Despite France's complex contributions to the world of cuisine, humble onion soup ― as served in Paris's old Les Halles neighborhood ― is one of its most famous dishes. If you think the impact is slight, consider where California dip would be without a packet of dried French onion soup mix.
The essence of this exalted flavor is nothing more than onions cooked until limp and lightly browned to bring out their natural sweetness. And herein lies the not-so-secret element of culinary whiz Sally McArthur's sumptuous rib eye steak at Seattle's Metropolitan Grill. The onions, cloaked in a delicate cheese sauce, are mounded on a hunk of meat, then finished under the broiler with an additional glaze of cheese. A final touch of broth mingles with the juices as you carve the steak, restating the onion soup connection. Certainly, you could grill the steak, as McArthur does, but browning the meat in a pan, then finishing it in the oven, makes cool-season sense.