23 Qianmen Dongdajie
Located in the former American embassy, chef Daniel Boulud's first Asian venture does not disappoint. Parisian-based designers Gilles & Boissier have made over the Qing dynastyera building with neoclassical murals and rich furnishings that channel Beijing's glittering 1930s heyday. Boulud's sophisticated French dishes translate well, especially the tender suckling pig with daikon sauerkraut and the lobster bouillabaisse with braised fennel. The bar serves terrific cocktails.
Tip: Rub elbows with local tai tais (ladies who lunch) and Chinese government officials during weekday lunch, when three courses are just $25 (entrées, $10$14).