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 Post subject: Millennium (SF)
PostPosted: Wed Nov 03, 2010 7:39 pm 
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Bathes in Braggs
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Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2010 4:42 pm
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Location: sf
So, I'm just gonna do a few of these, if I can ever get around to doing more than this one... I think Isa's suggestion of making a thread for each restaurant is a pretty good idea, considering the alternative option of sorting through thousands of pages of recommendations...

Anyway, Millennium has got to be my #1 favorite restaurant of all time. I know most people (including myself) can't come here on a regular basis because it is quite expensive... But I am lucky to have a Millennium-a-holic boyfriend who doesn't want to spend money on anything but food and hates doing dishes, so he'll take me here maybe once a month (if I'm lucky, that is).

The details:
It's at 580 Geary @ Jones in San Francisco (inside the Hotel California; corny, I know).

For reservations call 415-345-3900. You'll likely need reservations if you want to dine on Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and especially special dinner nights (like Thanksgiving, New Years Eve, Southern Comfort night, Tomato Dinner night, or Beer night), or you have a party of 3 or more. I do like eating at the bar, too... Just don't bring a party of 4 or more to the bar. That's weird.

Thursday-Saturday, they have prix-fixe meals offered at around $40-$60 a person, and always include a small plate, an appetizer/salad thing, a choice of two entrees, and a dessert. You can also opt for the wine pairing for more $$, but I forget how much more.

Sunday-Wednesday, they have the $39 "frugal foodie" prix-fixe that gives you a choice of 3 of the starred items on the menu (but you can only pick one entree per frugal foodie). I think most people go for an appetizer, an entree, and a dessert... but you could also pick two appetizers and one entree, if you're crazy and don't like dessert.

Drinks: They do have a long list of wines, beers, and they do have liquor, too. I'm not an alcohol drinker, so I won't comment on how their alcoholic beverages are, but I will say they do have a nice choice of alcohol-free cocktails/drinks/juices. My favorites are the Love Potion #9, Navarro Vineyards Gewertzraminer juice, and their house-made ginger soda.

A note about the water: they serve both tap (free) and filtered water ($1). Some people freaked out about the filtered water situation on yelp, but it's one dollar to keep their filtration system running. Plus, you get unlimited filtered water; it's not like they charge you per glass. Also, the sparkling water is also filtered, so it's pretty much $1 for unlimited sparkling water.
So, if you don't want to pay $1 for water, or you like tap water better, or you'd rather just have wine instead, get the tap. :)

Average price for one small plate/appetizer is between $5 and $12.
The entire menu changes fairly often, but they do have a few appetizers that you usually see on the menu, if not all the time:
    Some sort of home-made pickled thing. The last time I went I think it was pickled baby carrots.

    Little Gem Salad - it's kinda like a house cesar salad... If you add the smoked tofu, you won't regret it! And this one is always on the menu

    Black Bean Torte - super good.

    Grilled flat bread with some seasonal toppings. This one is definitely a pleaser.

    Oyster Mushrooms battered and "crusted" in something different all the time, but it's always good... These are a must-get if you're only going to go to Millennium once in your life. I think the best ones I ever had were battered and crusted in peppercorn, garbanzo flour, and cornmeal. These are always on the menu.

The main entrees usually go for $20-$25. And these always change; you won't find the exact same menu if you go the next month...
Anyway, for the main entrees...
    there is always either a tempeh, tofu, seitan, or portabello dish that's kinda meant to look like meat, the way it's plated. These always have a special glaze, marinade, or some sort of crust thing on the outside (I had tofu crusted in crushed almond and pistachio once that was delicious). I also find that these are often Asian-inspired dishes.

    there is always some sort of flaky pastry roll filled with something delicious and then seared. These are usually called "Roulade," "Strudel," or "Braciole," but it could be called something else, too. Recently, I had a potato and tomato leaf braciole that was so amazing. These seem to be more Euro-French-California-inspired.

    there is often a corn-based thing on the menu, like a polenta, a tamale, a masa cake... These are obviously either Euro-inspired (like the polenta), or Mexican/Latin/Hispanic-inspired (tamale/masa cake). The tamale is especially good when corn is in season.

    you'll likely see something that is Indian-inspired, like uttapam or curry. Don't expect these to be authentic because I think they infuse California/French cuisine into everything, but they are definitely satisfying.

Dessert usually costs $5-$12. On the dessert menu, most things change, but there is always:
    Chocolate Almond Midnight. Seriously good. White chocolate mousse over a dense mocha layer on top of an almond crust, topped with raspberry sauce. Who can say no to that?

    a sorbet sampler. This is always good, too, and definitely nice if you just want a light dessert.

    A Sweet Ending. This one is usually the cheapest dessert, and it's just a small plate of yummy cookies and a couple of truffles. The cookies are pretty tiny, so only get this if you really just can't eat much more, but don't want to leave Millennium without eating a dessert. Instead of getting this, though, I'd definitely recommend taking a Chocolate Almond Midnight to go...



The staff here is usually quite nice; some people are friendlier than others, but none will ever be rude. One waiter in particular is a little bit slower than the rest, but she does mean well. Plus, whoever is in a rush when they eat at Millennium is kinda weird in my book. Take your time, and savor your food.

I don't want to sound like a Millennium expert, because I'm not, but this is pretty much everything I can think of about this restaurant...



And add on!! Tell your experiences, dish about your favorite dish here!


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 Post subject: Re: Millennium (SF)
PostPosted: Wed Nov 03, 2010 8:17 pm 
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Can't Dance, Isn't Part of Revolution
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Joined: Thu Oct 21, 2010 6:40 pm
Posts: 144
Location: Milwaukee
I highly recommend going to their annual "Southern Comfort" dinner. white trash cuisine done up vegan style.

it was so good! It was like 5 courses for either $39 or $49/per person. I don't remember.... but everything was awesome. I think I might have spotted Melisser there when I went last year (just to continue the theme of being too shy/too afraid of coming off like a weirdo stalker to talk to other people on the ppk you might see in person...

The appetizers were the best! Spinach artichoke dip, cheezy "spam" butter and yummy breads, spicy chikin strips w/ a bleu cheez dressing... mmm.

I had the vegan Roast Beast (seitan roast -they even had a carving station, including dude in giant chef hat and fake French moustache).

People even dress up in overalls and trucker hats and mullets and such. I will definitely go all out with the dress up next time (I opted out of the daisy dukes because it was FREEZING that night). Yes, this will be on the schedule as a yearly event for me.

Tips: dress up, it's fun! Make your reservations early (I think it's in mid-late April?) - they sell out. Get an earlier reservation so they don't run out of stuff! Go hungry. Be prepared to leave painfully stuffed..


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 Post subject: Re: Millennium (SF)
PostPosted: Thu Nov 04, 2010 1:18 am 
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Has it on Blue Vinyl
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I love the wilted Bloomsdale spinach salad. It's also a regular on the menu. There are usually roasted potatoes and smoked tofu, plus some kind of fruit, in a mustard-y dressing. So good. And yes, the oyster mushrooms are a must.

I find most of entrees to be overwrought and muddled, especially the curries. Too much going on, too many flavors, overworked to the point of blandness because it's just one big mess. I swear by the roulades. They are more straightforward and never disappoint.


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 Post subject: Re: Millennium (SF)
PostPosted: Thu Nov 04, 2010 10:24 am 
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Flat Chesty McNoBoobs
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Yes, the roulades are the way to go. Some of the tempeh dishes have been spot on as well.

Those oyster mushrooms are to die for, and the roasted beets are awfully good as well.

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 Post subject: Re: Millennium (SF)
PostPosted: Thu Nov 04, 2010 12:06 pm 
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Asked Santa for a pony
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Location: Portland
I'm going on Saturday!

I love any gnocchi dish, but they don't seem to have gnocchi that often

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 Post subject: Re: Millennium (SF)
PostPosted: Thu Nov 04, 2010 12:07 pm 
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Mispronounces Daiya
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I'm going next week, I'll try to take pictures or something!

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 Post subject: Re: Millennium (SF)
PostPosted: Thu Nov 04, 2010 12:40 pm 
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I went to Millenium last Saturday (10/30/10), which was the end of our Yosemite trip and thought it was good. (I am from Boston)

We got the cornmeal crusted oyester mushrooms, which rocked. I got the Masa crepe, which I thought was good, but just had a LOT going on. (not a criticism) There was a spicy yellow sauce that sang, and it was very filling. My husband got (I forget the name) roasted portobella, persimmon and rice dish that he liked as well. It was a good experience, as I have been wanting to go for years. Worth the visti if you are nearby!

going inside the restaurant
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millenium ambiance
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waiting for the appetizer
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creepy painting in hotel part
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oyster mushroom appetizer - before
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oyster mushroom appetizer - after
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masa crepe
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 Post subject: Re: Millennium (SF)
PostPosted: Fri Nov 05, 2010 2:20 am 
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I've been to Millennium about two dozen times over the past decade. I have always loved it, and I had never been disappointed until I went two weeks ago. The meal was definitely "good," but it wasn't Millennium Good. It was like I was eating reheated Millennium leftovers. I'm sure this was just a fluke; the vibes did seem a little off somehow, in general. I just thought I would mention it in case anyone else has a similar experience, as that would mark the beginning of the End Days.

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 Post subject: Re: Millennium (SF)
PostPosted: Fri Nov 05, 2010 2:41 pm 
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Tofu Pup
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Location: San Francisco
I went there recently and got the special fall menu. I super enjoyed my dessert. It was an apple tart with marzipan and cloves. It was seriously delicious. That combination of flavors just blew my mind. I also really enjoyed my main dish that was a pasta dish with their seitan sausage. Yum! I find their seasonal menus to be pretty consistently impressive.


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 Post subject: Re: Millennium (SF)
PostPosted: Fri Nov 05, 2010 6:55 pm 
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Can't Dance, Isn't Part of Revolution
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I've never had anything bad there, but I always seem to LOVELOVELOVE my appetizers/salads and like my entrees. Also by the time I get around to dessert, I'm so high on food that I can barely eat them, much less remember them.


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 Post subject: Re: Millennium (SF)
PostPosted: Sun Nov 07, 2010 4:13 pm 
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Bathes in Braggs
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Location: sf
Nebraskalaska wrote:
I'm going on Saturday!

I love any gnocchi dish, but they don't seem to have gnocchi that often


One month they had some crazy delicious sunchoke & potato gnocchi. Then a few months after that, they had masa gnocchi and they tasted like baby tamales! Sofa king good...


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