Calliope opened at the beginning of the summer by Eric Korsh (Waverly Inn) and wife Ginerva Iverson (Prune) in a huge corner East Village space that feels like it should be in Brooklyn. While prices are steeper at dinner, the more affordable brunch is a perfect spot for leisure sitting, enjoying and something I’d like to call a brunch win: no long lines, overcrowding or bumping creating a sense of freedom. The large center communal table, which can seat up to 20, are the best seats in the house. You’re at the center of everything, and it gives you that warm feeling similar to that of your own house and family dinner table. The large windows provide great lighting, and it allows for a happy, bright afternoon meal.
The menu overflows with sweet pastries making it another win in my book. You can start with a Pear and Almond Puff Pastry, Brown Sugar Coffee Cake or a German Pancake with Lemon and Powdered Sugar whose image I still can’t get out of my head and something I will have to go back for. Picture lots of fluffy baked goodness peeking over a skillet and covered in powdered sugar. You just know that sh*t cray. The scones are a great start for the table to nibble on. It’s crunchy on the outside and soft in the middle. The egg entree to get standing out from your typical benedict is the Omelette “Arnold Bennett” which is an open-faced omelette with Smoked Sable and Mornay Sauce (a Bechamel sauce with Gruyere Cheese). The rich, French sauce doesn’t overwhelm the eggs, and the delicate, smoked fish is fantastic. Branch out and get it. The burger was also a big hit. Calliope’s jovial atmosphere and positive energy will have you swinging in for your regular weekend brunch in no time. Go for it.