The Paris I’d dreamed about was gone. Despite re-reading Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Stein. And Alice B. Tolkas’ cookbook. Despite revisiting Miro’s and Picasso’s and Brancusi’s art. Gone. I wandered down Rue Odeon hoping to breathe in a misty past. Just blank windows. Grey and tan and khaki buildings. And me, looking upward at the skeleton of Sylvia Beach’s original book shop.
The bistros that artists once inhabited still stand. Disney-fresh, their chalkboard menus blare severely inflated prices at unwitting tourists. No scent of Hemingway’s ghost at Brasserie Lipp where I’d planned on that meal from A Moveable Feast. He could not have afforded it today. I stood across the street and tried to squint the past into view.
“… the pommes a l’huile were firm and marinated and the olive oil was delicious,” he wrote. “I ground black pepper over the potatoes and moistened the bread in the olive oil … I ordered another serving and a cervelas. This was a sausage like a heavy, wide frankfurter split in two and covered with a special mustard sauce…”
French food authority Patricia Wells calls this “an old-fashioned bistro dish…” She recommends “the best quality precooked sausage you can find.” She gently urges the cook to make the mayonnaise from scratch, and serve a “tossed green salad placed on the same plate.” And the essential sliced crusty baguette
HEMINGWAY’S SPECIAL MUSTARD SAUCE FOR SAUSAGE Remoulade Makes 4 servings
1 cup mayonnaise, preferably homemade
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard, or more to taste