Thursday, January 31, 2013


After reading some stellar reviews about Calliope, the newish French bistro from Eric Korsh (Waverly Inn) and his wife Ginerva Iverson (Prune), I stopped in for a solo lunch date. Located on the busy corner of 2nd Ave and 4th Street, the restaurant was relatively quiet for a weekday afternoon. I'm generally not a huge fan of French food (small portions, snotty attitude, and veggie unfriendly), so even though many adored it, my expectation were not set too high.  

I am surprisingly pleased to report that in my subjective dining experience, Calliope was a delight. The place has that old world bistro feel in such a nice way. There was smoky mirrors on the wall, specials scribbled in fancy cursive, a beautiful zinc bar along the back, and these amazing wood and wrought iron doors to the restroom. Although I found the room cozy, I could see how it might be a little crowded had every table been packed. At the time that I was there the room was quiet but not empty, and I was able to just sit and relax. 

bathroom door
Order the Traditional Eggs Mayonnaise. If you know anything about me or my blog you should know by now I have an egg obsession. Breakfast, lunch, or dinner, a nicely cooked egg makes everything better. These were 3 soft boiled eggs generously smothered with homemade mayonnaise and celery salt. I licked the plate clean. I also got the Spicy Marinated Mackerel with avocado, chili oil and black sesame seeds. I'm not a huge mackerel fan but it was good, nice spicy flavor, and the avocado was delicious. I ended the meal with a Homemade Brown Sugar Coffeecake with delicious creme fraiche. It came out warm and fragrant and it tasted even better than it looked. WOW. I thought I would just have one bite of the dessert to change my palate but next thing I knew I was starring at an empty plate.

What a nice surprise. I would definitely return and try some different items, maybe for dinner or brunch next time. If you do go for dinner, don't miss the "baba au rhum brioche" which comes sliced, and doused with rum and whipped cream. 

Calliope is a great cozy not too fancy but not to casual spot, with homey delicious fare. The atmosphere is charming and chic, the food rustic and beautifully plated, and the service quick and spot on. Maybe I do like French food after all...

Neighborhood: East Village

Bite Mark: ***

Good For: Date Spot, Neighborhood Gem

Calliope, 84 East 4th Street @ 2nd Ave 212-260-8484