Capital Gains

Shanghai is lauded as China's most sophisticated destination. Beijing is painted with a less glamorous brush. One is a booming metropolis where fashionistas sip mint juleps while overlooking the Bund. The other is a gritty city where malcontent punks swig beer in spit-and-sawdust dives. Or so we're led to believe.

But with the 2008 Olympic Games less than two years away, Beijing is undergoing a maniacal makeover — nowhere more brazen than in the city's wining-and-dining scene. With its army of foreign Mandarin students, Beijing has traditionally been the city of the cut-price tequila shot, but the coming...

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