EAT This Week: Riva Grill’s French Onion Au Gratin Soup

This week's featured Eat dish is Riva Grill's French Onion Au Gratin Soup.
Robert Galloway/Tahoe Daily Tribune

To try and decide each week where and what to eat around the basin can be a challenge — there are so many amazing choices. In this feature we’ll dive into dishes that will surely satisfy those hunger pangs and leave you wondering where to go next. 

If I were to take a poll of the most popular winter soups, I’d imagine this week’s feature would be near the top. Heck, it might be near the top any time of year but there’s just something about a warm bowl of deliciousness in the winter that puts a smile in my belly. If your belly grins like mine, then this soups for you. 

If you’re a big fan of onions, you probably are already bought into this soup. If you’re on the fence about onions, then I need you to come down and walk with me a bit while I take you through this dish. Afterwards, you can decide if it’s for you. 

The base of the soup is, of course onions. They are cooked down to the point of surrender in a mixture than contains beef base, sherry wine, bay leaves, salt, and pepper (among a few other items). It’s this deep beefy concoction, combined with the sweetness of the onions on which everything else rides into the sunset.  

The rest of the sunset yields two house-made sourdough crostini (or croutons), melted Gruyere, grated Asiago, and a dusting of fresh chives. The pairing of the two cheeses is part of this dish’s super power. Gruyere is best when it gets to showcase it’s melt-y and creamy notes – which is does supremely here. The Asiago provides the punchy parts with sweet, sour, and nutty characteristics. It’s when the two combine, then get layered into the soup when it reaches nirvana. Oh, and the crouton it pretty delicious when it soaks up everything, too. 

This dish is a winter staple (available for both lunch and dinner) at Riva. And, I’m even told that people will come into the restaurant just for this dish. I can absolutely see that – especially with the winter we’ve had. 

Riva Grill is located at 900 Ski Run Boulevard, Suite No. 3 in South Lake Tahoe. For menu and more information, visit them online at or reach them by phone at 530-542-2600.  

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