Dine & Wine Beijing
Just got home from a dinner at a new place on Dongzhimenwai called "Dine & Wine" that friends of ours discovered last week. The chef/owner is Belgian, and his menu is a very impressive collection of modern European dishes. The wine list is also pretty extensive, and covers both old and new world wines, at (for Beijing) relatively reasonable prices.
We made a good stab at ordering different dishes to allow us an opportunity for wide sampling. The starters we ordered were: pumpkin soup; sweetbreads with polenta; goose liver with onion confit and pureed turnip. All were very good, though perhaps the goose liver was the most 'gourmet' of the dishes. For mains we had beef tenderloin with fried potatoes; pork tenderloin; and osso bucco with mashed potatoes. The beef was extremely tender, and done exactly as ordered, while the pork was a bit tough but very tasty. The osso bucco was very good, though perhaps not as tender as it might have been and the sauce could have been a bit zestier.
For dessert we had an excellent creme brulee; an equally good pineapple 'carpaccio' with home made vanilla ice cream; and a darn good chocolate cheesecake. For the wines we chose an Australian red that was very big and beefy and paired with the meats very well, followed by a less pricey Italian primitivo that also turned out to be quite good.
Over all we were very impressed by the restaurant, which in addition to having good food was very nicely decorated (we particularly liked the wine glasses). The service was a tiny bit iffy, but nothing that a bit of practice won't iron out. Definitely a place worth trying.
Oh, and the bill came to just under Y1400 for four people.
As one of the four diners, I think James G's review is right on the mark.
A few more details - the goose liver appetizer was an ample serving and, in my opinion, extremely delicious, although the pureed turnip was a strange accompaniment. The sauces served with the beef tenderloin - one mustard and one black pepper - were both very tasty. (Mushroom sauce was a third choice but was not ordered.) Both orders of beef were brought to the table cooked exactly to the degree of doneness specified. The pork dish was mine, and the meat was a bit dry and tough as stated. Even though the lentils and bacon under the pork were quite tasty, I thought the pork was the weakest of the four mains.
Overall, a very nice Western dining experience and a most enjoyable evening.