Best Vegetarian (Expensive) - 2005
Fleur de Lys
777 Sutter (at Taylor), 673-7779, www.fleurdelyssf.com
San Francisco offers many delights for the vegetarian epicure, but none is more beguiling than the welcome given at the starry French temple de cuisine Fleur de Lys, whose Web site proudly states, "Vegetarians will be pleased to know that Chef Keller is more inspired than ever regarding his non-meat dishes." (That's Hubert Keller, veteran of the famous kitchens of Auberge de L'Ill, Gaston Lenôtre, Paul Bocuse, and Roger Verge: a rundown of haute cuisine of the 20th century. He consulted with Dr. Dean Ornish on healthy vegetarian cooking.) A sample winter vegetarian tasting menu offers wild mushroom strudel and butternut squash vichyssoise served with truffled popcorn; oven-roasted yellow and red beet salad presented with a coriander, cumin, and mint frozen cream; roasted chestnut and pear soup accompanied by black chanterelle brioche and truffle butter; and a colorful winter vegetable ragout served with truffles, a poached egg, and a truffled port wine sauce; ending with your choice of Fleur de Lys' extravagant desserts. If you call in advance, Keller can also devise menus for vegans.