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Bistro Ete in Water Mill harvests, serves local bamboo

Pork chops with wild morels and bamboo at

Pork chops with wild morels and bamboo at Bistro Ete in Water Mill. Photo Credit: Doug Young

Farm to table is one thing; wild to table, another.

Chef Arie Pavlou of Bistro Ete has been harvesting bamboo along the roads and in the woods of Bridgehampton and Water Mill. "Peppery and crunchy," Pavlou said. "Sauteed as an accompaniment" to main courses, and served raw in salads.

He added, however, that bamboo has "such a short season, spring and a little later.'' So patrons are advised to call ahead to see what's available. 

Although Pavlou collected a fair amount of bamboo, he noted that it's quickly perishable and can't be frozen.

Pavlou and his wife, Liz, are co-owners of Bistro Ete. During the brief bamboo season and beyond, they've also been importing sugar cane, crushing it and using the sugar cane juice in cocktails.

"Instead of a 'skinny margarita,' we do a healthy margarita, with sugar cane juice, lime, and mezcal," a beverage made from the heart of agave plants. Tequila is made with blue agave. The sugar cane juice is reduced to a syrupy consistency for use in the drink.

"We're treating the bar as an extension of the kitchen," the chef said. Coming next: cherry season — and "a gin and cherry cocktail." He also has been pressing fresh fruit juice, including pineapple and cranberry for drinks to come.

Bistro Ete, 760 Montauk Hwy., Water Mill, 631-500-9085, bistroete.com

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