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In this first post of what’s sure to be a hit Features series, we’ve interviewed Chef Arie Pavlou, the mad scientist / culinary genius behind Water Mill mainstay Bistro Ete, for the DRL Cocktail Club. As chef / owner of the restaurant, “Chef Arie” (as he’s known to all) is the culinary curator of every delectable thing to eat or drink at Ete. And while his Cordon Bleu training might be the draw for you to sample his irresistible Mediterranean-influenced fare, you’d be sorely remiss if you skipped out on drinks. It seems as though Le Cordon Bleu has made its way behind “le bar” as well…

Name / Age / Originally From?
Chef Arie, 40’s, Cyprus (the Greek side)

What got you into mixology?
I wanted the bar at Bistro Ete to be a mirror image of the kitchen. I am by nature, a purist and I believe my bar menu reflects that: simple, uncomplicated and taste of true flavors.

Cocktail Club - Bistro Ete
Credit: Bistro Ete
Cocktail Club - Bistro Ete
Credit: Bistro Ete

Where was your first job bartending?
This is my first bartending position, actually. Necessity is the mother of invention, as is the lack of a bartender. Previously, when I worked on the North Fork we lacked a bar but customers wanted cocktails so I made them in the kitchen. That was where my Margarita Mix was born…by using ingredients I had in the kitchen.

What inspires your creation / craft?
Simply fresh ingredients: spices, herbs, fruits, vegetables. If something tastes good enough to eat it must taste good enough to drink.

What’s your signature ingredient / cocktail / style?
Truffle Martini, hands down. We had left over truffles one year before we closed for vacation & I used them up on everything so I said F it and shaved them in my martini. There you go, a dream was born.

Cocktail Club - Bistro Ete
Credit: Bistro Ete
Cocktail Club - Bistro Ete
Credit: Bistro Ete

How do you create a cocktail menu specifically for the Hamptons summer scene?
We create cocktails with seasonal & fresh ingredients. A few of our cocktails have been inspired by hearing what customers want! For example, our “Jess’s Mom” in which we pressed fresh cucumber juice for a gin cocktail and our “Mateya” a mocktail inspired by a “regular” young lady is a creation of fresh muddled berries & seasonal ingredients (changes daily).

What’s the most involved / intricate / difficult technique you use in your craft?
My own infusions, which include: all kinds of fruits, spices, mushrooms, you name it! (I’ve even done lamb infused spirits…) The most popular ones, however, are rosemary, saffron, cacao, raspberry and cucumber.

What drink do you respect when people order?
I love when someone can truly appreciate a cocktail that drinks like a meal, like our “Caesar Martini.” It’s decadent and complex, and puts trust in the “Chef / Bartender.”

Cocktail Club - Bistro Ete
Credit: Bistro Ete
Cocktail Club - Bistro Ete
Credit: Bistro Ete

What’s your rosé of choice?
Champagne rosé. Ruinart, to be specific.

Frosé: go or no-go?
Frosé is unacceptable; sorry, not sorry.

Espresso martinis prior to dinner: fair game or foul play?
Fair game. Dessert first is always gluttonous & acceptable. Bistro Ete is a judgment-free zone.

Want more Chef Arie and Bistro Ete? Check out their DRL Top Picks coverage, head over to their website to make a reservation, and follow them on Instagram while you’re at it. 


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