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The first time I met my boyfriend Chris, I thought he was cocky or mayabang. A common friend introduced us and from there we sort of hit it off. Back then, I wasn’t sure if he was being confident or cocky because he just seemed so comfortable in his own skin.
“Name a place, any place where you’ve always wanted to dine in and I’ll take you there”. Chris said. I was single at that time so I just played along, “Millennium San Francisco”. Ha! I thought the joke was on him. Not that Millenium is a bad place, in fact, it’s quite the opposite-it’s vegan dining at its finest. Per plate costs at least about $22. So to take me on a first date at an expensive place like the Millenium could have easily meant it will also be the last. Hey, I just wanted to see his reaction! Plus, I didn’t lie.
As it turns out, I was the one surprised because he didn’t fret at all. Feeling bad about suggesting the place, I offered to pay half but he insisted to pay the whole bill. Chris reassured it was perfectly fine (though he later on admitted his jaw dropped upon seeing the menu prices).
Flash forward to a year after. Chris and I headed back to the place where it all began. This time, we were going on a date for our one year anniversary. And this time, I was positive his charms were truly genuine.
On to the review…
The restaurant shares the same building with a small San Francisco hotel. The hotel sign says it’s “Best Western” although it didn’t look anything close to the likes of “Best Western” hotels/motels I am familiar with. The old world interior of both the restaurant and the hotel lobby made me feel reminiscent of the past. I guess that’s perfect for celebrating an anniversary.
Too bad we couldn’t order the same delicious meals we had a year ago. The restaurant revamps their menu according to what’s in season. Then again, it’s good to be adventurous-that’s the fun of being vegan in the first place!
The server tended to us promptly and asked us if we wanted to hear their Specials. When I heard her say fried artichoke, I was sold. Gotta have it.
Although it may look like fried chicken wings, it didn’t taste anything like it, the dish had fried artichokes after all. Unlike those tarty marinated ones, the artichokes were quite savory-especially with the sauce. The flavor was not overwhelming so it was definitely appropriate as appetizer.
For the main entree, Chris had the Roasted Winter Squash & Quince Bastilla, which I wish I had ordered instead. The layers of this dish were so intricate yet blended beautifully well. I loved each component. From the creamy layer on the bottom to the seasoned mushroom on top, to the side dish and even the garnish, they all tasted wonderful! I had a bite or two or three before I switched back dishes with Chris. This one was worthy of receiving “Compliments to the Chef”!
The server was right. My order, Cornmeal Crusted Portobello Mushroom reminded of Thanksgiving Day. At first, I wasn’t quite sure what she meant, especially because she couldn’t elaborate further. After trying it out, I understood. This dish was hard to describe and all you could say is, it’s very “Thanksgiving”- y. Perhaps the corn meal was one major factor, and the heavy richness of the seasonal vegetables usually served on a Thanksgiving meal.
For fans of Thanksgiving food, this is a winner. I’m afraid I’m not one of them. I found this dish a little to the underwhelming side, perhaps because I was expecting some crunch and saltiness. On the other hand, I could definitely tell the chef used only fresh ingredients if not organic because the vegetables and the mushroom were not dry nor bland.
I remember, we skipped dessert on our first date because I felt bad that Chris had to foot the pricey bill. For our anniversary, he offered to not skip it again. I asked him to go ahead and order for us, but being the thoughtful guy that he is, he ordered chocolate cake because he knew I love chocolate.
“Chocolate Almond Midnight” is a must for Chocolate lovers. The white chocolate mousse on top complimented the creamy, rich and velvety layer of mocha chocolate filling. Plus, the almond cashew crust on top added a sweet, crunchy note. Plus, all the chocolate goodness are VEGAN.
We also ordered an assortment of cookies and treats that were appropriately named “Sweet Ending”.
I decided to keep my pea coat on during our dinner not because it was cold in the restaurant. Chris and I agreed I should wear the dress from the night we first met-a good idea except we met at a theater production-in which I was performing in! The dress was rather costume-y so I decided to keep it underneath.
All in all, you get what you paid for at the Millennium Restaurant: excellent food, service, and ambiance. This fancy place is not for the every night dining-at least not for me. It’s rather ideal for special occasions like let’s say, anniversaries, and maybe first dates.
580 Geary St., San Francisco, CA 94102
Reservations are available Sunday-Thursday until 9:00pm (we seat until 9:30pm) and Fri-Sat until 10:00pm (we seat until 10:30pm).