Some of my best wine memories are from the weekly Friday night tastings Frank Siegel once hosted at the former Sequoia Cafe just behind Opposite House. Siegel held everything from blind tastings to bring-your-own-bottle affairs, covered pretty much every country and style, and always had nibbles or even a barbecue for us. He closed the cafe about five years ago and the space has pretty much been empty since. Tonight I saw workers in there and it looks like this former gathering place for much of the wine scene — from the most experienced tasters to first-timers — will be an office. Sad.
I took the photo above of Salud in Sanlitun a few days ago. The facade has since been redone and the place now goes by the name The Disguised.
Here is a shot of the inside. The guys I saw there earlier tonight said it will open Wednesday. I haven’t been in this place for years, pretty much since bartender Jackson Bai left and then headed to Shanghai.
William Bolton a.k.a. Chef Billy has left The Pavillion about four months after that Workers Stadium West place finally reopened. Bolton joined the project ~18 months ago after the backers of Sim Sim restaurant took over. I only stopped in a few times but found few customers, though this place still has one of the best patios in town (see below). I’ll try to contact the owners to see if there are any changes coming. As for Bolton, he says it is business as usual at his best-known establishment, Chef Too.
Meanwhile, Brian McKenna is heading the kitchen at The Courtyard and posted this shot today. The card says, “Prepare yourself for an experience that pushes the limits of what’s possible with food.” Is that an edible envelope, by any chance? McKenna remains the subject of my longest ever restaurant review, for this meal during his days at Blu Lobster.
The new kitchen at Beer Mania, headed by former Le Petit Gourmand chef Fred, is doing a tasty brunch. The shot below shows the first course with sausage, bacon, egg, potato, vegetable stew (ratatouille), buns, fresh juice (four choices: the one in front is apple-starfruit) and coffee. The second course includes croissant, waffle, baked apple and jam. The brunch is regularly rmb88 but only rmb70 during December. It runs from 11 AM to 4 PM, which means you can merge it with the happy hour from 3 PM to 8 PM and get two-for-one draft beers as a digestif.
Finally, if you want a few posts re those former Sequoia tastings, check here:
held contests and blind tastings, a