I've been spending a great deal of time at Mosto recently, which is always enjoyable. Sunday I visited to check out the restaurant's expansion. There's a new dining area in the front, with seats for maybe 12 people and a minimal but cool design by chef Daniel Urdaneta's sister. Then along the back, the tables are fairly similar to before, but the area can now be closed off for semi-private dining, as can the new front section. The bathrooms have also moved to the front, and there's more room out on the terrace, although I still couldn't get a seat out there last night.
I did get to try a selection of the new spring appetizers. The prettiest one is the yellowfin tuna ceviche with coconut foam (RMB85), which has a wonderful tropical flavor:
My favorite, though, was this black bean soup with spicy chicken and mascarpone (RMB75) . I finished it in about 30 seconds and almost licked the bowl clean. It has a wonderful flavor like my favorite soups at now-closed Casa Latina, but more gourmet.
Mosto and Modo are taking a page out of the Agua playbook this spring by both offering discounted set menus for early birds who dine at 6pm. At Mosto, you'll get two courses for RMB218, three for RMB258. Modo's version starts May 1 and gets you two courses for RMB148 and three courses for RMB168.
In other news, there's a new Taiwanese restaurant in Sanlitun called Florence that I've heard great things about. Their chef's specialty is pigs feet, which I'm not racing over to try, but in the words of a good foodie friend: "I know it might sound bad to you, but it was absolutely delicious, the best pig feet I have ever had in my life--no bones, presented with some veggies and paocai, meat is very tender and tasty, not greasy at all, and the Taiwanese chef has won an award for this dish in Taiwan." That's some strong incentive to get over there if you're into trotters, though I'm sure the other dishes are good, too.
According to Beijing Boyce, Ricci Cafe has opened over in Wudaokou. His pictures certainly aren't the glamorous place I expected from the cafe's original press release, but the food does look nice.
In the weirdest dining news of the week, Cornerstone is now under new management and called ... wait for it ... Flensburger Brauhaus.
Some cool wine events:
On Sunday, there's the Park Hyatt's Masters of Food and Wine dinner, where you'll taste the best wines Portugal has to offer, introduced by five of the country's best winemakers.
Tuesday, it's Best of Napa Valley wines at the China World Summit wing, with representatives from some of California's most important wineries.
And kicking off next Sunday is the Carrefour Wine Fair, a bi-annual event that gets you tons of free tastings, as well as a 20 percent discount off all imported wines all weekend.