Yesterday, Eater DC stopped by L.A. chef Marcel Vigneron's "conscious plant-based cuisine" pop-up. It was held at Bearnaise, fellow Top Chef vet Spike Mendelsohn’s Capitol Hill restaurant. Vigneron was in town for the pop-up to promote his new fast-casual, eco-friendly venture Beefsteak and he managed to do the unheard of — convince vegans and vegetarians to have dinner at a steak frites restaurant.
Bearnaise’s manager Catherine Ker said vegetarians and vegan diners alike had called to make reservations that evening to try Vigneron’s entree, the "cauliflower steak." The vegan dish was studded with pickled golden raisins, coconut sauce, roasted carrots, quinoa with pistachio and pomegranates, and topped with a crispy kale leaf. Diners could order a half-size for an appetizer, or a full-size dish.
Did it convince diners there for the normal menu to forgo a Bearnaise steak? Some of them. They sold 24 steaks total that night, including some to meat eaters, according to a spokeswoman.
The goal of Vigneron’s Beefsteak, will be to provide healthy, satisfying meals for vegetarians, vegans, and omnivores alike. Basically, entrees that won’t result in a food coma. "I want my guests to feel satisfied and sexy," Vigneron said. The chef is heading back to LA working on opening Beefsteak and a sit-down restaurant as well.