The week's restaurant hot spot is Shanghai's old French concession, where Nicole Garnaut's 1997 Group opens its eighth venue. The US$1-million, 6,000-square-foot European-style cafe, named Park '97, will be a more sophisticated version of Hong Kong's Post 97. The space is divided into three, including a restaurant, a cafe and an ultra-late lounge, open 24 hours on weekends. The menu, prepared by executive chef Justin Dingle, is a mix of Oriental and European dishes, including dishes such as char-grilled king prawns on a salad of glass noodles with toasted macadamia nuts and mustard greens, or Japanese-style rare beef with lemon and basil olive oil, mixed leaves and a Parmesan-and-sesame wafer. The presentation will be modern European. The restaurant's 'soft' opening is next Thursday, with the grand opening scheduled for November 29. Reservations on (86 21) 6318-0785. Just follow your nose Lavish wine dinners are becoming an everyday part of Hong Kong's culinary scene. The latest demanding a diary date are the Wine Institute of Hong Kong dinner at Grissini at the Grand Hyatt this coming Friday, and the Charles Sichel Winemakers' Dinner at the Conrad's Brasserie on the Eighth, on November 3. The Wine Institute dinner, which costs $2,500 a head, includes 1974 Chateau Petrus, 1973 Chateau Margaux, and 1952 Chateaux Ausone. The dinner opens with Veuve Clicquot Champagne and ends with 1977 Grahams vintage port. The menu has been especially designed by the Institute's Simon Tam and the Grissini chefs to avoid wine-unfriendly foods such as heavy marinades, sauces, and vinegars. Dishes include antipasto misto, fillet of sea bass with a pesto crust, and beef tenderloin in a porcini olive-oil sauce. The meal ends with a selection of hard Italian cheeses such as pecorino Parmesan, and Grissini's famous chocolate cake. (For information and reservations, call Simon Tam on 2804-2293.) The Charles Sichel event, with a price tag of $880 a person, features a selection of wine from Chateau Palmer, including a 1989 Chateau d'Angludet, 1989 Chateau Palmer, 1995 Domaine du Trillol Blanc and a 1993 Ferme d'Angludet. The four-course menu is prepared by regular Brasserie sous-chef Philippe Bischoff. (Reservations on 2521-3838, ext 8246.) The cigar's the thing While winemakers make merry, cigar lovers will be puffing away at yet another of the spate of recent cigar dinners that have sprung up all over local entertainment schedules. The venue this time is the airy La Terraza at The Landmark in Central on October 31. The evening's theme is 1920s Shanghai, and the $1,288-a-head tickets come with a suitably retro- dress code suggestion. The six-course dinner includes panfried French gooseliver with caramelised mango on a port wine sauce. The evening also includes six fine wines and spirits, and three Davidoff cigars. Inquiries and reservations on 2526-4200.