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).
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!