Franck Pleissel’s flavor journey has a sweet ending.
One of the first truly impressive new restaurants I ate at in Salt Lake City when I first moved here was Franck’s. I loved everything about it except the closed-circuit TV screens showing the diners what the kitchen was up to—Chef Franck Pleissel’s food was rooted in French experience but American in its irreverence. He dared to put plebian dishes like meat loaf and fried chicken on a haute menu in a stylish setting and the result was unlike anything in SLC.
But every restaurant’s peaks come and go—rare is the establishment that can sustain excellence over years. So Franck’s slipped, and Franck himself left (leaving his name behind).
Late last year, he could be found at Franck’s Angel, a modest lunch spot in Cottonwood Heights, where I enjoyed a typically odd but delectable Pleissel creation, a parmesan creme brulee salad. Three rectangles of yellow custard with glazed crusts rested on a pool of basil crème next to a tangled pile of mixed greens garnished with sliced strawberries. the pot roast sandwich was delicious—a layer of tender braised beef shreds with skinny fried onion strings. And the fries that came with the sandwich were possibly the best I’ve ever had.
But the next thing I knew, Pleissel had split from that venture too.
Pleissel is still cooking. But his focus now is chocolates. Pleissel has always dabbled in chocolates, making them for special clients during the holidays and as gifts. Now the sideline has become the mainline, showcasing the chef’s extraordinary talent for pushing the flavor envelope and making each bite an exotic taste exploration. Exquisite shapes and colors, filled with green tea, coconut, caramel pecan, lemon-lime and other exotica.