Franquette, a French-inspired wine bar in West Sac from the folks behind Canon, has been open a couple of weeks now. I nipped in for lunch last week and was completely smitten with the frisée salad, a tangle of soft, curly greens served with a softly poached egg, crispy lardons and warm Dijon vinaigrette. How does something so simple taste so good? Elena Winks, Franquette’s 27-year-old chef, lived and worked in Paris for several years and remembers the transformative moment she ate frisée with lardons at an inexpensive restaurant in the 10th Arrondissement. “It was not particularly attractive,” she recalls. “But OMG. It was a saucy salad, almost like a soup. So flavorful. With a perfectly poached egg, crispy but fatty bacon and acidic dressing. It’s hard to get right. It’s not the most beautiful salad, but it’s a classic.” For Franquette, Winks re-created that salad—a French brasserie staple—without any twists or tricks. “It’s already perfect,” she says. “You don’t need to put a spin on it.”
Franquette is open seven days a week, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner Monday–Saturday, brunch on Sunday. The menu is very small and highly curated: pastries and coffee in the morning, a jambon baguette sandwich, quiche, soup and a few salads at lunch, and some small plates (including a crock of boeuf bourguignon) at dinner.
965 Bridge St., West Sacramento;