The word brunch now evokes for me an unequivocally warm feeling, a mix of weekend and mimosas. A meal eaten at a godly hour, heralding a blissfully free day. Today, this harbinger was a bowl of tripe soup at Calliope.
A charming name given to a charming, but claustrophobically bustling space, Calliope’s finer poetic details were lost in the mass of brunch-goers. For some time we observed this mess, seated at the bar waiting for the rest of our party, lazily making their way over even at 1pm. It was then I found myself just shy of flabbergasted–informed that the bar was not equipped to prepare me a well deserved Bellini. I was instead pacified with some champagne and coffee, looking for satisfaction elsewhere.
I had come to this place armed with the knowledge that they served a spicy tripe soup–which might sound somewhat distasteful, especially so close to breakfast hour, but to me, it brings a novel happiness. It was a rich kind of savory, made breakfast-esque topped with a sunny side up. Adequately spicy, it was just the warmth that you want spreading in you on a winter Sunday.
The eggs benedict was a little more lackluster, lacking in particular, a wealth of hollandaise. The well salted, flavored country ham we had hoped would champion the dish, but it too fell short of greatness.
One more dish to note, is that the Pommes Anna, or sliced and layered potato, is made with duck fat. Compliments to the chef for this artery clogging good idea. To offset this treat, perhaps you might even begin to entertain the possibility of setting aside the bacon–dare you?
I find that Calliope has a lot of nascent potential–the beginnings of adventurous dishes, almost out-of-the box ingredients, and drinks that only make you tipsy. There is a reason that people flock here, because no doubt it has a solid lineup. I do think though, that just a bit more Wheaties in the mix would make Calliope more than just a neighborhood favorite.
What does this rating mean?
84 E 4th St
New York, NY 10003