Candidates for 9th District field questions at Crosslands

From left are candidates Roger Howard and incumbent Sen. Dominic Pileggi. Photo by Chris Barber

The name evokes a variety of images, from huge cattle ranches to mighty rivers. And those images aren't too far a field from the real reason behind the name Big Fork Restaurant.

Big Fork opened at the end of March in the Shoppes at Olde Ridge Village at Route 202 and Ridge Road in Chadds Ford Township.

Owner and chef Kevin Diskin said he chose the name deliberately for two reasons.

"I wanted an American name and Big Fork, Mont. is very American," he said. But there's more: "I have this image of Teddy Roosevelt forging a new frontier in the west. We're trying to forge new frontiers for the American palate."

There is a touch of western motif to the decoration but nothing to make one confuse Big Fork with a typical steak house -- just a print or two on warm yellow walls and light fixtures on wagon wheels hanging from the rust-brown ceiling. It's a cozy feel for a 50-seat restaurant.

The menu is not typically steakhouse either. Nor should it be.

Diskin is classically trained in French cuisine, a 1998 graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, who later worked at Le Bec Fin and Le Mas Perrier.

Dinner appetizers include crispy duck salad, a white bean ragout with goat cheese and chorizo sausage, smoked salmon tart, a "hot" ahi tuna antipasto and a seafood fritter.

Entrees range from veal, seafood and pork to a Chile-rubbed flat iron steak. Side dishes include saffron risotto, curried red lentils, creamy corn polenta and more.

Beginning this week the restaurant is open for lunch serving soups and salads, sandwiches and lunch plates. The lunch menu includes meatloaf, seafood crepe, egg burritos and steak and fries with grilled hanger steak, herbed mushrooms and white pepper sauce.

Diskin thinks of the restaurant as "medium scale but with upscale clientele." Attire is casual. Jeans and sneakers are fine, he said.

He thinks the menu and atmosphere will be a homerun.

He also wants to incorporate raw ingredients, fruits and vegetables that aid the digestion of proteins and carbohydrates.

Diskin, who lives in Chester Heights, said he's been looking for a place of his own for three years. He likes the Chadds Ford area though he is a little concerned about visibility.

The restaurant is at the far end of the Ridge Road side of the shopping center, the same location as the former Brass Ladle and New Orleans, the most recent and short-lived tenant.

Concerned, but not worried. "We're getting good word of mouth. We just need to market well," Diskin said.

Big Fork is open Tuesday through Saturday. Lunch is served 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Dinner hours are 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, and 5:30-10 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

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