Walking in to Peter's Since 1969, you're hit with the warm smell of a fire roasting up chickens as the herbs work their magic into the skin. It's a comforting smell, one that makes you ready to pull up a chair to the table with fork in hand and dig in to a hearty meal. And if you're hungry, you'll certainly get a lot of food here.
Peter's is a casual, counter service place, a bit like a modern-day Boston Market, but with a cumbersome mouthful of a name. I tried out the one in Hell's Kitchen that opened not long ago, but the original branch is in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. The restaurant itself lacked much individual character and the dining area was bathed in unappealing yellow lights that cast a sickly pall over us. Though the place was empty, we were greeted by friendly, patient faces as we mulled over the menu options. We could see the chickens roasting on the rotisseries against the back wall and we were offered tastes of anything from several bright red dutch ovens crowding the counter.
All the meals come with two sides, a cup of soup and a mini corn muffin or sweet bun. My dining companion and I ordered a quarter chicken (white meat) with collard greens and mac & cheese and cream of mushroom soup. We also had the homemade meatloaf with mashed potatoes and cabbage salad and chicken vegetable soup. We also tried the mint lemonade, served in mason jars, which was a refreshing choice.
The chicken was strongly flavored with rosemary, but was moist and tasty. The meatloaf, on the other hand, was a bit on the dry side and heavy on the meat flavor, with not much other seasoning. The sides were good —we finished off all of the cabbage salad and the mac & cheese — and the soups were excellent.
While I don't think Peter's will become much of a destination spot, I do think it's a convenient, homey meal near the Theater District.