Chef Stefon Rishel’s four-year-old daughter takes after her father’s refined palate. She often enjoys a plate of fresh seafood – especially crab legs – when her dad gets home from long days at his restaurants. At Wishbone & Flynt, you too can choose from a selection of blue crab, tuna, swordfish, snapper, you name it, all sourced from the Gulf Coast. In fact, 90 percent of the food at Rishel’s Fort Worth restaurant is Texas-grown, raised or caught and “hyper-seasonal.”
“Go Texan all the way,” is Rishel’s motto.
Michigan born, Texas raised, and Texas country music bred, Rishel has friends in Steve Helms, Bonnie Bishop and Pat Green. Like Helms’s “Nowhere But Texas,” Rishel’s allegiance to Texas runs deep. Fort Worth is family, and where he’s raised his family. His restaurant is an extension of that. He describes Wishbone & Flynt as a place to celebrate achievements, birthdays, anniversaries; a place to gather. His restaurant concept was about creating an experience that allowed people to celebrate in an approachable and affordable way while enjoying the best Texas has to offer.
Like all great ideas, Rishel’s inspiration for Wishbone came from a first date in his youth, dining at chef Dean Fearing’s highbrow Dallas restaurant. The scene: Rishel, young, sat with his date, praying she wouldn’t order the lobster. Nearby, another diner enjoyed a five thousand dollar bottle of, well, something. When Fearing came ‘round to greet his guests, he treated Rishel and his date with the same esteem as their neighbor, a regular at Fearing’s restaurant.
Rishel has applied Fearing’s lesson in hospitality — and lessons in restaurant management from his mentors at Pappas Restaurants — to everything he does at Wishbone & Flynt, earning him awards like "Best Atmosphere" and "Fort Worth’s Best New Restaurant." For instance, he’s trained his staff to witness the sounds, sights and smells that guests experience from every chair in the restaurant. Is a chair wobbly? Does the kitchen door stay open ajar, leaving a view of the rush behind the scenes? Everything adds to “the orchestra or the ballet,” in Rishel’s words, of the fine-dining experience.
Cater to the needs of every guest, and you win yourself lifelong friends. Rishel loves that about Wishbone & Flynt. On any given day, people can walk in and see ten of their friends. And at the end of the day, a meal with friends is the best kind. Rishel’s restaurant, which he hopes will soon earn the badge of Best Restaurant in Fort Worth, fosters an atmosphere ripe for growing young and old friendships, alongside ingredients that celebrate Rishel’s love of his adoptive home state.
Rishel goes home after long days at the restaurant to spend time with his wife and kids who, no lie, really do love seafood. To find out his parenting heroics, you’ll just have to go ask him yourself. Treat yourself to a drink at The Amber Room, his side-door speakeasy before you sit down to dine.
Here are some recommendations from the chef:
1. PB&J Wings - Thai peanut sauce, blackberry coulis and cilantro
2. PEI Mussels - white beans, Spanish chorizo, tomatoes and white wine
3. Flynt Burger - custom-blend patty seared in duck fat and served with white cheddar, lettuce, pickle tomato and onion
4. Pan Roasted Half Chicken - herbs de Provence, mushroom risotto and swiss chard
5. Lamb Shank Osso Bucco - braised volcano lamb shank, crispy polenta and herb salad
6. Grilled Swordfish Steak - potato and brussel sprout hash, harissa, romesco and pickled onions
7. Wine Dinner at Wishbone & Flynt - Featuring a unique vineyard each time, these five-course ticketed dinners occur on the last Monday of every month. Sign up for the newsletter via the website to know as soon as tickets become available. Claim yours early — they go fast!