Calliope melds taste of Mediterranean with New York City

An East Village restaurant recently launched a new breakfast menu for those seeking items other than the cereal in their dining halls.

Combining Mediterranean and New American cuisine, Eric Korsh and Ginevra Iverson opened Calliope last spring and have recently started serving breakfast Tuesday through Friday, beginning at 8 a.m. The selection includes traditional staples like egg, pastries and granola, as well as adventurous dishes like mackerel and tripe.

“I’ve been cooking since I was a teenager,” Korsh said, “and the truest expression of that comes at dinner. But people eat breakfast, too.”

He went on to explain that the early morning hours and menu were born of the necessity to remain competitive.

“This is New York. If you have a restaurant, you need to be open,” Korsh said.

Despite this, the food does not come across as an afterthought. Emphasis is placed on carefully crafted meals. Popular items include eggs with mayonnaise ($6), and the apricot-orange blossom puree and fruit ($9). As for entrees, the omelet with Swiss chard, sorrel and Parmesan cheese ($10) is flavorful and texturally pleasing.

The average college student, however, may find the prices somewhat limiting. With the average entree ranging from $10 to $17, Calliope makes for a feasible occasional outing but not a regular destination. Still, the splurge is worthwhile for these exceptionally prepared dishes.

In addition, the vintage-style tables and wall mirrors contribute to the peaceful environment. Calliope would be the perfect place to get some reading done or enjoy an early meeting with a friend.

When asked what sets breakfast at Calliope apart from nearby restaurants, Korsh cited the food’s “artisanal quality.”

“This is a great area, but there aren’t many places serving their own smoked fish and fresh pastries,” he said.

Calliope is located at 84 E. Fourth Street, at Second Avenue.

A version of this article appeared in the Feb. 6 print edition. Ariana Divalentino is a staff writer. Email her at dining@nyunews.com.

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