Now in its second full season, American Beech in Stirling Square is hitting its stride. The space has long been a Greenport hot spot and this upscale yet casual incarnation offers a chic coastal vibe, fresh menu and indoor/outdoor options that appeal to all ages. The secret to success is to follow what people want while being true to the American Beech aesthetic, said general manager Iris Welcome. “We’re not trying to put our egos into it,” she said. “We offer an experience that’s innovative yet still familiar so that people are happy to come back every week.”
“We’re not trying to put our egos into it.”
Chef Kyle Romeo, alum of top North Fork restaurants like North Fork Table & Inn and Jedediah Hawkins, offers New American dishes like Crescent Farm duck wings with passion-fruit tamarind glaze, oysters in strawberry mignonette, and mains that feature fresh local fish, fowl, and aged meats.
In the spirit of sharing the summer fun, American Beech now offers large-format cocktails. A fresh-pressed watermelon juice and basil vodka concoction, for example, arrives in a pitcher with a silver ladle. A selection of still and sparkling wines are sold in magnums. “We get a lot of people visiting in groups celebrating birthdays and weddings and this is a great way for them to enjoy themselves,” Welcome said. “It’s like a big garden party.” New this year is cocktail service at the patio and lounge area by the outdoor fireplace, which turns into a trendy watering hole at night.
Above the restaurant are five nicely appointed en suite rooms in the same elegant white, natural wood and grey décor. Ultra soft faux fur throws, Frette sheets and espresso machines add touches of luxury.
American Beech is owned and operated by Brent Pelton, a Manhattan lawyer and avid sailor who grew up on an organic farm in Iowa. On a visit to Greenport in 2011 he fell in love with Stirling Square, especially the old carriage house that is now home to the restaurant and inn, and jumped at the chance to buy when it came up for sale. Other commercial spaces in Stirling Square are undergoing upgrades and renovations and new tenants are bringing them back to life. American Beech is in the center of the village, about an eight-minute walk from the LIRR station and Hampton Jitney stop.