It's not every day a grown woman gets her cheeks pinched by another woman who's tickled pink to see her eating, but then Yvonne Haller is no ordinary French restaurateur.
Alsace, a picture-perfect rural region of rich vineyards, farmlands, soft green mountains and rolling valleys, sits on France's northeast border, next to Germany. Around every bend along the narrow roads are charming villages with winding cobbled streets and neatly painted black and white timbered houses. In summer, pink and purple and scarlet geraniums blossom in gardens and window boxes. Though the region is only 20 miles wide and 100 miles long, its largest city, Strasbourg, has a population of more than 388,000, with a magnificent cathedral, and is home to the prestigious Council of Europe.