For me, glamour is an onion. Not just one, but many more than you think you’ll need — thinly sliced, sautéed into caramel, soused in a broth and wine cocktail, dressed with baguette sops, and then all of it tucked under a thick blanket of toasted cheese and christened French onion soup.
That dish was a lot of what made the St. Louis department store Famous-Barr simply “Famous” to the locals. And I learned a lot eating it under their chandeliers, with cloth napkins and water goblets, long before any stand-alone restaurant would have welcomed a child to the feast. It was a world away from the chaos of our extended working-class family gathered around the table to eat and to argue.