Top Chef Alumni Newsletter

Top Chef Villains: Marcel Creates Menu for Bar 210; Richter Opens Stephen’s on Montana

Stefan Richter opens Stefan's on Montana for fondue and brunch
Stefan Richter opens Stefan’s on Montana for fondue and brunch Photo: Stefan’s at L.A.Farm

Marcel Vigneron and Stefan Richter, the two Top Chef runners-up that fans love to loathe, are both opening L.A. restaurants this week. Eater notes that Vigneron was hired only last week to create a menu for Bar 210 and Plush, a new lounge/restaurant headed to the old Trader Vic’s space in Beverly Hills and premiering this Friday night. So what’s Marcel cooking?

Vigneron has spent the last year as a sous chef at Jose Andres’ The Bazaar and is predictably bringing “modern global tapas” with a surplus of foam and “textures.” The menu will include tiger prawn ravioli and pork belly sliders that are clearly different from C.J.’s at The Yard, using pickled green papaya slaw, black garlic aioli, and pimenton espelette. Marcel might not be too late to jump onto the small plates caravan and guests will get to judge for themselves at a private opening set for Friday. The public debut will be the following day, allowing open access to anyone, including Ilan Hall’s crosstown Gorbals crew. But even if you’re skeeved by Marcel inspiring your eats, the room appears to be decked out in Lakers colors as an early, encouraging plus.

Bar 210/Plush 9876 Wilshire Blvd.

With a better chance of becoming more than a celeb chef sideshow, Stefan Richter has opened his second restaurant, Stefan’s on Montana, in Santa Monica. Housed in the cursed Cynthia’s space, Eater explains that Stefan’s brunch and lunch is straight-forward, with eggs Benedict, burgers, sandwiches, and salads currently available. A bring-your-own-booze dinner with $10 corkage is coming soon, according to the restaurant’s website, which also reveals the chrome-domed chef’s plans to focus on, get ready…fondue! All inspired by his stints in Switzerland.

Stefan concentrating on fondue courses? Guess that’s befitting of a chef who loves Journey and spouts horn-dog talk that rarely even worked in the Seventies. Oh well, Richter scored big with Stefan’s at L.A. Farm so, much like refusing to accept that you won’t leave your fiancée for him, why shouldn’t he give it another shot? Richter has also started a site called Stefan’s Restaurants, making us wonder what will pop up next.

Stefan’s on Montana is open at 1518 Montana Ave. Santa Monica.

Stefan Richter Debuts Stefan’s on Montana [Eater L.A.]
Marcel Vigneron’s New Stomping Ground {Eater L.A.]
Stefan Richter Doubles Down with a New Santa Monica Restaurant [Grub Street]
Stefan Richter is Not Serving a “Gay Drink” at L.A. Farm [Grub Street]

Top Chef Villains: Marcel Creates Menu for Bar 210; Richter Opens