Antoine McGuire’s Oyster and Ale House opened Thursday in the old Mardoff’s Bakery building on Main Street in Haverstraw. It’s a fun, kind of kooky concept, says chef Anthony Accomando, who owns the restaurant with Peter McGuire: Irish pub meets French bistro.
“It just sort of evolved,” he says. “McGuire is Irish and I cook classic French, and so half kidding I said, Antoine McGuire’s!” And it stuck. The concept is pub food, but with a French twist. “Within two steps you can go from Dublin to Marseille,” laughs Accomando.
The concept is first reflected in the decor. There are red banquettes and candlelight (tres Francais) and a marble bar with rustic wood and an exposed brick wall (Irish, indeed). Anthony’s grandfather’s old wine kegs are behind the bar, and they used all the old Haverstraw brick as they could find, salvaged from previous renovations.
The Irish-French mix continues on the menu. A signature dish is called The Raw Deal, and it’s, says Anthony, the “blue collar, roll-up-your-sleeves version of a seafood tower.” It’s oysters — West Coast, East Coast and Southern — clams, mussels and shrimp, served in a galvanized tin bucket.
A few other mixed dishes: Le Petit Dirty Water Hot Dogs, which are small franks served in lion’s head crock with all the street-style fixings; Lump Crab Meat Refrigerator Cake, which is crab and lemon-toasted panko with fresh herbs, served in a mold; Corned Beef Gratin, which comes with sliced potatoes, bechamel and gruyere; Le Shepherd’s Pie, which is red wine-braised lamb topped with a puff pastry crust; a Hanger Steak Sandwich; Fish and Pommes Frites; and Antoine McGuire’s Burger, which is served on a challah roll with brie, caramelized shallots, lardons and a port wine glaze.
The wine list is designated by price: $25/$35/$45; and the beer list is more like a wine list, with descriptions of the tastes and origin of the beer. (There’s a lot of New York beer, too.)
Anthony said he almost had to pinch himself when he realized he was opening a restaurant in the former Mardoff’s, a bakery beloved by Haverstraw natives.
“These are some of my earliest culinary memories,” says Anthony, who grew up in Haverstraw and currently also works for the Haverstraw Arts Alliance. “Coming to Mardoff’s on Sunday morning after church, getting the crumb buns and the doughnuts. It’s real sentimental.”
The restaurant is open daily for dinner, and open for lunch on the weekends. It’s also serving a late-night menu between 10 p.m. and midnight. Anthony says he encourages late diners and industry people to stop by for a “bistro pubby kid of warm meal, late night.”