The vegetable dishes at the brand-new Calliope in the East Village are mighty delicious.
But the abiding relationship between Calliope's husband-and-wife chefs, Ginevra Iverson and Eric Korsh, and Pino Cinquemani of Pino's Prime Meats has us waxing especially carnivorous.
Much of the fine meat Calliope serves is sourced from the legendary Soho butcher. Our red-blooded itinerary, fully tested:
Tête du porc ($12): Yes, it translates to "pig's head." A better translation might be "pig taffy," the long-poached meat all porcine snap after being bound into a cylinder, cut whisper-thin and finished with a plucky vinaigrette with shallots and pickles.
Beef tongue ($9): Plated like an oceanic wave, tongue from Pino's is simmered and cooled, then set on puréed sauce gribiche and topped with mâche.
Steak ($32): Korsh and Iverson leave the dry-aging to the experts. Cinquemani ages the strip steaks at the shop; Calliope's chefs broil the cut, then slice it and set the strip steak adrift in a gratin dish bubbling with butter.
Lamb neck ($21): The knobby necks are braised with tomato and white wine. The meat is then picked, spanked with vinegar and Calabrian chile paste and draped over house-made mascarpone agnolotti. The broth is eminently slurpable.
Calliope, 84 E. Fourth St. (at Second Ave.); 212-260-8484 or calliopenyc.com
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