Anthony Accomando grew up in his Italian family’s restaurant business and studied classic French cooking at the French Culinary Institute. Peter McGuire grew up Irish and became a contractor and a New York City fireman whose only restaurant experience was hanging out in Irish pubs.
So naturally, they opened a restaurant together. They call it Antoine McGuire’s, a French bistro-slash-Irish pub in Haverstraw. Oh, and it’s an oyster house, too.
Only in America.
Accomando, who earned the nickname Antoine from an uncle while studying French cooking, met McGuire, who owned an empty storefront on Main Street. “He wanted an Irish pub, I was a French chef, so one day I just said, ‘How about Antoine McGuire’s?’ ” Accomando says. “He laughed, but it kind of took off.”
This bipolar identity is reflected in the design — the main dining room is Paris, the bar area is Dublin. The dishes continue the theme. “The whole menu is signature, with a creative spin on classic bistro and pub food,” he says. For example: Le Shepherds Pie (wine-braised lamb in puff pastry crust), Le Petit Dirty Water Hot Dogs (a French onion soup crock with mini hot dogs and sauerkraut), and Corned Beef Gratin (beef and potatoes topped with Gruyere and béchamel).
“We want to take pubby stuff and give it a classy spin, and take stuffy French stuff and make it fun,” Accomando says.
The seafood side was added after the two took a trip to Boston to research ideas. “We realized there were no oyster houses in Rockland County, but there had been one just a couple doors down from us in the 1920s,” he says. “We just liked the idea.”
So do customers. “I’ve been blown away that people are trying different kinds of oysters,” he says. “Last night, two guys at the bar ordered some raw bar selections. It was late, so I carried the food out. We got talking, hanging out, and they immediately ordered another round, then another — they ended up having about 10 or 11 plates, just these two guys. They were really into it.”
19 Main St., Haverstraw