Rich, silky, soul-stimulating French onion soup is finally in season.
15034 N. Scottsdale Rd., Scottsdale, 480-603-0922, zincbistroaz.com
Do onion soup right and you have a pièce de resistance. Do it wrong and you’ve got soggy, salty chaos. What’s the secret? Most chefs say the key lies in caramelizing the onions to a deep golden brown. At Zinc Bistro, Chef de Cuisine Hussein Martin makes a steaming crock of onion soup gratinée (pictured, $14) laden with caramelized jumbo white onions in a house-made half-chicken, half-veal stock broth laced with sherry and brandy for both acidity and sweetness. Cooked low and slow, the soup is finished with a dash of Worcestershire and soy to bring out the essential caramelized element. Martin tops it with a toasted French baguette crouton covered with nutty Gruyère cheese, and melts it under the broiler until the cheese oozes around the tureen.
Merci French Café & Patisserie
7620 E. Indian School Rd., Scottsdale, 480-947-2777, mercifrenchcafe.com
Chef-owner Duc Liao says he prepares his onion soup au gratin ($8.50) by following the traditional French preparation of caramelizing the onions in oil and mixing them with a bouillon made from chicken and beef bones, pepper, sage, French herbs and a splash of white wine. “Everything is simple and classic,” Liao says. His version of the French favorite is a little lighter, with subtle, herbaceous notes. To serve, Liao tops the aromatic soup with bread made in-house using organic, non-GMO flour, then covers the bowl with Gruyère and Swiss cheeses, torched into a blistered, molten golden crown.
Coup Des Tartes French Bistro
1725 E. Osborn Rd., Phoenix, 602-212-1082, nicetartes.com
Coup Des Tartes’ French onion soup ($9) veers a little from the traditional, says owner Ron Pacioni. “We like to take a French preparation and twist it a little bit,” he says. Executive Chef Jose Hernandez uses only chicken for his stock and, along with the customary ingredients, adds the juice of two lemons, fresh cilantro and a dash of red pepper flakes for a little kick. Hernandez tops the rich and dense onion soup with French baguette toast points slathered with melted, bubbling Gruyère cheese. Bon appétit!
No Bones About It?
Served whole or filleted, branzino makes a splash in metro Phoenix restaurants. ...
Upscale Valley restaurants solve the riddle of the griddle ...
Modern Egg Rolls
Valley restaurants offer new takes on an American original. ...
Light, fluffy French pancakes rise to cuisine status in Valley restaurants. ...
Slurp your way to summer relief with these chilled ramens, sobas and vermicellis from Phoenix restaurants. ...