Trying to decide where to eat when in The Hamptons can be a challenge. Each village has its share of wonderful dining options. On my Miami to Maine solo driving adventure, I spent a week in the idyllic Hamptons and never had a bad meal. It is a bucket list destination for the solo foodie sophisticate with an emphasis on farm to table, a movement that had its early beginnings in the area. Farm to table is the foundation of every meal, and the quality of dining experiences in this area is second to none. One of my favorite dinners was enjoyed at Pierre’s, a modern, casual chic French bistro in Bridgehampton.
As you drive down Highway 27 you can’t help but notice Pierre’s with its inviting outdoor seating. I knew I wanted to eat at the restaurant from the first time I spotted it. It exuded a warm, elegant charm from the road, something that is not easy to accomplish along a well-traveled thoroughfare. Not until I ate there did I discover the secret to its allure: Pierre Weber, the owner, known as the “bon vivant” of Bridgehampton.
A fifth generation descendant of French bakers born in Paris, Pierre came to the US for the first time to run in the New York City marathon and never returned to France. He was in the wholesale pastry business for 20 years in Manhattan before opening his restaurant in Bridgehampton in 2002. Handsome, friendly and always dressed elegantly casual, he fit easily into the Hamptons social scene. With the French bistro format, Pierre set out to create a “convivial, upbeat atmosphere” with fabulous food, wine and spirits. Because the restaurant is opened for breakfast, lunch and dinner, seven days a week all year round, Pierre attributes the secret to his success as a host, chef and owner is due to the fact that he spends so much time here. In his own words he shares, “I believe in hospitality. I welcome diners into what I consider my home.”
The setting for the solo diner is just right. You can eat at the comfortable bar, a small well-placed interior table or outside if the weather is nice. The euro chic interior is comfortable and trendy with the French Rivera feel of the bar to the predominately white dining area accented with black chairs, red booths, a fireplace and contemporary art. On Thursdays and Sunday evenings live jazz is featured for everyone’s enjoyment. Pierre says the restaurant’s atmosphere in “the summer is St Tropez with good manners… no dancing on the bar.” The spirits selections range from fine domestic and international beers both draft and bottle variety, specialty cocktails, and a wine list with 500 types of wines. Pierre’s even has its own private label rose from Clos Beyless, Cote de Provence that sells for $80 per bottle with $10 of every sale going to The Sylvia Center, a non-profit that inspires young people to eat well through hands on learning experiences on the farm and in the kitchen.
The menus offer so many wonderful options that it is hard to make a decision. Some of the local breakfast favorites are the organic smoothies, French toast with whipped cream and fresh berries, cage free egg dishes accompanied with fresh salads, roasted potatoes, baked tomatoes and a toasted brioche. Illy coffee, Damman Paris teas and organic juices are the beverage choices. Steak tartar served with “the best French fries in Bridgehampton,” a spinach omelet with goat cheese, clams or mussels steamed in white wine, lemon juice and garlic are a few of the popular lunch selections. Pierre’s most sought after dinner dish is the two pound lobster fricassee flambé with cognac and tarragon, complimented by those scrumptious French fries. Prix Fix meals with two or three courses and a glass of wine are offered for dinner Thursday through Sunday and cost $28 or $36 depending on the number of courses.
My choice for dinner was the tuna tartar, which is referred to as, “the lady’s dish with no fat”. My visit to Pierre’s was on the last night I was in the Hamptons and I had literally eaten and drank my way through my stay here so I decided to try and watch my calories! This light culinary choice was perfect in taste and amount. The Riesling wine choice was also just right. As I savored my meal I studied the growing clientele wondering whom these movers and shakers were. Pierre’s is known for its celebrity sightings.
Even though Pierre was not in the house when I was there, his refined and lovable personality was everywhere: in the food, the environment and with the people enjoying an evening out in the Hamptons. If your travels take you this chic American destination by all means savor a meal at Pierre’s, one of the best French bistros in the country.
Enjoy another light-hearted, informative video with Pierre Webber and understand a little more about his basic philosophy: “I love my customers.”