After decades of success with Hong Kong’s M at the Fringe and Shanghai’s M on the Bund, legendary restaurateur Michelle Garnaut brings her refined Continental–Mediterranean cuisine to the Chinese capital with Capital M (3rd floor, No. 2 Qianmen Pedestrian St.; 86-10/6702-2727; capital-m-beijing.com; dinner for two including drinks RMB400). Located on the top floor of a modern gray-brick complex at the entrance of a recently pedestrianized Ming-era area, the 400-seat eatery boasts unobstructed views of Tiananmen Square. But diners will probably spend more time admiring the interiors. Created by the team behind Garnaut’s other eateries, the dining room recalls the Belle Époque: in-laid black-and-white floor tiles form geometric patterns, referencing fin de siècle Viennese mansions, while terrazo bathroom walls lined with gold swirls allude to Art Nouveau. The masterpiece is a 50-meter Klimt-like hand-painted mural by artist Michael Cartwright that spans the length of one of the restaurant’s walls. The menu lists classics such as suckling pig and the gravity-defying Pavlova—a nod to Garnaut’s Aussie roots—as well as small plates perfect for sharing, like smørrebrød and a choice of Russian, French, English or Chinese afternoon teas. And the large outdoor terrace is perfect for the fall weather.—MANUELA ZONINSEIN
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Originally published in the October 2009 issue of Travel + Leisure Southeast Asia.