Hot Spots: Old Suburban Favorite

By Brian Michael Lawrence

Okay, okay. Let’s get the jokes out of the way first. I dined at The Peppermill last week. Of my own free will. And I’m under 80 years of age.

When I posted a check-in from there on social media, the number of responses I got that included the words “God’s waiting room” were multiple. Well, I’m here to tell you—I had a fabulous meal.

It was a cold and snowy Tuesday evening, which to my mind is the perfect kind of scenario for tucking in at this Baltimore County institution. My dining companion was Jim Burger, former Baltimore Sunphotographer, local writer, and known bon vivant, who first introduced me to the place years ago. Because of the snow, the bar and dining room were considerably less crowded than usual—the place is usually pretty full, mostly with regulars of…yes…a certain age.

In the foyer, a welcoming fire (albeit a gas-supplied one) burned in the hearth. Warm wood paneling is a backdrop for glowing sconces, handsome formal floral arrangements and thick carpeting underfoot.
There are old-school amenities, like a spacious coatroom off to the side, seating in the foyer and a maître‘d station. Straight ahead is the formal dining room. To the right is the capacious barroom, featuring a large three-sided bar and several smaller dining areas.
The overall look is clubby, with hunter green walls, glowing wood paneling, framed prints, etched glass and shiny brass accents. Yes, it appears to be straight out of the 1980s or early ‘90s, but it’s all well-maintained, comfortable and inviting.
The menu is replete with American and Continental classics. Appetizers such as: Oyster Stew, Baked Clams Casino, Shrimp Cocktail. “Lite fare” includes: Lobster Tail, Salmon Florentine, French Dip, Prime Rib, Chicken Marsala, Crab Cakes and Eggplant Parmigiana. Dinner selections include Rack of Lamb, Breaded Pork Chops, Salmon with Champagne Sauce, Filet Mignon, Surf n’ Turf, New York Strip, Calf’s Liver, Meatloaf, and Chicken Parmigiana. Specials include a Shrimp & Crab Louis Salad and Chicken Cordon Bleu. The prices are shockingly reasonable—most entrees in the $15 to $22 range. I truly enjoyed my selection—Chicken Baltimore (boneless chicken breast sautéed with jumbo lump crab meat, fresh mushrooms and mozzarella cheese in a light cream sauce). The sauce was indeed “light,” and a squeeze of lemon gave the whole dish a pleasing brightness.
Of course, as is my custom, I tested the Manhattan and can attest that they know how to make classic cocktails (also quite reasonably priced), though mine could have stood to be shaken more to get it to a frosty state. But, that was a small matter.
On a chilly winter evening, The Peppermill was a perfect place to enjoy a pleasant meal with a good friend while the delicate snowflakes drifted through the nighttime Towson sky.
{The Peppermill, 1301 York Road, Towson/Lutherville}
Brian Michael Lawrence

Brian Michael Lawrence is one of THE Baltimore style experts. After all, he was the longtime editor-in-chief at STYLE Magazine, which specialized in covering everything stylish around the Baltimore area. Brian also served as editorial director for the digital division at Sinclair Broadcasting, and creative director at Blue Sky Design. Currently, he oversees communications & marketing for the department of Tourism, Film & the Arts at Maryland’s Commerce Department.  In his bi-weekly column, you’ll get to see what cool hotspots are piquing the interest of this Baltimore style maven and why - whether it's the fabulous food, cool cocktails or elegant environs.