One of the hardest parts of being a new vegan (or even an old seasoned vegan) is trying to keep up with all the new products out there. I must have spent over $50 looking for the "right" vegan cheese my first year being a vegan and I have over 50 vegan/vegetarian cookbooks in my arsenal but not all the recipes are the greatest. I’m the first born so I’m used to being a Guinea Pig and now I’m your Vegan Guinea Pig. So here are my recommendations and critiques. Let me know what you think!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Millennium Restaurant San Francisco, CA

I just don't know where to begin. Millennium Restaurant (580 Geary St., San Francisco, CA) opened my palate up to amazing new taste, textures and even scents. In my 27 years of living I have never tasted such exquisite food. Since transitioning from a long time vegetarian to a vegan I thought that many of the culinary treats I experienced at Millennium where just a thing of the past. Let's start at the beginning.

The Oyster Mushroom appetizer came highly recommended to me so I had to try it. Traditionally I'm not a fan of mushrooms but this dish is an exception to the rule. The texture was light and the mushrooms almost melted in my mouth. They were almost reminiscent of a calamari dish, but 1000 times better. My omni cousin, who I dragged along for the ride, was shocked at how delicious they were. Needless to say we quickly emptied the plate.

Our entrées came a bit later than I would have liked. I tried not to watch the clock and just enjoy the conversation I was having with my cousin but judging from the time we sat down to the time we left it took upward of 45 minutes to an hour for our food to come out. However, when our food did arrive any complaint I would've been inclined to make went out the door. I ordered the Risotto Tamale, prepared in a banana leaf. I ordered the Emerald Rice Cake with Jerk Seitan for my cousin. The creative mind that created the Risotto tamale deserves a noble prize. Everything about this dish was pure perfection. I can't even tell you exactly what was in this tamale, the flavors were unique and new to me yet had a familiar hint of the southwest. The Emerald Rice Cake with Jerk Seitan made me proud to be a vegan. Although the rice cake portion of the entrée was a bit larger than I expected the seitan was expertly seasoned with a perfect Caribbean mixture of sweet and spicy that makes jerk food so delicious. My only complaint was that there wasn't enough of it.

Thankfully desert came much faster than our entrées. When I saw that creme brulee was on the menu I almost had a heart attack. I just assumed that creme brulee was one of those things that I would never have again. This creme brulee was so rich and decadent that from this day forward I vow to make it back to San Francisco at least once a year to have it again. My cousin had the winter apple crisp with vegan ice cream. I was too involved in my creme brulee to get a taste of his desert but from the rapid rate at which it disappeared I would have to say that it was a slam dunk as well.

I capped off this superb evening with another one of my favorites that I didn't think existed in the vegan world: Port. I'm a huge fan of Port wines and surprisingly Millennium had one on the menu. A perfect ending to a perfect meal.

All this scrumptious food does come with a hefty price tag. The tamale was $23.95 and the Emerald Rice Cake was $22.95. Both desserts were 8.25 and the Oyster Mushrooms appetizer was $9.75. Although the price tag is steep it is well worth it. If you are in the area you must stop by Millennium. Reservations are definitely recommended as the place was packed! You will not be disappointed.


  1. Millenium was my first vegan restaraunt experience, so it definitely spoiled me for the restaurants after that. I went in 2002, so I don't remember how long we had to wait for our meal. Their cookbook is on my wish list.

  2. Millennium was the place that made me start eating mushrooms! Not all, of course, but they appear on my plate from time to time.
    They do like to time the dining experience to be slow & enjoyable. In a world of fast food, it can be hard to slow down. That being said, the wait sounds a bit longer than usual.

  3. I LOVE the Millennium. My husband and I flew down to SF for their Thanksgiving dinner (and to hang out in SF too). The dinner was 5 or 6 courses and it was incredible. They served a pumpkin spread that was the yummiest thing ever. I grilled the waitress for the ingredients and it included caramelized onions and miso.

  4. I have wanted to try that Oyster Mushroom dish since I first read the recipe in Artful Vegan two years ago. Jealous! Glad to hear it didn't dissapoint.

  5. I really need to go to Millennium the next time I'm in San Francisco. I've been to San Francisco about four times and have never gone to Millennium, as I've been broke on each visit.

    I always make sure to hit Maggie Mudd, though.


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