Millenium Restaurant in San Francisco, California

On our trip, I knew we had to stop by Millenium Restaurant in San Francisco. So, before we really even had our itinerary planned, I made reservations for the two of us on Friday night. I basically ended up planning our itinerary around our trip to this restaurant, I wanted to go that badly–and it didn’t disappoint.

Honestly, this was the best dining experience Ben and I have ever had in our lives. It was absolutely mind blowing how great food could be and how well a three course meal could fit together. Ah, I was in heaven the entire time. Ben and I basically just sat there, chewing in silence, with our eyes closed the entire time.

Though Millennium offers a four course seasonal tasting menu with a wine pairing, Ben and I decided to choose our own courses so we could taste more things. Before I start, though, I have to apologize for the horrid pictures that don’t do the food justice AT ALL. The lighting was horrible and I was only brave enough to use the flash for a couple of the pictures.

For Ben’s appetizer, he got the Black Bean Torte. Basically it was a whole wheat tortilla filled with caramelized plantains, smoky black bean puree, pumpkin-habanero papazul, cashew “sour cream,” and cara cara salad. Ben adored it and I loved the bite that I had. The cara cara salad was oranges and some other things that made a perfect bite when paired with the torte. Ben thought the plantains were revolutionary and added the perfect amount of sweetness.

For my appetizer, I got the Sea Vegetable and Avocado Salad. It was a mixture of watermelon radish, sea vegetable noodles, kale, shredded root vegetables, sweet ginger-umeboshi dressing, Korean chile spiced macadamia nuts, wasabi oil, topped with a sliced avocado and plated with some kind of sauce. I had never had half of the thing in the salad before and to honest some of them were kind of creepy looking, but I was in love at first bite (lame, I know). It was the BEST salad I have EVER had in my LIFE. Fantastic and everything perfectly in proportion.

What was really amazing about our appetizers is they were just that–an appetizer. I was so freaking hungry by the time my entree came and I was just salivating at the thought of more amazing food. The appetizer was nothing like any appetizer I had previously eaten–too filling or whatnot–and I couldn’t help but respect the brilliance of the chef.

For Ben’s entree, he got the Pistachio Crusted Tempeh. It was a tasty dish that included Moroccan spiced spring vegetable tagine with chickpeas, pistachio crusted tempeh, carrots and asparagus, cucumber and shaved fennel, and harissa oil, topped with dried apricot vinaigrette and plated with an Israeli cous cous salad with Meyer lemon. I only had a bite, but by Ben’s awed munching I knew it was amazing all the way through. The tempeh was so much more flavorful than I ever thought tempeh could be–just completely seasoned throughout and a perfect compliment to the chickpeas. I loved the moroccan spices and the almost eastern fusion taste it had. The salad was also fantastic and Meyer lemons are amazing. You just eat the whole thing, peel and all.

For my entree (pictured above) I got the Brik Pastry Beggar’s Purse. OH MY GOD. Like I told Ben, it was possibly better than sex. I mean, amazing. Though it is so hard to describe it, it was pasically a phyllo dough-type wrapper filled with truffled walnut-mushroom duxelle, sage scented seitan, wilted kale, caramelized onion, and mashed potato. It was served on top of seared Brussels sprouts with chile, pine nuts, and green peppercorn-whiskey cream (kind of like mashed potatoes?) and next to a blood orange-beet reduction. Wow. WOW. Can I explain it? I was in heaven. The wrapping was fantastic and the seitan….amazing. I loved how everything tasted together and I just savored every last bite.

After our entrees, Ben and I were ready for dessert (the brilliance of these chefs, seriously). For dessert, Ben ordered the Chocolate Ganache Cake. I only got a little bite, but basically it was filled with a chocolate stout cream filling and served next to a chocolate covered pretzel-fudge swirl ice cream with a drizzle of coffee anglaise. Tast-tay!

For dessert, I got the Chocolate Almond Midnight. It was a sort of pie with an almond cashew crust, mocha chocolate filling, and dots of raspberry sauce, topped with a layer of white chocolate mousse and a little foam cookie star. It was…perfect. The filling, fabulous, and the mousse so light and, AH, perfect.

Anyway, now that I have made myself depressed that I can’t live in The Hotel California (where Millenium is located) I will rate this celestial restaurant. Normally, I rate restaurants out of 5… but if I have ever rated anything 5/5 before I think I am going to have to go back and change all my ratings. Millenium is a 5/5… 5 million/5. Whatever. Basically, you have to go there before you die. That is all there is to it.

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