Pierre Weber’s Bridgehampton Bistro
BY SYLVIE BIGAR
The bar at Pierre’s
|Lobster fricassee, a Pierre’s bestseller|
|The dining room|
The shiny apricot tart matches his Hermès orange sweatshirt perfectly. It is Saturday morning and Pierre Weber—host, chef, owner, bon vivant, and fifth-generation baker—is on deck. Coffee in hand, he directs his intense blue gaze to every detail of the pastry shop and market he opened last year next door to his eponymous restaurant in Bridgehampton.
While hip eateries play the pop-up game in the Hamptons every season, Weber has steered his ship steadily since 2002. What is his secret? “I spend so much time here,” he says with a laugh. “I want to feel at home, and I want my customers to feel at home too.”
In the restaurant, flowing white curtains, potted palm trees and rattan stools sit alongside the long wooden bar, creating a St. Barth’s-meets-Cap d’Antibes atmosphere. “Diners told me they felt they were in St. Barth’s long before I visited the island, but this décor is me,” he says. “It’s where I feel best.”
Born in Paris to an Alsatian family, Weber tried to stick to a more conservative path and take over the family bakery, but after three years spent waving the rolling pin, he packed his ancestral recipes, his sense of style and his sneakers and headed to the United States to run the New York City Marathon.
“In New York, I met the owner of La Bonne Soupe, Jean-Paul Picot, who was about to open a bakery, and [he] taunted me, ‘Want to come have fun?’ He facilitated my stay in the US and was my guardian angel for many years.” In 2001, a few weeks after September 11, Weber proudly became an American citizen, but when he decided to settle in Bridgehampton, he reverted to his French roots, bien sûr, for the menu.
“Today, I am switching to more local, organic ingredients, but my best sellers are still the lobster fricassée and the steak tartare,” Weber says. At the new shop, succulent homemade ice creams, cakes and quiches are definitely worth a stop, but this season he is offering some of his restaurant items to go, as well. “Customers can pick up a whole meal,” he says. Also new this year is a 5,000-bottle wine cellar.
“I believe in hospitality,” Weber says. “I welcome diners into what I consider to be my home.” With his Citroën Deux-Chevaux parked just under the French flag outside, tout va bien. 2468 Main St., Bridgehampton, 537-5110; pierresbridgehampton.com
PHOTOGRAPHS BY ERIC STRIFFLER