“Our customers are thankful that we can be here for them and able to offer some sense of normalcy in their own home,” says Chef Arie Pavlou of Bistro Été in Water Mill, which has been offering not only takeout but some emotional solace during the coronavirus pandemic. “As you know, food is a transport, and with every bite of something you’ve enjoyed in the past, it brings you back to that moment. In the times we are in, it is a good momentary escape plan.”
A Dan’s Best of the Best winner, Chef Arie and his wife, Liz, are showing the community spirit and dedication to culinary craft that earned them that honor, but also their sense of just how essential their role is in the community, especially now. “By our customers choosing to enjoy Bistro Été at home, it makes us feel like we are doing something positive for our community,” he says, “and their support allows us to keep core staff employed during this time of uncertainty.”
Alongside Chef Arie’s incredible cuisine, cocktails have been an essential part of the Bistro Été experience from the day the restaurant opened. That notion has not changed in these times of takeout, and in fact, with their to-go concoctions. Well, maybe they’ve changed a little…
“We give a little extra! They can enjoy an ‘abundance’ of our cocktails responsibly in their own homes,” Liz says with a laugh. “We also throw in some of Chef’s Nuts that are typically enjoyed at the bar with a cocktail—why not be able to enjoy them at home? But on a more serious note, sharing recipes for some of our most popular cocktails is great way for our customers to get creative!”
“Margaritas are by far the most popular,” she continues. “Maybe because this is one of Chef Arie’s secret recipes and can’t be made at home unless you buy his mix. Customers also love that we provide Chef Arie’s house-made habanero paste on the side, and they get to add their own spice—also a fun way to be creative. Even though our Pink Grapefruit recipe is out there, that’s also still a big hit to-go.”
Chef Arie’s Margarita Mix to-go has been a favorite for people to bring home for years. And to take some liberties with an old orange juice commercial, it’s not just for margaritas any more, application has evolved well beyond that tequila-based classic. “Just like we do at Bistro Été, customers can use Chef Arie’s Margarita Mix to make a Whiskey Sour, an Arnold Palmer, or throw it in the ice cream maker,” Liz offers.
As much as Chef Arie and Liz are striving to give their all to the community, that outreach and support is being reciprocated. “Many of our customers ask how they can help the Bistro Été staff during these uncertain times,” Chef Arie says. “We did not set up a GoFundMe page simply because we understand everyone is affected by this pandemic. We are all in this together! What we would like to share with those generous souls who want to help is, the best way for you to support our wonderful hardworking staff is to order take out. By letting us feed your families, you are feeding ours. Stay safe!”
Taste Bistro Été’s Pink Grapefruit Cocktail by trying the recipe below or by ordering one to-go. Visit bistroete.com for more information.
2 oz Rosemary Infused Vodka (Infuse 750 ml bottle of vodka with 10–12 8″ branches of fresh rosemary for approximately 4–6 days.)
1 oz St. Germaine
1/2 Juiced Grapefruit
Sprig of Rosemary for Garnish
1. Pour all ingredients into shaker with ice.
2. Shake it well.
3. Strain and pour into a vessel of your choice.
4. Garnish with sprig of rosemary.
5. Toast with someone special and enjoy!