3617 W. Seventh St.
Fort Worth 76107
Bernard Tronche opened Saint-Emilion in 1985, five years after moving to Texas from his native France. He introduced Fort Worth to classic French cuisine, and transported diners to a relaxed, yet refined dining experience, which is so familiar in France.
Although it now looks like a quaint French country restaurant, the vine covered A-frame was originally an existing home where the commercial end of West Seventh Street slowly dissolves into a residential neighborhood. Tronche transformed the space down to the last detail, including his famous chalk board specials, and traditional touches like table-side preparations.
With Tronche’s clear vision and steady hand, Saint-Emilion still holds precedence as one of the best French restaurants in the Metroplex, after 31 years in business.
Saint-Emilion takes its name from the centuries-old village of Saint-Emilion in southwestern France where Tronche grew up. The ancient vines of the region were first planted by the Romans as early as the second century A.D. Today, Saint-Emilion is one of the principal red wine areas of the Bordeaux region and is renowned for a large number of Grands Cru classified wines. No surprise then that Saint Emilion offers one of the most extensive wine lists in the metroplex with more than 200 labels, and as you might expect, it includes a large assortment hailing from Saint Emilion.
Tronche is not afraid to take some chances business-wise. In 2009, Tronche and longtime Saint-Emilion employee, Francisco Islas, converted a gas station, near the corner of Eighth Avenue and Rosedale Street, into a good gourmet taqueria. Paco and John’s served “elevated Mexican” to an adoring crowd. Tronche mixed uncommon ingredients with French cooking techniques to produce interesting spins like Salmon Enchiladas and Crab Tacos. Various reasons saw the closure of Paco and John’s 2015, but many residents are still mourning the loss of a reliably excellent dining option.
Bernard Tronche has never veered from his vision. His Saint-Emilion has become one of Fort Worth’s crowning jewels and he is well-respected for providing his guests with an authentic and consistent escape to the French countryside of his youth. His welcoming presence and watchful eye ensure diners are always treated to an unforgettable experience. Bernard Tronche is an example that dedication and high standards of excellence are both respected and rewarded. – Courtney Dabney
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
I really never received any advice. I was 26, fairly new to this country and had no family here but my wife of three years so I had to just learn as I went along – make mistakes and try to do better.
What advice would you give to an entrepreneur?
My advice is – if you start a business – you’re going to be involved 24 hours a day. It consumes you so make sure you have the complete backing and understanding of your family. Also, realize early on, you cannot please everyone even though you may try day after day.