My blog took an unannounced vacation from the server the past two weeks. Here is info I posted on social media in the meantime.
The Sanlitun branch of South African restaurant / bar Pinotage has moved from Soho to the top floor of the Royal Smushi House space. The venue includes a long marble bar, a dining room that looks like it can seat about 40 people (I believe there are a few tables on the first floor, too) and a covered deck with nice views of the trees above and the city’s hustle and bustle below. I stopped by last week and many food favorites remain, including the biltong carpaccio, roasted bone marrow, and ostrich burger. So, too, does the weekday happy hour, with rmb15 glasses of wine from 5 PM to 7 PM.
Speaking of wine, Sanlitun Soho shop La Cava da Loca has drawn good crowds the past two weekends. This Chilean shop sells wine by the glass on Fridays and Saturdays, starting at rmb20. The Calcu rose is a nice way to start on a hot day while the Calcu Cabernet Franc has received a good deal of praise. There is often a weekly special, with the most recent being a Pinot Noir (rmb30).
Also of note, hungry patrons can now order in crepes, sandwiches, fries and more from nearby Moment Cafe. And La Cava has made an exception to its Chilean wine-only policy and is carrying six Le Ponty wines from France.
George’s recently marked its fourth anniversary with excellent jazz, tasty martinis and way, way, way too many free shots. It also served as a First Cafe reunion as two of the first friends I made in Beijing when I arrived in 2004 — Agent Red Wolf and O-Zone — were in attendance. Make that three as George’s owner – George Zhou –worked at First Cafe back then.
Gulou area bar The Box also recently celebrated its fourth birthday — with burger and booze deals. As noted here, owner Paca Lee has big plans both for this place and for the former El Nido restaurant.
And single malt fans might want to book a spot at Mao Mao Chong for September 7 as it will hold a Glenfarclas tasting with visiting bartender / booze expert Matthew Radalj. The lineup includes Glenfarclas 10, 12, 15, 17, 21 and 105 barrel. The tasting is from 3 PM to 5 PM, costs rmb350 and includes snacks. RSVP via maomaochongstore (at) yahoo.com.