A couple of weeks ago I learned I would need to go to San Francisco for a couple of days (work). When I found out what hotel we were booking I immediately opened a browser window and looked up how far it was from Millennium. One of the things that I put on my “bucket list” soon after going vegan was eating dinner at Millennium. It is considered by many to be one of the top vegan restaurants in the US.
Two blocks…two city blocks from my hotel room, on the same street as my hotel !!
I went to the cube of the person who arranged the trip and told her I wouldn’t be able to eat dinner with our vendors and I explained about Millennium. She said, “Well how about we all go”. I so love the people I work with.
When the plane landed and we had our rental car the other person with us said she wasn’t sure she could go, she hates vegetables. The organizer chimed in, “No problem, just order the chicken”.
I explained that it is a completely vegan restaurant which means no chicken or fish. “Oh”.
After a day filled with productive but occasionally contentious meetings all nine of us were ready for dinner. And then the comments started flowing. “I can just eat the bread” (how often is that line muttered by a vegan?). “I guess I can run across the street for a burger afterwards if I need to”. But I ignored them and we all met at Millennium after freshening up at our hotels.
The organic wines and drinks at the bar before dinner were a big hit. I had the hibiscus fused mojito special. We talked about sustainable farming. The bartender even showed us an article on Biodynamic Production Techniques. I mentioned that not all wine is vegan (shocked a few people much as I was shocked the first time I found out).
The restaurant was beautiful and the menu so creative. We all order appetizers. Wonderful, wonderful appetizers. I am still day-dreaming about the fried green tomatoes and roasted beets. Between the appetizers and dinner the comments included “this isn’t bad at all”, “I was expecting grass and green juice”, “not sure about what I ordered for dinner but the appetizer was great”.
Dinner…so very amazing. The comments turned from doubt to “OMG that is great”, “I can’t believe how good this is”, “What is polenta?”. The woman I flew up with who hates veggies finished everything on her plate…every bite.
We all decided that dessert was a must. We ended up ordering at least one of everything on the menu except for the Blueberry-Lemon Napoleon which Millennium sent to our table for free. It was also wonderful.
After dinner everyone without exception talked about how amazed they were and how great the food was. Of the two guys who told me they had very low expectations, one of them took a picture of his dinner and posted it on facebook, the other sent an email to his pescetarian wife to gloat.
Even the next morning when I walked into the conference room I was greeted with comments on how great the food was, thanking me for suggesting it, and how surprised they were by vegan food.
Do I think anyone of our group will go vegan? Doubtful. But I do believe that if they are ever offered vegan food again they won’t make comments about grass and green juice. And I am positive that if they are ever in a conversation about vegans they will have nothing but positive comments and memories of great food and a great evening.
As for me, it was a “bucket list” worthy night and not just because of the food.