By Bao Ong | September 9, 2016 | Food & Drink
The Water Mill restaurant Bistro Été blends chef Arie Pavlou’s “eat what you sow” upbringing with a come-as-you-are ambiance.
Scallops with pomegranate seeds and curry saffron sauce.
You might expect Bistro Été—located inside a straw-yellow farmhouse just off Montauk Highway—to be filled with white tablecloths and flickering candles. But when you step through the door of Arie and Liz Pavlou’s Water Mill eatery, the vibe is less like that of a formal Michelin-starred restaurant on Manhattan’s Upper East Side and more like Provence-meets-Cannes.
Chef Arie Pavlou, who trained at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris and cooked in the South of France before heading kitchens in the Hamptons, sources his ingredients from local purveyors to craft a menu that’s as varied as his talents (he’s fluent in nearly half a dozen languages and published a romance novel earlier this year).
One of the most popular dishes this summer is a locally caught striped bass that’s pan-seared and topped with a sherry tomato-mint sauce. “We want to utilize everything the East End of Long Island has to offer,” Pavlou says. “It brings me back to my childhood in Cyprus, where we hunted, foraged, fished, and farmed our food.”
The relaxed, casual eatery welcomes all guests, including those with dogs—the alfresco dining menu includes house-made organic dog biscuits. Pavlou’s wife, Liz, says Bistro Été (été means “summer” in French) is the kind of restaurant where Hamptonites can dine every day: “Come as you are and leave full and happy. Then we know we’ve done our job.” 755 Montauk Hwy, Water Mill, 500-9085
photography by Doug young