Food For Thought
by Linda Viertel –
|Hospitality is the hallmark at TBoy’s, an American bistro that just opened on May 21st but already has dozens of repeat customers. Clientele are often greeted with a big-hearted hug by owner Denise Horton, who, together with her co-owner and husband, Chef Robert Horton, have created a welcoming gathering spot with casual dining for locals and rivertown visitors. At the top of Beekman Avenue (housed in the former Red Zebra/Finalmente space), TBoy’s is an homage to Denise’s father as well as a return to the Horton’s original restaurant roots.|
Robert Horton knew, immediately, that this space in Sleepy Hollow could become their new home away from home – “ a perfect fit,” as he noted. Denise added, “We had a good feeling when we walked in, like our first place, like having people into our living room every night.” Luckily, they inherited some of the former staff who knew the clientele, so customers do feel right at home.
Fresh focaccia greets diners, with a small black skillet of excellent virgin olive oil on the side. The menu is straightforward, casual and provides plenty of gluten-free plus vegan options. (With four daughters, two of whom are vegetarians and two of whom are vegan, the Hortons learned to prepare tasty dishes for those with health or personal eating priorities.) Chef Horton’s sous chef, Edwin Vega is the former chef from Red Zebra, a knowledgeable and experienced cook.
“Apps” feature everything from steamed mussels to an avocado toast topped with chipotle hot sauce and crispy shallots. Local burrata crostini is accompanied by EVOO (extra virgin olive oil) and micro basil. Chorizo chipotle meatballs arrive with a sweet and sour sauce. The two signature apps, however, are the “crab and shrimp cake” with roasted corn relish and creamy shallot grain mustard. Horton’s crab cakes are filled with properly cooked shellfish, not bread filler; they are crunchy on the exterior, moist and taste-filled in the interior. His “spinach and artichoke croquettes” melt in your mouth, and gain just the right “bite” with his pepper aioli. Rare seared tuna nachos could be a light meal in itself, certainly enough for everyone at the table to share; avocado, jalapeno and spicy mayo aoli, are all perfect accompaniments for the rare tuna that replace the usual heavy beans and cheese.
Horton is well-known for his fish preparations, so don’t miss his pan roasted mahi mahi, served with broccoli rabe, cannellini beans in a delicate white port sauce and topped with tomato olive relish. The different tastes and textures meld into a well-structured dish founded on perfectly cooked, light and flaky mahi mahi. Other fish specials appear on the menu daily, though diners also have the opportunity to try Horton’s grilled organic salmon with saffron rice, asparagus and spinach in sherry port vinaigrette, with mango salsa. Don’t forget to request how you prefer your salmon cooked, as it normally comes medium rare (much preferred, I might add).
A hefty 14 oz. prime sirloin gets substantial taste accompaniments via roasted portobello mushrooms, gorgonzola butter, fried or mashed potatoes. A daily special might be a 14 oz. pork chop equivalent. Burgers, fried chicken or grilled flat iron are served on rolls with shoestring fries and rosemary slaw.
As for vegan and gluten-free options on the menu, don’t hesitate to ask your waiter for advice when you order to make sure you get the choice you wish. Salads can be topped by your choice of chicken, salmon or steak, even barbecued tofu, all for additional amounts. “Flats” come laden with sausage or bacon plus accompaniments, and vegans will love the mushroom, vegan parmesan and crispy artichoke version.
“Not Reds” and “Not Whites” are all reasonably priced by the bottle or glass. A lovely summer rose seems to be flying out the door. TBoy’s six special cocktails have been seasonally crafted. And there’s plenty of beers on draught or in cans and bottles for those who need an ice cold brew. Check the chalkboard for IPA’s, more special cocktails and featured wines. An expansive espresso machine is also on hand for those who wish that meal ending or mid-day “pick me up.”
The shimmering capacious wood bar seats 12, with high tops also available for just drinks and/or dining. And, the back garden patio is open seasonally, with seating for 20. It’s a lovely spot filled with pots of fresh rosemary, tomatoes, basil, marjoram and oregano. Not only is the smell divine, the flavor of those herbs enliven TBoy’s preparations.
Who is TBoy one might ask? He’s Denise’s father, whose face greets customers on Beekman, a French Canadian who was small as a child (thus “tboy,” short for petite boy) but grew up to be over six feet tall. He loved good food and wine and would sit at the Horton’s bar awaiting customers. When the first ones walked in, he would spread his arms wide and announce, “Showtime!” Denise recalled. Well, T’Boy, it’s definitely “showtime” at “your” bistro in Sleepy Hollow.
IF YOU GO
31 Beekman Avenue
Tues.-Thurs.: 5 p.m.- 9:30 p.m.
Fri.-Sat.: 5 p.m.- 10 p.m.
Sun.: 5 p.m.- 9 p.m.