This used to be that sleepy, nondescript-French bistro but a new restaurant has moved in, adding some zing to the corner. It may seem like another sleepy, nondescript-French bistro since they basically kept the same décore and color scheme. However, underneath the surface, Calliope is a super foodie gem with an authentic French menu.
Tables are all very very close together with one large communal table, so we opted to sit at the bar, which was equally pretty jammed but I believe that’s called “cozy”. Once settled in we were greeted with anchovy toast with radishes. Not the best way to start a date but adventurous and creative. Foie gras was predictable. Highlight was the Tête de Porc (terrine), which was sliced paper thin with shallots, cornichons, parsley and light dressing. This was OUTSTANDING – it’s worth going back and enjoying just the terrine with some nice bottle of Burgundy.
All in all, Calliope is a nice change from the cookie cutter faux French bistros. The menu is super creative, and a nice refresher to practice your high school French. We left wanting to go back just for the Tête de porc. Service was a little frazzled but that adds to the authenticity I suppose. The clientele are all relaxed yet super knowledgeable. Enjoyable spot, and the menu keeps you intrigued in your own faux French way…
84 East Fourth Street
New York NY 10003
tel. +1 212 260 8484