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Restaurants & Bars 5

"Dining Out on" SF's Millenium

Fine | Mar 24, 200606:39 PM

Don't know if the expression "to dine out on" is still current, but it means having such a--usually--funny experience it will supply dinner table conversation for numerous subsequent meals.

Having never eaten at Millenium but been curious about it for years, I took advantage of needing a place near the theatre we were attending to go there.

I entered in the Open Table line for "messages to maitre d'" that one of us could not eat cilantro. I reminded the host on our arrival as well as apprising the waiter as we ordered. (When, as Open Table always insists, I asked the host to make sure we were credited with our "points" for the reservation, she replied she had no way of doing that--a first.)

When the main courses arrived, a staff member accompanied them with a menu, saying the chef had just remembered the "Dosai" (apparently a variation on "dosa") has the offending herb in its batter.

The waiter brought a beet preparation, compliments of the house, while we awaited the replacement (another appetizer, since most other mains were cilantro-laden or simply unappealing).

I had been unable to resist pointing out to the waiter earlier that chioggia (pronounced, BTW, kee-o'-ja) was misspelled on the menu; his reply was, "Oh, no, that's another beet." Huh? I tried to explain I'd grown it, but to no avail.(That's I suppose as futile as fighting the common mispronunciation of bruschetta--brews-ketta, correctly-- but hope springs ....)

When we got the check, the beets were charged then labeled "good will," causing those paying to include the amount in figuring the tip. I'd never seen a complimentary item turn up on a check before. The appetizer replacement for the Dosai was also "comped."

The following day we received a call from the credit card company checking on the accuracy of recent charges and found we'd been charged twice for our half of the bill.

After all that, Mrs. Lincoln, how was the food? To tell you the truth, it was so dark in the restaurant, I not only needed to pull our my keychain flashlight to read the menu, but I couldn't make out what was on my plate. For me, at least, eating involves all the senses, and if it's too dark to differentiate one ingredient from another, I end up with little memory of the experience. I'd say OK but very overpriced. I did find myself drinking a lot of fluids afterwards.

I absolutely loved the Navarro Pinot Noir juice!

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