Went to a cool restaurant in Beijing tonight called The Courtyard (95 Donghuamen Ave., Beijing, P.R.C., +86 6526 8883) which is “perched on the Moat overlooking the Forbidden City.” The Courtyard is actually a combination art gallery, cigar divan and restaurant.
The restaurant major draw is its location: right next to one gate of the Forbidden City in an exclusive neighborhood. It’s architecture was also cool, mixing old world outside with a modern interior. As you would expect, inside the restaurant is filled with art -- some traditional, but much of it fairly modern, mostly paintings. Cool light fixtures and wall coverings abound. They must have spent a great deal importing a lot of that.
The menu was varied but quite nice. I had the U.S. Kobe Beef (China must not have banned our stuff yet) which was incredible, while most of my colleagues had scallops, which they liked. Portions were small but adequate. Deserts were stellar -- I skipped to have a espresso. Total meal came out to about $40 per person. Expensive for Beijing but a deal considering we went through three bottles of wine.