Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

At Richard's Table

Lunch and a tour with Richard Gere



Richard Gere and wife Carey Lowell

Richard Gere

It is an amazing story. From beginning to end, what Richard Gere and wife Carey Lowell have created at the Bedford Post is magical. If this were a movie it would undoubtedly have a happy ending, as the camera pans across this restaurant and inn of down-to-earth elegance, with a superb chef, a 19th-century-inspired design shored up with trappings of modernity, and a location that can’t be replicated. With eight distinctive guest rooms, a café, yoga studio, private wine cellar, and buckets of charm, the Bedford Post is a genuine artifact.

But it’s the journey that makes this story an Oscar winner. It is steeped in history, wrapped in a graceful setting, peppered with philosophical discussions on sustainability, health, and social interactions, and driven by a love story. “I had the idea for the place, but Carey is the one who made it happen,” says Richard as he gives Bedford Magazine the first private tour of the now-bustling eatery.

For years Gere had driven along 121 past the derelict old Nino’s, a charming but abandoned building that had been home to numerous eateries. One day, looking up the hills beyond the shingled structure, he pictured himself cantering through the woods, down to a restaurant for an authentic experience in relaxation. Weeks later, as Gere and his future business partner, builder Russell Hernandez, were watching their sons play soccer, they hatched the idea of buying and refurbishing the place.

Richard and Carey are wonderful and genuine people, so there was little doubt the project would be a reflection of their souls. The beauty of the Bedford Post is that it looks so natural, as if it belongs. In a sense it does. At its core, after all, is an 1835 colonial structure, set slightly back from the road and nestled into 14 wooded acres with horse paths weaving through the sugar maples. “Martha comes on horseback,” says Richard, as he points up in the direction of the Stewart estate. She’s even got her own hitching post.

The design, the feel, the aura linger like a sepia-toned photograph. Ecuadorian craftsmen honed, chipped, and torqued the local fieldstone. Richard and his crew picked the bluestone floors set as the base of the wine cellar and other areas from the lot at Bedford Stone on Adams Street, agonizing over the texture and hue of the grout. The wide oak floorboards of the inn gain their rich finish from a dark wax, while the wallboards and trim gain their subtle liming color from the ceruse finish it underwent, very much in 1900s Stickley style. “It provides a real earthy feel,” says Carey. “These doors are two-and-a-quarter-inch thick handcrafted oak,” says Hernandez proudly. “Feel that.” Old dances with new: Pieces from Yellow Monkey in Cross River sit here and  there. Frank Gehry-designed light fixtures shine in one area, while cafe chairs pulled from an old shed comfort guests. “These chairs are from the forties or fifties and were here in Nino’s,” says Richard, as he lifts one up to focus our attention to it. “We looked all over for the right chairs, and they were here all along.”

As we walked through the dining room and out to the patio, Carey straightens pictures, adjusts an off-kilter waiter stand, and wipes a smudge off a windowpane. “She’s doing that constantly,” says Richard. “I can’t help it,” she says. As a result of their tight and complementary relationship, the place exudes neither the masculine clubbiness of a lodge, nor the fussy, overly pretty feel of some upscale eateries. “She’s very masculine, and I’m very feminine,” Richard jokes.

“I come from drama,” Richard explains. “There has to be an entrance, and a sense of place to each distinct area.” The patio provides just that. Large fieldstones line the ground. A giant grill is positioned off toward the Old Post Road, while a large stonewall festooned with custom plantings acts as a backdrop. “Bedford is full of some very effective people,” Richard says as we stroll to an area that will soon house a bocce court. “The problem is these people don’t normally come together. This will become a clubhouse where they can gather for great food, wine, and a really nice environment. It’s where people start to talk about what they’re doing in the world. It will be a really high level of networking. This community can have a great impact on the world, and it can happen here.”

Just inside the restaurant we walk to a private, intimate space just off the kitchen. “Chef’s table,” Richard says. From there we pop back into the main dining room, which accommodates about 75. Then over to a comfortable bar area, featuring booths reminiscent of Nino’s. Always in charge of the kitchen—for the restaurant and the downstairs café that serves breakfast and lunch—is chef Brian Lewis, who combines the simplicity of fresh, local foods with the sophistication of his Manhattan pedigree.

Some of Lewis’s specialties include a selection of salads, from heirloom tomato to a mix of uni, yuzu, and plums. Others favorites include Nantucket bay scallops, wild mushroom soup, Madeira-glazed black cod, and soft farm egg ravioli, which includes sheep’s milk ricotta, burgundy spinach, and sage crumbs. There is an ample selection of homemade pastas, and an always-changing selection of seafood, such as red snapper with eggplant, tomato raisins, and lime-saffron vinaigrette. Desserts and wines outpace the main-course selections.
We soon enter a side door and find ourselves in a reception area, which opens into a private lounge. “Let’s go see the inn,” Carey says, leading us upstairs to the eight overnight rooms they hope will lure city folk and others for a weekend of dining, spiritual enrichment, and relaxation. Each uniquely decorated suite varies in size but maintains the same understated elegance as the entire operation: Natural wood finishes augmented with subtle textures; simple luxuries without the clutter of glitzy aggrandizements. “Each room has its own personality,” says Carey. The rooflines jut into some rooms, creating a singularity and sense of ownership for the guest.

A great part of the story is that it’s quintessentially Bedford, with the characters ranging from customers Martha Stewart and Ralph Lauren to the regulatory boards that had to pass muster. And therein lies the nut. In the process of clearing out debris from the property and dilapidated building, Gere and his partner Hernandez agreed to remove an old barn for the town. “We found these chestnut boards and were able to reuse them,” says Hernandez, still enthused three years later. “They were magnificent. The barn that was being torn down and discarded became part of the creation of this place.”

Says Richard, reflecting on the process and end result, “This really worked out for everyone. In the beginning, I made it clear that we were going to do this right. I’m not a developer looking to carve up lots. So I said to the town, ‘If you want us to do this, we’ll do this. If not, tell us now.’ They were on our side, and they wanted this to happen. They knew philosophically what we wanted, and they liked it. When they saw the quality, they were dumbfounded.”

After the tour, we sat down for lunch with Richard and Russell. As guests craned their necks to catch a glimpse of Gere the international sex symbol and movie star, he and I exchanged Red Sox-Yankee jabs and reflected on the scope of this project. As we dined, Carey walked by with a designer—looking both consumed with responsibility yet satisfied with her accomplishment, the opus that’s constantly being improved, the enduring classic that will never become tired, the cutting-edge restaurant and inn that’s carved its own niche in timelessness

Add your comment:

Connect With Us

             

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags

Archive »Related Content

Making Music

Universal Republic Records CEO and co-founder Monte Lipman discusses living the Bedford lifestyle.

Ten Minutes With Tom Brokaw

The former anchor and esteemed journalists talks about life and issues

Ten Minutes With Kate Mara

Actress, model, and heir to the NY Giants, Kate Mara tells some stories

On Martha's Porch

Sitting one summer day with Martha Stewart on her Bedford back porch

Vera's Way

Fashion legend Vera Wang shares her secrets about fashion, business, and living locally

Profiles

Your Guides to Leading Local Professionals

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

November 2018

On November 3rd, Heather Gaudio Fine Artis set to open “Room for Play,” a group exhibition featuring works by Ellen Carey, Deborah Kass, Robert...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: 203-801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
Website »

More information

On August 18, 2018, the Bruce Museum will open A Continuous Thread: Navajo Weaving Traditions. This exhibition will trace the history of the Navajo weaving tradition from the earliest...

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Dr
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Sponsor: Bruce Museum
Telephone: 203-413-6735
Contact Name: Scott Smith
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

On November 3rd, Heather Gaudio Fine Artis set to open “Room for Play,” a group exhibition featuring works by Ellen Carey, Deborah Kass, Robert...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: 203-801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
Website »

More information

On August 18, 2018, the Bruce Museum will open A Continuous Thread: Navajo Weaving Traditions. This exhibition will trace the history of the Navajo weaving tradition from the earliest...

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Dr
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Sponsor: Bruce Museum
Telephone: 203-413-6735
Contact Name: Scott Smith
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

On November 3rd, Heather Gaudio Fine Artis set to open “Room for Play,” a group exhibition featuring works by Ellen Carey, Deborah Kass, Robert...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: 203-801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
Website »

More information

On August 18, 2018, the Bruce Museum will open A Continuous Thread: Navajo Weaving Traditions. This exhibition will trace the history of the Navajo weaving tradition from the earliest...

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Dr
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Sponsor: Bruce Museum
Telephone: 203-413-6735
Contact Name: Scott Smith
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Join us for a FREE lecture! Falls are a leading cause of injury among older adults. However, the fear of falling doesn’t need to rule your life. Learn strategies for preventing falls and...

Cost: Free

Where:
Stamford Health Tully Health Center
32 Strawberry Hill Court
1st Floor Auditorium
Stamford, CT  06902
View map »


Sponsor: HSS Sports Rehab
Telephone: 203-705-2933
Contact Name: Pamela Villagomez
Website »

More information

On November 3rd, Heather Gaudio Fine Artis set to open “Room for Play,” a group exhibition featuring works by Ellen Carey, Deborah Kass, Robert...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: 203-801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
Website »

More information

Wednesday, November 14th at 4:00 PM. Open to all ages. Decorate an apple with candy to make it look like a turkey! This event is free and no registration is required. Co-sponsored with the NS...

Cost: Free

Where:
Ruth Keeler Memorial Library
276 Titicus Road
North Salem, NY  10560
View map »


Sponsor: Keeler Library
Telephone: 914-669-5161
Contact Name: Carolyn Reznick
Website »

More information

On August 18, 2018, the Bruce Museum will open A Continuous Thread: Navajo Weaving Traditions. This exhibition will trace the history of the Navajo weaving tradition from the earliest...

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Dr
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Sponsor: Bruce Museum
Telephone: 203-413-6735
Contact Name: Scott Smith
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Take a behind-the-scenes, private tour of The Metropolitan Museum of Art exhibition Jewelry: The Body Transformed with Curator of American Decorative Arts, Beth Carver Wees. Followed by lunch and...

Cost: Member price: $50 Non-Member price: $60

Where:
Metropolitan Museum of Art
1000 Fifth Avenune
New York, NY   10028
View map »


Sponsor: Katonah Museum of Art
Telephone: 914-232-9555

More information

Join Laura’s brother Jan, and singers Diane Garisto and Kate Ferber for an evening of live music, stories and videos of this Rock & Roll Hall of Fame trailblazer.   Laura Nyro, posthumously...

Cost: 50.00

Where:
Bedford Playhouse
633 Old Post Road
bedford, NY
View map »

More information

914INC. will host its annual Women in Business Luncheon, to be held in conjunction with the magazine’s Q4/Winter issue, showcasing leading area businesswomen.

Cost: Single Ticket: $85 / Table of Ten: $800

Where:
DoubleTree by Hilton
455 South Broadway
Tarrytown, NY  10591
View map »


Sponsor: 914INC and Westchester Magazine
Website »

More information

On November 3rd, Heather Gaudio Fine Artis set to open “Room for Play,” a group exhibition featuring works by Ellen Carey, Deborah Kass, Robert...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: 203-801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
Website »

More information

On August 18, 2018, the Bruce Museum will open A Continuous Thread: Navajo Weaving Traditions. This exhibition will trace the history of the Navajo weaving tradition from the earliest...

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Dr
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Sponsor: Bruce Museum
Telephone: 203-413-6735
Contact Name: Scott Smith
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Meet us under the Dome and catch all the excitement! Come out for the 16th Annual Festival of Trees to benefit Ann’s Place at the Danbury Sports Dome for a weekend filled with live events...

Cost: Ages 3 to 64, $10; Seniors, $5; kids under 3, free.

Where:
Danbury Sports Dome
25 Shelter Rock Ln
Danbury, CT  06810
View map »


Sponsor: Ann's Place
Telephone: 203-790-6568
Contact Name: Michelle Frosch
Website »

More information

Friday mornings from 10:30 to 12:30. Free, no registration. Open to adults and older teens. Participants are asked to bring their own supplies in, but some basic supplies will be provided by the...

Cost: Free

Where:
Ruth Keeler Memorial Library
276 Titicus Road
North Salem, NY  10560
View map »


Sponsor: Keeler Library
Telephone: 914-669-5161
Contact Name: Carolyn Reznick
Website »

More information

On November 3rd, Heather Gaudio Fine Artis set to open “Room for Play,” a group exhibition featuring works by Ellen Carey, Deborah Kass, Robert...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: 203-801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
Website »

More information

On August 18, 2018, the Bruce Museum will open A Continuous Thread: Navajo Weaving Traditions. This exhibition will trace the history of the Navajo weaving tradition from the earliest...

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Dr
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Sponsor: Bruce Museum
Telephone: 203-413-6735
Contact Name: Scott Smith
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Wise financial planning includes getting up to date values for jewelry, watches and other valuables tucked away in jewelry boxes and safe deposit boxes. To make an appointment for a complimentary...

Cost: Free with admission

Where:
Katonah Museum of Art
134 Jay Street
Katonah, NY  10536
View map »


Sponsor: Katonah Museum of Art
Telephone: 914-232-9555
Website »

More information

Westchester Oratorio Society, Artistic Director Benjamin Niemczyk, opens its 21st season with a concert entitled, “An Evening with Bach” at the South Salem Presbyterian Church,...

Cost: $15 to $50

Where:
South Salem Presbyterian Church
111 Spring Street
South Salem, NY  10590
View map »


Sponsor: Westchester Oratorio Society
Telephone: 800 838 3006
Contact Name: Joe Spallina
Website »

More information

Molsky’s Mountain Drifters brings tradition steeped in possibility. The grace and wisdom of longtime fiddle player and multi-instrumentalist Bruce Molsky, described as “an absolute...

Cost: $25, $40, $55, $70

Where:
Rosen House Music Room
Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts
149 Girdle Ridge Rd
Katonah, NY  10536
View map »


Sponsor: Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts
Telephone: 914-232-1252
Website »

More information

On November 3rd, Heather Gaudio Fine Artis set to open “Room for Play,” a group exhibition featuring works by Ellen Carey, Deborah Kass, Robert...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: 203-801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
Website »

More information

On August 18, 2018, the Bruce Museum will open A Continuous Thread: Navajo Weaving Traditions. This exhibition will trace the history of the Navajo weaving tradition from the earliest...

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Dr
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Sponsor: Bruce Museum
Telephone: 203-413-6735
Contact Name: Scott Smith
Website »

More information

Saturday, November 17th from 12:00 - 3:00 PM for kids K+. Plan on staying with your children and having fun together.   This year’s annual STEAMFEST will feature Mad Science’s special...

Cost: Free

Where:
Ruth Keeler Memorial Library
276 Titicus Road
North Salem, NY  10560
View map »


Sponsor: Keeler Library
Telephone: 914-669-5161
Contact Name: Carolyn Reznick
Website »

More information

Meet us under the Dome and catch all the excitement! Come out for the 16th Annual Festival of Trees to benefit Ann’s Place at the Danbury Sports Dome for a weekend filled with live events...

Cost: Ages 3 to 64, $10; Seniors, $5; kids under 3, free.

Where:
Danbury Sports Dome
25 Shelter Rock Ln
Danbury, CT  06810
View map »


Sponsor: Ann's Place
Telephone: 203-790-6568
Contact Name: Michelle Frosch
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags