As an avid eater of down-home comfort food, I've never cared much for gourmet grub. But then again, I've never really had the opportunity to eat at a fancy-schmancy restaurant since all the ones around here serve nasty meat entrees. But I spent the last several days in San Francisco at an Association of Alternative Newsweeklies conference for work. And while in town, I just may have been converted to fancy foodie-ism at the totally vegan Millennium Restaurant.
I met up with fellow PPK-er/vegan blogger Erin of Vegan Homemade at Millennium on Thursday evening. The only picture of us turned out blurry, but here it is anyway:
As we gabbed about how excited we were to be able to order ANYTHING on the menu, our sweet server brought this Crusty Bread with White Bean Spread to the table:
I'm so used to eating plain bread at restaurants since the butter most places offer isn't vegan. But I happily schmeared this spread all over the chewy, white bread.
Erin and I split a bottle of grenache/syrah/mourvedre. All their wines are organic and vegan! And we chose a couple of appetizers to start with — Fried Oyster Mushrooms with some kind of Sweet and Sour Dipping Sauce (I asked for menus so I could blog the formal names, but ended up forgetting to take them):
These mushrooms were the second best part of the meal (I'll tell you about my favorite part in a second). I purchased the Millennium's Artful Vegan cookbook while I was there, and this recipe is included ... so I will certainly be trying to re-create them soon.
We also whet our appetites with this Black Bean Torte:
Smoky black beans meet sweet, caramelized plantains inside a whole wheat tortilla. The torte is drizzled with cashew sour cream and served with pumpkin-habanero salsa verde. So, so good.
I had a really hard time choosing an entree, considering that a) I'm an indecisive Libra and b) I'm not used to actually having more than one or two choices in a restaurant. But I finally decided on the Caribbean Jerk Tempeh:
The salty-sweet tempeh filets were served with coconut and achiote root stew, sauteed kale with caramelized onion and sea veggies, garlic mashed sweet potatoes, and clove-spiced pickled carrots. Absolutely delectable. My favorite part was the coconut stew, but they didn't put much on the plate. Also, the sea veggies (Erin guessed it may have been wakame ... I couldn't tell) in the kale were really tasty.
Erin ordered this Portabello Mushroom dish:
I don't remember what all the side dishes were, but it was served atop some kind of savory chickpea stew with green cauliflower and a millet cake. I took a bite of her mushroom, and it was delicious — smoky with a hint of something like Ethiopian berbere spice.
By the time we finished all this food, we were stuffed. But there was no way we were leaving without dessert. We decided to split something, but our awesome server hooked us up with a complimentary plate of house made truffles, cookies, brownies, and fruit:
So we broke each cookie in half and savored each bite. Then we dug into the dessert we chose to split — Millennium's famous Chocolate Almond Midnight:
This was by far the highlight of my meal. A mocha chocolate filling and super-creamy white chocolate mousse sits atop a crunchy almond toffee cashew crust. The pie is served with a bit of raspberry sauce for dippin'. OMG ... this was heaven in my mouth. Unlike most creamy vegan pies, this didn't taste at all like silken tofu. We couldn't figure out how they made it, but I would make the trip back to San Francisco tomorrow if I could ... just for another slice of that pie!
Well, that concludes the best fancy meal of my life so far. I'll post the rest of my San Francisco food pics on Monday night.