What Vegans Eat – Day 761: Travel Edition

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Breakfast: The day had arrived! I have been looking forward to it since we arrived. We were meeting our friends Ann and Larry (the original owners of the Millennium Restaurant in San Francisco) for brunch at the new Millennium in Oakland. We had some English Breakfast tea and hit the road. The Millennium Restaurant opened in 1994. I will never forget it! It was the first place I ever went to for vegan fine dining. I was living in France at the time, but fortunately traveling to California frequently for business. I will never forget my first few meals there, they were fabulous!
 
Gary and I had the opportunity to interview Millennium’s Chef Eric Tucker, who opened the newer Millennium in Oakland when the San Francisco restaurant had to close.
 
Lunch: And now I present our lunch at the Millennium Restaurant! To begin with, there was a parking spot in front of the restaurant when we arrived – great karma (rim shot)! We were warmly greeted by Ann and Larry. I felt happy and at home in this beautiful space. We sat in the outdoor garden area. Gary and I ordered tea. You know how we love a good cup of tea. We have been craving good tea since we arrived in California. We got it here! I ordered a Pu-Erh Tea called Velvet Cacao, with notes of cocoa, vanilla, roasted dandelion, coconut and Gary had Earl Grey. When we asked the server where these wonderful teas came from she said Samovar. Samovar Tea! I thought it oddly coincidental that we had just been gifted a Samovar just yesterday.
 
For an appetizer we shared the Pan Roasted Fingerling Potatoes served with smoked pear ketchup. They were covered with salted Garlicky bits.
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Larry ordered the Red Bean & Root Vegetable Etoufée with Sautéed Broccoli, Creamy Cashew Roasted Garlic Grits and an Herb Salad. He explained that he grew up eating grits, so when he sees it offered on a menu, he has to order it.
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Ann, Larry and I had the Little Gem Salad, with roasted Garlic and Sunflower Ranch Dressing, Chopped Capers and a Sunflower Seed-Nori Crumble.
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Ann and I shared the Cornmeal Crusted Cauliflower Sandwich with French Onion-Cashew Cheese Sauce, Sweet & Spicy Peperonata, Cabbage Slaw, Ciabatta Roll and Grilled Asparagus Salad.
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And my pancake boy was the happiest. He got the Cornmeal Pancakes with Fruit Compote, Whipped Sweet Tofu Butter, Warm Maple Syrup and Smoke Toasted Cashew Granola.
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No, we were to full for dessert! But Larry ordered the Pineapple Polenta Upside Down Cake with Pineapple-Caramel Ginger Pastry Cream, and the Chocolate Chip Currant Scones with Blood Orange Preserves and Clotted Cream.
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The scones were my favorite.
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We would have loved to linger in the Claremont neighborhood where the restaurant is located. But we had to get back to Monte Sereno for another food event. It was Pizza Night at Gary’s brother’s home and Gary was assigned to make the sauce and I was making the gluten-free pizza dough. Gary also whipped up a creamy Arugula Pesto with Cashews (a variation on his Kale Pesto recipe.)
 
Dinner: There were two pizza bar stations. This was the vegan, gluten-free bar with Black Olives, Roasted Red Peppers and Maitake Mushrooms.
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My pizza!
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Cousin Nancy brought salad and we had big bowls.
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