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Sally Rice / Sally Rice

Dip into a bowl of French onion soup at Danielle’s Creperie

French onion soup chases away the chill

Published: Thursday, Jan. 30, 2014 - 10:57 am

For the past few weeks, we’ve been tracking down some of the best bowls of soups served at restaurants here and there, to help chase away the winter chill. For instance, the chicken tortilla at La Rosa Blanca in Folsom (, the duck noodle at Siam Patio in Fair Oaks (, the wor wonton at Lotus 8 in Folsom ( and the spicy noodle at Sushimono in Fair Oaks (; be smart and add prawns).

More will follow, starting now with the French onion soup at Danielle’s Creperie at Arden Town Center in Sacramento, at the intersection of Watt Avenue and Fair Oaks Boulevard. We found the soup on the menu among the crepes, pate, smoked salmon and quiche; it’s $5.59 for a 10-ounce bowl, $6.59 for 16 ounces. Don’t think twice about which one to get.

“Our French onion soup is what we’re most know for, especially during the winter time,” said owner Aaron Phillippi. “We take a lot of pride in its preparation and we’ll put it up against anybody’s (version).” One indicator of its quality is the sales figure — 20 to 50 bowls a day, year-round.

“The broth starts by cooking 100 pounds of onions for five hours,” Phillippi said. “As the onions cook down, they create a liquid by themselves. We add red wine, beef consomme (made from roasted beef bones) and bay leaf. We put croutons into each bowl, which basically are used to hold up the cheese we bake on top. It’s Holland gouda, with a little bit of Swiss gruyere mixed in for more taste. We put each bowl under the broiler for five minutes to melt the cheese.”

This is the best French onion soup we’ve encountered in our restaurant travels. The broth is rich, not oversalted and not overloaded with onions. The cheese is plentiful, chewy and gooey. How about seconds?

While we were there, we also tasted a luscious mushroom and Swiss cheese crepe ($7.99). Be sure to ask for sauteed mushrooms, or you’ll get them raw. Also, request that it be served really hot. Now you’ve got something.

Danielle’s Creperie: (916) 972-1911,

Call The Bee’s Allen Pierleoni, (916) 321-1128. Follow him on Twitter @apierleonisacbe.

Read more articles by Allen Pierleoni

About Appetizers

Chris Macias has served as The Sacramento Bee's Food & Wine writer since 2008. His writing adventures have ranged from the kitchen at French Laundry to helping pick 10 tons of zinfandel grapes with migrant farm workers in Lodi. Chris also judges regularly at food, wine and cocktail competitions around Northern California. His profile of a former gangbanger-turned-pastry-chef was included in Da Capo's "Best Food Writing 2012."

Read his Wine Buzz columns here
(916) 321-1253
Twitter: @chris_macias

Allen Pierleoni writes about casual lunchtime restaurants in The Sacramento Bee's weekly "Counter Culture" column. He covers a broad range of topics, including food, travel, books and authors. In addition to writing the weekly column "Between the Lines," he oversees the Sacramento Bee Book Club, in which well-known authors give free presentations to the public.

Read his Counter Culture reviews here
(916) 321-1128
Twitter: @apierleonisacbe

Blair Anthony Robertson is The Sacramento Bee's food critic.

Read his restaurant reviews here
(916) 321-1099
Twitter: @Blarob

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