580 Geary St, San Francisco, CA | Directions 9410237.786772 -122.413016
Neighborhoods: Tenderloin, Northeast
No one has cooked high-end, modern, exciting vegetarian food longer than Millennium; you could even go so far as to say that they were the first great (and for many years the only great) vegetarian restaurant. The world has caught up to some extent but this is still a very find restaurant.
If you are from New York, LA, or Portland don't be fooled by the claims that Millennium is a great place for vegan food. The staff is very friendly, that is, when they are actually at your table: which isn't often. Nice people, terrible service. Then comes the food. Just doesn't hold up to Candle 79 in New York, or Real Food Daily in LA, or Natural Selections in Portland. Millennium is serving average food (and a couple of dishes were below average ... don't order the pouch) on white table clothes and charging premium prices. In San Francisco we had a far better meal at Greens. Heck, we had a far better meal at Burma Super Star and they aren't even all vegan. One point in their favor was that the desserts were amazing. Skip this overpriced, over hyped cafe and save your money for the real thing.
Old, but cool – The rooms could probably be a bit more modern, but the common areas are amazing. Wonderful tile work and great architecture. It's a great hotel but if any of you are looking to save some $$ then book it at SweetHotelDeals.us They usually have some pretty good deals on there!
Great hotel BUT.. – It's a great hotel but if any of you are looking to save some $$ then book it at goo.gl/FPxYD They have some of the best hotel deals on the web!
trying too hard, or not hard enough – It wasn't easy finding a place for three of us (two omnivores and a vegetarian) to eat, but when we read the menu of Millennium online, we had no trouble reaching consensus. It sounded like we'd found a high-end vegetarian restaurant that served elegant food and paid special attention to wine, an important point for us.
We ordered the Sunshine menu, with the wine pairing. To the server's credit, she talked up but didn't hard sell the more expensive tasting menu. Then the food started to appear. And so too did the cracks in what we hoped was going to be a memorable gastronomic experience.
Rather than trusting in the excellent and often unexpected ingredients on the plate (orange apples, creamy baked grits, tomato confit, fine blueberry sorbet), the kitchen feels compelled to add layers and layers of jarring tastes just to compensate for what? Feelings of inadequacy? When a raw soup is topped with a garnish of crisp celery and apples, an excellent opening gambit to stimulate appetite and cleanse the palate, what does adding raw chilis and Thai basil do for the freshness? It kills it. Why do tempeh (woefully over-cooked and chalky as if it had been left in a cafeteria steam tray too long) and grits need a sticky glaze, a nut "cheese", a fruit chutney and bitter greens all at once? Obviously, they don't. This is vegetarian cooking with a chip on its shoulder, with something to prove. And it fails to convince.
Almost more disappointing, the wines were an unmitigated failure. Maybe it has something to do with natural vegan wines available, but surely anyone who had tasted the food (or even the pared down flavors that should have underlined each dish) could have guessed that the fruity Spanish wine was never going to stand up to the acidity of the soup, or that the hit of tannin from another red wouldn't go with the Indian spices or the béchamel-ed greens or the sautéed fennel on the potato pancake. The low-point was the pinot noir served with a tasty bean and tomato confit stew (one serving of which was ruined by a handful of raw garlic; the other two plates of the same dish were unscathed). I pushed away my glass and was commenting to my fellow diners that the one-note Burgundy lacked any depth or character, unaware that our server was right behind me. She cheerfully agreed with me, saying she really liked the pinot noir they used to have, but that this one was really not very good. But did she apologize, offer to take away the glass, or suggest a substitute? Of course not. She delivered her judgment then went on her way,
That was a indicative of the service overall, chirpy, friendly and oblivious. Plate after plate and glass after glass were taken away half-eaten or undrunk, but no comment was ever made and no concern about our satisfaction or lack thereof was ever expressed. Our last pairing, a "port" from California, arrived a good 25 minutes before the dessert. Neither the wine nor the dessert were worth the wait. Why try to imitate a crème brûlée if the best you can do is make a pudding rendered grainy with thickener? We wanted to ask what the "crème" was made of, but by the end of the meal, and despite the fact that there were still four others tables eating, there was no one around to ask, and no one to wish us good night. By that time, our culinary curiosity had long been stifled, and we left with a not pleasant aftertaste in our mouths.
There were flashes of inspiration (the beans, the grits, the potato, the soup) but every last one of them was marred by carelessness or sensory overload. We might have been more-forgiving in a place that didn't make claims to greatness, but with a reputation to live up to and at over $90 a head, there is really no excuse for such glaring faux-pas.
Vegan fine dining – After using their cookbook for a few months, and dreaming about walking in almost every day staring at the restaurant from a 38 bus window, I finally ate at Millennium.
This is what vegan food should be. It's exotic, stimulating, light, well balanced, and with a shocking amount of flavor.
Their cocktails are also top-notch. Who would've thought?
Poor Customer Service! – We came here before Wicked. The Hostess was lovely and took our coats as we arrived. We sat down at the table as reserved. There was water already poured into our water glasses on the table. We had a couple of sips of water and ordered our food and wine. We thoroughly enjoyed our meal until the bill came.
We spent well over $300 at 6 p.m. (in this time of financial crisis). We noticed a charge for water for $8?! WHAT?!
We politely asked the server who explained that Millennium filters their own water through all these processes. We explained that we don't mind filtered water, instead we just weren't given the option at the start of the meal, especially since our water had already been poured BEFORE we even sat down. We explained that not a single person asked us at the beginning or at any time during our meal whether or not we wanted filter, tap, or sparkling water. She explained that 'this notice is on the menu' but not one of us 8 people saw this notice.
The manager, then arrived, explaining the exact policy....and then stated 'would you not have had water with your meal?' We explained that we live in San Francisco where the water quality is excellent and we would have taken tap water but we were NEVER given the option! Instead, the manager REFUSED to take the $8 charge off our bill!
Shame on you Millennium!
Fantastic, a little pricy tho – Millennium is fantastic. When you can afford it, you should check out this amazing vegan spot! Everything is vegan, and nearly everything is delicious.I think the only drawback is the pricing... It's a nice space, and a very formal dining environment... but it can slightly break the bank! A refreshing and special change from the usual vegetarian circuit here in San Francisco.
Lovely atmosphere! Great Food! Not over-priced! – My husband and I went here for dinner the other night. Neither he or I are Vegeterian (Vegan) but we decided to give it a try because of a co-workers recommendation. What a deightful evening. We were seated almost immediately after arriving (we had 8;00pm reservations, and were seated at 8:05pm!) the waiter was very nice, explained everything in great detail, and the food! Amazing! if this is what it is like to eat non-meat dishes than sign me up! The restaurant wasn't over-priced (as more than a few restaurants tend to be here in S.F) All in all, our experience at this restaurant was great! Go try it! and you will seriously think of becoming a Vegeterian!
just eat vegetarian food at a restaraunt that can make good food – This is simply one of the worst places I've eaten. Simply put, it is the type of eatery that gives meat eaters the ammunition to criticize.
Before I get into it, I think the vegetarian lifestyle and movement is important (I personally think people who do eat meat should at least understand where their food comes from, and respect the animal that they're eating not as a commodity but as a living creature); however, that doesn't mean any vege restaurant should get props just because it's in the movement or supports the cause.
1. it's vegan: even though the menu claims to mimic non-vege foods, it doesn't at all. the lack of fat in the cooking leads to basically a plate o' veges thrown about. my gf is a vegetarian and also said she wouldn't go back because of the monotonous flavors...nothing unique aside the attempt at uniqueness in the menu descriptions. here's the thing, flavor of mushrooms or tofu with light sauces doesn't fool the palate at all. they claim you leave frisky or whatever, but that's another word for hungry.
2. $$$$: plates running in the $20+ range is absolutely ridiculous. simple as that.
Positives: drinks were tasty, classy and fun atmosphere (felt like a 40s theater)
Do yourself a favor and find a good restaurant ,and eat a vege dish there that's good. Get a tasty risotto, or a curried tofu dish, etc at places that know how to make vegetarian food. It doesn't have to be an elitist niche movement.
Excellent vegetarian restaurant with upscale feel – I visited this restaurant twice in the last couple weeks, and thoroughly enjoyed the food. Rarely will you find a vegetarian restaurant where the environment/atmosphere is more upscale (typically they are very casual joints) so this is a refreshing change of pace. It's also nice to know that anything you order off the menu is 'safe', and you won't have to quiz a reluctant waiter about whether a veggie dish really is vegetarian. The menu can be overwhelming - although very descriptive, it is rather difficult to get a sense of what exactly you are ordering and what it will look like, so you'll need help from your server. The Erbette Chard Roulade was very good, it's a hollowed out bread roll filled with tofu cheese and chard, topped with mushrooms and black beluga lentils on the side. Also tried the Carrot Bolognese, this one I'm not quite sure what is in it except the carrots, but still very good. The flavors are strong so you likely wouldn't have the same dish twice within a few days, but that just means you get to try different dishes. The chocolate cheesecake is very good - tasted nothing like cheesecake, which was not an issue - rich, with berries and sauce on the side. The vanilla bean cream tartlette was a disappointment though, it is a small crunchy tart shell filled with cream and topped with little cubes of strawberry and pineapple. Just not that good, especially for the price. The only real turnoff is the hostess (the one wearing cowboy boots) - she tries to act snooty for no apparent reason, when she should be welcoming guests. But overall, I think it's a great restaurant experience.
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