The Fork, pioneer of fresh, local cuisine, celebrates 30 years

Possessive patrons love 'secret' location: This restaurant is so good, customers want to keep it to themselves


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Photos



  • Sharon and Peter Daniel in the dining room (Photo by Anya Tikka)




  • Peter Daniel, who does the cooking, relaxes by the wood-burning stove (Photo by Anya Tikka)




  • Sharon Daniel by the wood-burning stove (Photo by Anya Tikka)




  • The Fork at Twin Lakes (Photo by Anya Tikka)



By Anya Tikka

— If you’re not local, you might miss it.

“There’s something to be said about being difficult to find,” said restauranteur and chef Peter Daniel with an impish smile.

Peter and Sharon Daniel, who run The Fork at Twin Lakes, use only local and fresh ingredients — and have done so long before this practice become fashionable.

“Some of our customers don’t want people to learn about us," said Peter. "They want to keep it to themselves. You can’t just walk by in the street in the rural area. You have to find us.”

With the restaurant now in its 30th year, it seems people have found the place just fine. And the clientele keeps growing.

The secret to their longevity?

“You have to want to be in this business," said Peter. "We serve wonderful food.”

Sharon agreed.

“The restaurant is doing great," she said. "Every year, it gets better.”

The restaurant gets its name because it's at the fork of two roads, Twin Lakes and Woodtown. The restaurant changed its name in 2009. The original name Le Gorrille, which the couple inherited when they took over the restaurant, didn’t go over so well.

Peter does the cooking, and Sharon, the pastry chef, looks after the restaurant. The couple likes to learn new things and make frequent changes. The menu changes daily. A brand-new bar, with its own menu and cozy sitting area complete with a woodburning stove, was added recently.

Garlic from the neighborFrom its very start, in 1986, the restaurant has served fresh, local produce as a natural extension of the Daniels' culinary sensibility. They shop locally and don’t have any of their food delivered.

The grow some of their own vegetables, Peter said, and get all their meat in Pennsylvania. Their fish comes from the Bronx food market, and their cheese from Calkins Creamery in Honesdale.

A neighbor grows garlic and apples. The Daniels are happy to get contributions from the neighborhood.

"Our customers have always been family, and so are the staff, some of whom are second or even third generation working in the restaurant," Peter said.

Peter, attended the Institute of Culinary Arts in Hyde Park, N.Y., loves to cook. He received praise from the renowned James Beard Foundation.

He described his cuisine as eclectic, "a bit of everything," and in the American cuisine tradition.

On a recent day "Small Plates" and "Big Plates" were offered, ranging from Chicken in Black Bean Sauce with Asian Slaw for $12; to Grilled Filet Mignon with Gorgonzola Cheese Crust, Red wine Sauce and Cottage Fries for $38; plus salad and bread baked on the premises. And for dessert it was Hot Buttered Rum for $12, a favorite on cold days, and White Chocolate Peppermint Stick Ice Cream Sandwich Sunday for $9.

'Chefs Do Dinner'The Daniels' now-grown kids once worked in the restaurant. Sharon and Peter live next door, which makes running the place easier.

They are frequent contributors to the community. Eighteen years ago they started, and still are very involved in, the "Chefs do Dinner" fundraiser for the Center for Developmental Disabilities, held annually in March. From 15 to 20 restaurants donate their food and time to this worthy cause. Last year, some 300 people attended. This year's dinner will be held at the Best Western Inn at Hunt's Landing.

The Forks is open for dinner from 6 to 10 p.m., Thursday through Saturday; and 6 to 9 p.m. on Sunday. It is located at 814 Twin Lakes Road in Shohola, about 10 minutes from Milford.

For more information call 570-296-8094 or visit theforktl.com.




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