East Bay, California


rating star

I went to Millennium last night for the very first time. My date and I each ordered a small plate and an entree; she got the winners and I got the duds.

We were offered a starter of bread and some kind of hummus-type spread, both of which were really nothing special.

My date ordered Millys Wilted Spinach & Bitter Greens Salad (heirloom apples, smoked tofu, ume marinated red cabbage, red onions, ginger-red miso vinaigrette, sesame-chile Togarashi). This was seriously the best salad I have ever eaten in my life. The flavors went together so well and I have absolutely no idea how they were able to get the tofu to suck up all that marinade but it was delicious. It was a decently sized portion as well considering that it was "gourmet." It was so good and filling that I didn't even care that it was $11.25, and let me tell you that is something that I would never, ever say about a salad.

My starter was the Seared Potato Gnocchi (vanilla braised fennel & celery root, sherried pumpkin cashew cream, sweet pepperonata, fried sage). The gnocchi itself was quite delicious: I loved that it was super creamy and just slightly browned. The cashew cream left something to be desired and I am pretty sure I could replicate this in my own kitchen. I died a little inside when I got my plate of food and counted maybe 7 little bits on gnocchi dumplings on the plate. I was expecting a tiny portion but still thought this was just a tad ridiculous. Nevertheless, we were both pretty full after consuming our small plates.

On to the entrees. She ordered some sort of peanut and coconut glazed tempeh dish (not currently listed on their online menu so can't I say for sure) with a sauteed spinach and some raw daikon and pears for garnish. The first bite of tempeh was great, but it went downhill from there. At first it had a great coconut-y crust but it didn't hold up over time. The vegetables were very good but honestly just tasted like some really good thai food. This dish was $22.50.

Finally, I ordered the Pumpkin Tamale (pozole rojo with pinquito beans & corn hominy, braised greens & Jimmy Nardello peppers, spicy pumpkin seed-cilantro emulsion, avocado, radish & jicama salad). I am pretty sure my version was actually made with serrano peppers. This came with some lackluster sauteed spinach that totally lacked any flavor besides garlic. The tamale was ok but I'm guessing I cold get a better one at La Loma (Minneapolis). The mole sauce was made with some kind of wine, which in my opinion was overpowering. The avocado was just that and the radish and jícama salad was reminiscent of an organic co-op deli. It wasn't bad, but at $23.50 I was kind of expecting magic.

The much abridged version of this review is: the food is pretty good, and some of it downright delicious, but don't come hungry, on a budget, or expecting magic.

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Started the meal with roasted potatoes with AMAZING chili aoili, and yummy bread and chickpea spread. Chickpea spread was good, probably could make that at home though. I got the tamale, husband got the tempeh. He didn't like it, but loved the accompanying risotto. I liked my tamale but it wasn't very authentic; masa had a bready texture. Dessert was the strawberry white chocolate torte with Persian spiced ice cream. Holy moly, the torte was good, but the ice cream? OMG. Based on my experience, I'd say come by in the evening for dessert and a spiked coffee drink.

Image for Cass Danger

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I had some soup and dessert here a few years ago and it was fabulous. I stopped in with a friend last week for a late dinner but apparently their kitchen had just closed but they still let us stay for dessert. I got the blood orange chocolate tart that came with a scoop of homemade ice cream, which made a lovely compliment to the tart. My friend (who is not vegan but LOVED the desserts) got the chocolate mousse cake, which was also great.

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I had a Caesar salad here with smoked tofu and it was one of the best salads I've ever had! The desserts are amazing. The entree I had was a cornmeal gnocchi with mushrooms and had a smokey barbecue type sauce. I was sorry to say that it didn't really live up to my expectations, but the rest of the meal was fantastic.

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My husband and I ate here after seeing an ad in VegNews. We were visiting from out of state (July 2010) and decided to take the plunge and try at least one vegan restaurant in the city. I have to say, the food was PHENOMENAL to say the least. We didn't know if we had any restaurants this good in Boston, so we purchased two Millennium cookbooks right at our dinner table. Now both my husband and I want to move back to S.F. just to eat at Millennium (no kidding). Run, don't walk to this place. We cannot wait to go back (food and service were exceptionally good).

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Ate here two years ago and was our best dinner in SF so had to return. Still wonderful, expensive decor and high end dining. Excellent service and informative waiters, great wine and champagne selection. Highly recommended if you are looking for a high end dining experience. Not all vegans are after cheap eats and Millennium thankfully recognises some of us are happy to spend decent money on a decent dining experience! Didn't notice the $1 water charge and really doesn't matter to me - and have only ever had one waiter per table serve me so surprised at some other comments on here.

Image for Lola

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I had high hopes that Millennium would be the first all-vegan truly upscale restaurant that I have visited. While it didn't live up to those expectations, it still served one of the best vegan meals I have eaten in a restaurant. Sure, I was disappointed that we were assigned to one waiter, rather than having a team of waiters to announce each dish and serve it to everyone at our table at exactly the same instant. On the other hand, I was also happy that the meal was $70/person rather than $300.

I'm surprised at the number of negative reviews. I think a lot of the other reviewers are being unfair in their criticism of Millennium. It's not trying to be Charlie Trotter's (as evidenced by the prices and the a la carte ordering), so I don't think it's worth criticizing Millennium for not upholding the same standards. The food at Millennium is substantially better than any of the other restaurants that I tried in the San Francisco Bay Area, so I fail to understand why the average rating is so much lower.

That said, the only negative experience that I had at Millennium is that I didn't like one of the entrees. The pecan-crusted tempeh was sliced pretty thickly and didn't absorb as much of the flavor of the apricot sauce that I would have liked. However, the corn pudding that accompanied the tempeh was delicious so the dish wasn't a total disappointment!

My appetizers were both very well-executed. The summer melon salad was crisp and, at times, both sweet and tangy. The black bean torte tasted like caramelized onions with a hint of lime and had a wonderful texture.

Millennium has a great selection of drinks, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic. I tried a rosemary and fig-infused gin-and-tonic (made with high quality tonic water) and a decadent coconut and strawberry elixir.

The desserts were the best part of my meal. I couldn't decide which one to order, so I ended up ordering two: a trio of sorbets and a plate of miniature cookies and truffles. The sorbet flavors of the evening were sage, white apricot cardamom, and peach liquor. The white apricot cardamom was my favorite - a perfect blend of aromatic spices and fresh fruit. The plate of cookies and truffles consisted of two buttery-tasting cookies, a brownie, a dried cranberry chocolate chip "blondie," and two truffles: a "milk" chocolate truffle filled with peanut butter and a rich dark chocolate truffle.

Overall, I had a very pleasant dining experience. I found it refreshing that Millennium has gilded, Old World decor rather than the hipster vibe that most vegetarian restaurants seem to have.

Image for conde.kedar

rating star

Millennium's location, ambience and service are all top-notch. This is arguably the ritziest veg*n restaurant in the US, no doubt. However, I went there twice and was not completely impressed by some of the food. The appetizers were uniformly excellent, especially the savory, creamy gnocchi; the desserts were out-of-this-world, either the blueberry tartlette or the chocolate-almond midnight. They have a separate pastry chef, for god's sake! But the main courses I tried---the blackened tempeh and the roulade---were a bit flat. They were tasty, and would be acceptable at any other restaurant, but not at a place like this, which charges $23 a dish.

I would definitely recommend Millennium for drinks, desserts and appetizers; it's a great place to take a date. Maybe I picked the wrong main courses, and their menu does change frequently, so I'll keep trying new dishes whenever I'm in town. But in terms of overall delectable, unusual and spectacular vegan food, my favorite remains Horizons in Philadelphia.

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The food at Millennium is exceptional. Great care is given in both preparation and presentation from the small plate starters to the desserts. The prices are indeed high, but when one considers the creative and practical demands inherent in producing, say, the stuffed truffled roulade or the chocolate almond midnight, the cost is not unreasonable.

Having said that, I must add that I have no intention of dining there again. When I first began going to Millennium, at their original location in the Hotel Abigail, there was warmth that is now sadly lacking. Back in the nineties, the chef used to come out of the kitchen to greet the diners and to thank them for their patronage. The last time I went there, the only greeting I received was the curt invitation by the host to take my dinner at the bar. While I did not have a reservation (and could not see the necessity in having one, given the great number of empty tables in plain view), haute cuisine at seventy-five to a hundred dollars per person is not bar food.

So long, Millennium--I'm sure your dishes are still wonderfully savory and sweet, but your attitude has gone terribly sour....

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I was so excited to try the much talked about Millennium, and my expectations were way too high. The atmosphere was very nice and upscale. The prices were way too high for very mediocre food. The service was terrible. It took almost an hour for the waiter to get me some after dinner coffee, which was strong and barely drinkable. My husband, a meat eater was not impressed at all by the food and wondered how I could eat that stuff. Please save your money and find another place to eat. You do not want to pay high prices for food that is not very good.

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I have mixed feelings over Millennium.

The food was very good (I remember that they had amazing braised greens!), the dessert was a definite indulgence, and the atmosphere is unlike any vegetarian restaurant that you have experienced. However, the service was lacking and the prices can cause coronaries.

Having dined at many wonderful vegetarian restaurants since my first visit to Millennium, I would agree that they are somewhat overrated, although they do fill the niche of being a premier vegan establishment. There is really nothing 'wrong' with Millennium or its cuisine, but one can enjoy themselves, have an amazing meal with much better service and save a lot of money by going to one of the city's many other vegetarian restaurants.

Also, do not waste money on their books. They, too, are overpriced and the recipes are insanely complicated and filled with exotic and expensive ingredients.

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As vegan connoisseurs of over 20 years and animal activists, we consider ourselves to be ambassadors of veganism. We are very reluctant to say anything unflattering about a vegan restaurant. However, Millennium does veganism a great disservice.
We had to apologize to our non-vegan guests and assure them that vegan food is really not that bad. Food ranges from unpalatable to bland and unimaginative at best. The tempeh left a bitter taste that wouldn’t go away and the 2 pieces of crusted mushroom ($20) were almost inedible. Tofu skewers were o.k, but charging over $10 for 6 tiny pieces of mediocre tofu is offensive.
Their chocolate desserts and décor were able to partially redeem their abject failure as vegan gourmet experience (notwithstanding their far below par cheesecake).
Please consider trying one of SF’s many other wonderful vegan restaurants, like Herbivore or Geranium followed by Maggie’s Mudd (heaven!) for dessert.

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OK this place was my first experience with vegan gourmet dining. I am SOOOOOOO impressed! I even bought their cookbook (though I've yet to use it - stuff looks pretty difficult to make).

I really wish this idea would catch on, because I think this kind of place would do great in Newport Beach. It seems that every high end restaurant in Newport serves foie gras or something equally awful. I think if we had healthier options that were presented in an up scale manner, people would go.

Case in point: My boyfriend and I were staying at a hotel just a few doors down for three days, and we kept going back. I remember we went there on a Sunday night just for dessert, and it was about 10PM. The place was packed, and we had to wait half an hour even for a bar seat! I'm glad it's doing so well. Please expand!!!!

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I love this place! I hadn't been in a couple years and the food was just as good as I remembered. I wasn't a huge fan of the new location, but that could just be because parking was more difficult.

I took 3 carnivores with me for their first all vegan gourmet meals and they all had a good experience.

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over rated.

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The food was definitely excellent. But... the waiters were scary and the prices were astronomical!

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I finally made it to Millennium on my last trip to S.F. I have the last cookbook (nothing of which I can make but great to look through) and have been dying to go for the last couple years. Well it was all I expected. It was fantastic but not incredibly great, if that makes any sense. The service was excellent and the food looked like the beautiful pictures in my book. Nothing to complain about from start to finish. Although, it is pretty pricey.

Once again, as a vegan it is so refreshing to walk into a wonderful restaurant and order anything on the menu. That is a feeling that is indescribable. Thanks, Millennium!

Image for vaxjo

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The food was incredible: everything from the tiniest small plate of chanterelle mushroom sauté to the pecan crusted portobello and including the chocolate almond midnight dessert. Even the raspberry brown ale (Frambozen) was delicious. The service was a little slow, though; we had to wait quite a bit later than our reservation time to be seated and there were a couple times when we couldn't flag down the server. The prices were understandably high, though I would go back as much as I could reasonably afford.

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We had high hopes for Millennium. Apparently, they were too high.

First off, if you are supposed to be a premiere restaurant, your service had better be that way. Our server failed to inform us of any specials, and we had to ask about the available soups. We had to pour our own water and wine, at least three times.

The starters were nothing special. A corn chowder and a caesar salad. It existed, and tasted like peppered (wow! fresh cracked pepper, how avant garde!) romaine leaves and corn in water. Yes, I am being sarcastic and honest at the same time.

I had a promising gratin that came with a wilted salad. I had to pick out yellowed and slimy leaves, not my definition of a wilted salad. The side of artfully stacked steak fries were good, with an aioli sauce.

The chocolate decadence was ok. It may be the pinnacle of vegan desserts in the Bay Area. If so, I will never become vegan.

Compared to Counter (in NYC), Millennium comes off like Perkins. You will not find greatness here. Just attractive people sitting around in a hotel restaurant, playing hipster.

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Yes, this is a pricey place to eat, but one of the few vegan gourmet restaurants. As I learn to cook more and more vegan things, this is one place that can still impress me with their food. The entreés and dessert are the most exciting part to me, and if you skip drinking, it doesn't have to be a ridiculously priced meal. It's not always a huge amount of food, but I always leave feeling just the right amount full. The chocolate desserts are divine.

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Save your money. We paid well over $70 for an extraordinarily mediocre dinner (2 entrees, 2 drinks, 1 dessert). My dish--Chipotle Portobello--was lukewarm and of the size that a 5-year-old would be left wanting. The presentation was interesting, but there was nothing to make it taste particularly special. The other dish we got, the name I can't remember, looked and tasted like sliced Tofurky with bottled mushroom sauce. Which would be fine had it been 1/3 the cost. The only shining moment was the Chocolate Almond Midnight. We left so hungry and disappointed we walked down the block to Golden Era and ate again.

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This place rocks. The fact that us vegies (and non)can go out and enjoy a really nice, upscale, vegan dining experience is great.
The food here is delicious and the new location is perfect for a late night dessert after the theater.
A great SF dining experience.

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This is my favorite restaurant I've ever been to. I was luckily reading a current issue of "Vegetarian Times" enroute to SF some years ago, and they mentioned this new restaurant. I've been back countless times since then, including to their new Geary St. location that opened in early March 2003. My recommendation for 2 - order a Pinot Noir bottle of grape juice (unbelievable!), share an appetizer (their dinners are fabulous and their appetizers may be even better!!), enjoy a tremendous main course which will no doubt have ingredients you've not heard of or at least which are being used in a novel combination, and share one of their heavenly desserts (in my 5 or so visits in mid-March, I had their Creme Brulee - made with coconut milk and agar - twice!!), and expect to pay about $35-38 per person. Well worth it for awesome food!!!

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