“Anti-French feelings may be high,” says Ron Paul, president of Technomic, a restaurant consulting firm. “But the palate doesn’t play politics. French dining is doing very, very well.”
Sure, the nation’s politics swung anti-French last year when France loudly protested the Iraq war. Sales of French wine hit the skids.
So did business at some French restaurants. But a surprising number of them, particularly on the West Coast, have entered 2004 standing taller than the Eiffel Tower.
Behind this: diners’ growing desire for variety, particularly international fare. In a nation seemingly overrun with Italian and Southwestern outlets, there’s actually a dearth of French fare, Paul says.