If you order a burger at Traghaven Whiskey Pub in Tivoli, you'll know exactly where your beef came from. The gastropub has a farm right down the road where owner Gerard Hurley and his wife and business partner Tasha Hurley raise cattle. Their beef is grass-fed, antibiotic-free, and hormone-free. "The difference between grass-fed and grain-fed beef is night and day," Gerard says. "Grass-fed has a stronger taste, it's a lot healthier for you, and it's more natural for cattle to eat grass than grain." It's not just burgers—check the specials menu for their farm-fresh steak.
The Hurleys have owned the Tivoli farm for about 15 years. For most of this time, Gerard leased the land to other growers. He began raising his own livestock just a few years ago and the farm is dedicated to the humane treatment of its cattle. "It's very important that our cows are happy while they're at the farm," Tasha says.
Gerard's roots in farming go back to his early years growing up in southwestern Ireland. On top of coming from a farming family, his ancestors have been steeped in the bar business for many generations. Gerard's father owned bars in Ireland, and his grandmother helped covertly distill whiskey in Prohibition-era Boston.
It's no surprise, then, that Traghaven is best known for its large selection of Irish whiskeys—one of the largest assortments in the country, according to Tasha. One of them is West Cork whiskey, which is distilled in Gerard's hometown of Skibbereen. Adding to its authenticity, the restaurant imports many ingredients from Ireland and the UK, such as black pudding, Irish bacon, Branston pickle relish, and Dubliner and Stilton cheeses.
In addition to Irish whiskey, the pub serves American and Canadian whiskeys, as well as signature cocktails, beer, and wine. So you can pair your grass-fed burgers with one of their many drink options. Their gourmet burgers include the Irish Alley Cat ($16), which is topped with honey whiskey caramelized onions and Dublin cheese; and Diablo Jack ($17), which has pepper jack cheese, fried pickled jalapenos, and avocado aioli. Traghaven also offers a vegan burger, dubbed Mother Earth ($14), with carrots, peas, spinach, cauliflower, and white shawarma sauce.
The Hurleys don't only source their own meat—they also have a garden right behind the pub where they grow tomatoes, rosemary, peppers, and other herbs and vegetables. Whenever possible, they locally source other ingredients, such as cheese from Coach Farm and Chaseholm Farm both located in nearby Pine Plains.