041_kleefield1A gypsy cab screeches to a halt in Midtown. The back door swings open and out steps a sweaty middle-aged man in a rumpled shirt who reaches out his hand.

“Hi,” he says in a nasal New York accent. “I’m Jean Luc.”

Plenty of people have heard of Jean Luc, the famed Hamptons restaurateur, but those who haven’t met him probably assume he is a suave Frenchman with a caramel St. Tropez tan, a designer wardrobe and a yacht tethered in the Hudson.

But Jean Luc, owner of four of the most popular seasonal eateries on Long Island, is actually a balding, overweight, 43-year-old guy with no obvious sense of style and a heap of money trouble. Jean Luc, it turns out, never existed. His real name is Ed Kleefield.

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