The Kaatskeller of Livingston Manor
For DVEIGHT, AUGUST 2017
It’s 6:30 p.m. in a quiet village in Sullivan County. The light is golden and it’s t-shirt weather. Just off Main Street, a garden is bustling with families and weekenders, and Christopher Tierney is standing between two Adirondack chairs at the fire circle, eating a slice of honey chevre, lemon thyme, wild blueberry pizza.
In Manhattan, designer-restaurateur Christopher Tierney may be best known for his absinthe den-inspired cocktail lounge Apotheke, or its Doyers Street neighbor Pulqueria, a chic Mexico City homage.
But as his attention shifted north to Livingston Manor, where he’s split his time since 2014, he saw great opportunity in simple, classic, quality dinner service made with local ingredients, and joined forces with partners who saw the same. Now, from artisan pizza to fresh-caught trout, that vision is all centered around a wood-fired oven in the open-air kitchen behind us
Kaatskeller, he tells me, is a portmanteau in which German rathskeller meets the original Dutch spelling of Catskills. But it’s clear his concept here has always tended less toward biergarten and more toward a hybrid of the Hamptons’ Sunset Beach and the Catskills resorts’ outdoor spaces of yore: picnic tables, bocce court, “gelato camper,” and campfire all beneath a constellation of exposed bulbs strung from log pillars in the center of the garden.
Indoors and out, the Kaatskeller is a meld of Mid-Century artifacts – Italian wall sconces and ruby-hued, beveled glass door knobs – alongside salvaged Borscht Belt ephemera in a newly renovated garden and two-story carriage house done with the splendor of the region’s late tourism empire in mind. Read the complete story in the Food Issue of DVEIGHT
Photos credits. Magazine upper left: @dveightmag; Magazine in situ: @thekaatskeller; All others: Alexandra Marvar