Friday, May 15, 2009

Legation Quarter


I'm heading to a wedding this weekend and the rehearsal dinner is tonight at Maison Boulud, yum! The food is excellent and the service is divine (as is the GM!). I've met chef Daniel Boulud a couple times in Beijing and New York; it's refreshing that he is a joyful, genuine guy. Image

Located in the Legation Quarter, the setting has a blemished history. Foreign legations fist located there in the 1860s, but after the Boxer Rebellion (1900) a wall was built around a cluster of structures and Chinese residents were forced out. For a period the American Embassy and diplomatic residences were located there, sealed off from the immediate environment--it became a city within the city exclusively for foreigners with many Chinese nationalists resenting the Quarter as a symbol of foreign aggression. During the Cultural Revolution (1966-1976) looting and vandalism were rampant and only a few stately structures survived. One of those now ironically houses Maison Boulud, bon app├ętit. Image