Every restaurant has a story. The characters who shape the plot with their tastes in food and their notions of service. Their audience who enjoys the story by coming to it again and again. And through bringing and telling their friends, the ambiance and the tone it sets, combined with the dining; the restaurant has its beginning, middle, and end of the story with all its delightful variations.
The Horton's have written a good story. Working together at The American Bistro in Mamaroneck, Robert created a menu that pleased, a truly American menu that respected its antecedents, and Denise learned how to create and maintain a dining environment that complimented the cuisine. They married in 1990 (that's another story) and opened An American Bistro on April Fool's Day 1992, with an economical renovation of a diner on Marbledale Road in Tuckahoe. The new Bistro got it right and welcomed the old clientele back with the first-rate cuisine and dining experience they remembered.
The scene shifted in 2001. It had to. The audience had become too large. The Bistro moved around the corner to Columbus Avenue in Crestwood, more than doubling the seating and making it possible to satisfy off-premise events with an extensive catering service that included every occasion and cuisine from seasonal backyard BBQs to extravagant milestone celebrations. Today, Tboy's Bistro Catering is a thriving part of the brand.
A restaurant is a saga, a continuous telling and retelling that can be shaped by events like changing tastes in food and the ups and downs of the economy. American Bistro carefully sustained its reputation for high-quality, imaginative cuisine while recognizing those changing tastes and has created a menu that reflects how people are eating today.
The American Bistro audience grew but after 15 years Steve and Denise's Act III was afoot and the duo felt a yearning to get back to the short story, the more intimate tale that could be read in one night, in a small space with high ceilings and skylights and an outside dining patio where their inspiration could flourish - just the two of them, once again. Fast forward after a short sabbatical to 2019 in Sleepy Hollow, which contains the resolution of the story. This is where the main questions are answered and the protagonists are empowered with a new sense of who they are. Robert and Denise are Westchester people without pretense, committed to the larger community and to their neighborhood. They have raised four daughters here, all foodies, in various stages of vegan and vegetarian choices. The menu pays homage to their girls' food preferences with new options made with a father's love alongside the omnivore's delights. Tboy, this Bistro's namesake and Denise's late father, was always the first customer on a Saturday afternoon to sip on a draft or two and watch the story unfold. "It's showtime", he used to announce as the first guest was seated. Enjoy the Horton's Act III at Tboy's Bistro. Be prepared to feel like you never want it to end - just like a great story.
RIP Alain J. Tessier 2018