Named for the season, Bistro Été — French for “summer” — opened in what had been Robert’s in Water Mill over the weekend. The temporary restaurant is a quick turnaround from chef Arie Pavlou, who used to run Comtesse Therese Bistro in Aquebogue (now the Petulant Wino) and Coeur des Vignes in Southold (now North Fork Table and Inn). He has partnered with his wife, Liz Cordano, and photographer-artist Howard Krieger, who will manage the front of the house for a restaurant that they’re calling a “summer fling” rather than a pop-up.
The whole thing happened very fast, Pavlou says. A few months ago, he and his wife started talking about a short-term restaurant in a vacant space. They liked Robert’s — Robert Durkin’s restaurant that closed in August after a 25-year run — for its farmhouse-meets-bistro-in-Provence vibe as well as the indoor and outdoor seating.
Just over a week ago, they reached out to the landlord and struck a deal, signed a six-month lease, managed to land approval from the fire marshal and the Suffolk County Board of Health, and voilà: instant restaurant. Tables were dressed in pressed white linens and china from Pavlou’s collection. Walls were adorned with photographs from Krieger, and the restaurant presented a menu of Mediterranean-inspired bistro fare.
Escargot ($16), grilled octopus ($16), daily ceviche ($16) and foie gras ($24) are among the small plates. There’s always a local catch on the menu ($34), plus scallops with pomegranate and curry saffron sauce ($34) and smoked Long Island duck breast ($36).
The restaurant opens for dinner at 5 p.m., seven days a week; closing time is to be determined. Bistro Été’s summer fling will run through Labor Day and, the owners hope, into fall.
Bistro Été, 755 Montauk Hwy., Water Mill; 631-500-9085