Where to eat in Fort Worth, Dallas: Chef Jon Bonnell

Jon Bonnell opened his award-winning hometown restaurant, Bonnell's Fine Texas Cuisine in 2001, and Waters Bonnell's Coastal Cuisine, in March 2013 to rave reviews. He has authored three best-selling cookbooks and is a regular on American TV. See bonnellstexas.com.

WHAT'S YOUR FAVOURITE TABLE IN FORT WORTH ?

I'm a big fan of the crew over at Ellerbe Fine Foods. The menu stays simple, seasonal, true to our local flavours and farm-fresh ingredients. Very impressive wine selections and a very comfortable, relaxed, yet slightly upscale setting. Seasonal and local to the core. See ellerbefinefoods.com.

WHAT'S THE LOCAL FOOD DISCOVERY OF THE PAST YEAR?

A brand new spot called Righteous Foods just opened up a few months ago. The owner is no stranger to the local scene. His family has run the largest and most well-known Tex-Mex restaurant for over 80 years. Chef Lanny attended the Culinary Institute of America and worked in some very prestigious restaurants, a far cry from the familiar enchilada dinners that his family is so affectionately known for. In his newest gig, Righteous Foods has taken on a healthy approach and sources every single ingredient from organic, natural and wholesome producers, even down to the alcoholic beverages. All fresh juices, totally wholesome ingredients and a health-conscious attitude make this a truly Righteous destination. See eatrighteously.com.

WHAT IS FORT WORTH'S BEST-KEPT FOOD SECRET?

There is so much more to the food scene in this town than barbecue and Tex-Mex. We might be known for steak in "Cowtown", but the fine dining around here has taken off in the past few years. Chef-owned and operated independent restaurants have been taking bold steps in many directions. 

WHERE IS YOUR FAVOURITE PLACE TO GO ON A DAY OFF?

On the few days I actually take "off", I love to get away for a run or bike ride along the Trinity Trail System. It's a great way to see a lot of the city while getting some exercise and bikes for visitors can even be rented in many different locations throughout the city. See trinitytrails.org.

FAVOURITE INDULGENCE IN FORT WORTH?

Every once in a while I just need a big steak, probably a rib eye. Grace or Reata Restaurant does them perfectly for me. For dessert, the Black Forest cake from the Swiss Pastry Shop is nothing short of legendary. See Gracefortworth.com; reata.net.

WHAT SHOULD A VISITOR AVOID, FOOD-WISE, IN FORT WORTH?

When visiting Fort Worth, it would be a crying shame to settle for chain restaurant dining. With so many local and independent hotspots to choose from, just keep looking for the gems in the city and avoid the flashy commercial stuff. 

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