th St., 317-598-8863,

Price per ounce of the small filet: $4.75

Largest steak on the menu: 26-ounce Brunette Downs grass-fed tomahawk ribeye chop

Grade of meat: USDA Prime for the New York strip and ribeye; USDA Choice for the filets

Aging process: Mostly wet-aged for 28 days

Wines by the bottle/glass: 450/26

The deal: Half-price bottles of wine and $1 oysters on Mondays

Most-famous customer: Mitch Daniels has his own table and comes in once a week


We love steak, any way you slice it. In Indianapolis, there’s a steakhouse to cater to every occasion and level of sophistication, and after months of dining like wealthy cavemen, we present them to you here, in juicy detail. A la cartes include a primer on the king cuts (for those who don’t know a porterhouse from a portobello), tips on the best cheap chops in town, a cattle call of beefy terms, and a stab at defining that common condition among steak-lovers—the meat sweats. You want a piece of this? Dig in.