Where are forlorn Californians getting their foie gras fix in the wake of this summer's statewide ban of the stuff? Reno, Nevada would like to volunteer to take their money, please. The Reno Gazette-Journal reports that "Reno could capitalize on a potential tourist draw because California has banned selling foie gras." So what can foie gras tourists expect in Reno?
At this point, only about a dozen restaurants in the Reno area serve foie gras. Nevertheless, Carol Wilson, a general manager at 4th St. Bistro, says that "Right after the ban, we saw a big resurgence of people coming from the Bay Area, and that sort of leveled off, but the holidays are in there, too. People are very happy to come over here and have it." The restaurant currently serves one dish with foie on it. Same goes for Beaujolais Bistro, which also appears in the article.
A representative of the Reno-Sparks Convention and Visitor Authority sees the opportunities, too: "Instead of paying a $1,000 fine, think how far that same amount of money will go on a weekend getaway in Reno, Sparks or North Lake Tahoe." There's also news that purveyors are relocating to the area to sell legally, luring Californians who want to stockpile the stuff.
Even though a California judge recently struck down a petition to halt the ban, restaurateurs have been open about exploiting loopholes and more loopholes, and even staging defiant dinners devoted to the product. So maybe the trip to Reno isn't necessary, so long as you know where to look.