Ignace Lecleir will leave as general manager of Maison Boulud, widely considered to be Beijing’s best western restaurant, at the end of June. He says he plans to stay in Beijing and is looking into new opportunities.
GM since Boulud opened about two years ago, Lecleir has overseen an operation that has racked up dozens of awards for its food, wine, service, and decor. It has been the bright spot at the Legation Quarter / Chienmen 23 complex, which saw the Aqua Group (Agua, Shiro Matsu, Hex, Fez) and Meat & Wine Company close during the past six months and sees Italian restaurant Sadler as the only other Western eatery left. Both Maison Boulud and Lecleir are highly regarded among readers of this blog, if the emails and comments I receive are any indication, and we can expect plenty of talk that the move portends something darker for the restaurant. Frankly, when you see surrounding businesses fail and top staff leave, it doesn’t imbue confidence.