I collect Charlemagniana. Friends, family, and generous readers support my fixation by alerting me to Charlemagne-inspired novels, movies, news stories, pop songs, public gardens—any cultural spinoff that amplifies the muffled murmurs of the Matter of France.
Thanks to my friend Kate Marie, I now know where the emperor himself, were he a time traveler, might enjoy a hearty meal: at a remarkable Charlemagne-themed bistro in Weston, Missouri.
If I lived nearby, I’d be a regular. How could I resist such a menu? Turpin’s paella! Eggihard’s sirloin! Roland’s horn smothered in Childeric sauce! I’d take a ninth-century name, don my nephew’s helmet and a rakish Carolingian mustache, and stake my claim to a corner of the bar. Sing, O Theodulf! Bring on the dancing bears! Hel-lo, Gundrada…
Alas, it may be a while before I can partake of this unique neo-Carolingian repast. But Kate Marie and her husband, Sadeeq, are on notice: the next time I drive through the Midwest, we’re meeting there for lunch.
They needn’t worry, though. The helmets and mustaches? I’ll bring enough for three.