I've live my whole life in California, and smoking in restaurants is little more than a childhood memory for me. I've been thinking about doing some culinary travelling in Europe and the States. I was wondering, do people still smoke in nice restaurants? I'm not talking about dives or diners. I'm talking about 3 stars and high end bistros in France, Spain and England, nice steak houses in Vegas, etc. To me, it seems absurd to spend a few hundred dollars on a meal if everything is going to wind up tasting like an ash tray.
I'm not trying to start a flame war on the politics of smoking bans, etc. I'm really just looking for information. How prevalent is smoking in restaurants in France, England, Italy, Greece, Vegas, Chicago, NYC and any other culinary destinations? Are there non smoking sections? If so, are they adequately seperated or does the smoke still flow in? And do they really allow smoking in Michelin 3 stars? If so, I think I'll have to stay in SF.