As the weather turns nasty, I find that nothing thickens the blood and keeps you warm like a gooey bowl of French onion soup. Who knows where to get the best bowl of this amazing concoction in the area. I would prefer Cambridge, but will travel for the perfect bowl. Here are my criteria:
First, the cheese. A thick layer on top, piled high enough that the top can be burnt brown and crispy but there is still plenty of oozing Gruyere below. The crouton I am not too picky about, it always tastes good and I end up using bread from the table to sop up the last drops of broth and scrape the last bits of cheese off the bowl. Speaking of the broth, this should be a dark, strong beef broth, almost over-salty, and made nearly gelatinous by being long-boiled with the starchy, perfectly-caramelized onions. Yes, it's simple, and the best versions I have ever had have been in home kitchens. But winter is coming; it's cold, I'm tired, and I want my soup now.