84 E. 4th St., at Second Ave.; 212-260-8484
Like many excellent restaurant recipes, Calliope’s farm lettuces with feta and scallions ($11) was born at home. When married chefs Ginevra Iverson and Eric Korsh first threw together their “go-to salad” several years ago, they had busy schedules, a new baby, and the limited resources of the nearby Korean deli, which could be counted on for red-leaf lettuce, scallions, and “reasonably good feta,” says Iverson. To render it bistro-ready, the chefs made a few considerable tweaks, bolstering a basic vinaigrette by blending in four-and-a-half-minute soft-boiled eggs, a stealth addition that enhances body without weighing down the tender greens. The sheep’s-milk feta is mild and creamy, the scallions sharp, the dill-heavy seasoning intensely aromatic. And the farm lettuces, which might range, depending on the calendar, from a California five-variety potpourri to a single bouquetlike head from an upstate farm are always conspicuously fresh, exceedingly crisp, and never, ever cut into bite-size pieces. That’s what knives and forks—and fingers—are for. “My mom and I always ate lettuce with our hands,” says Iverson, who invites her customers to do the same.
From the 2013 Best of New York issue of New York Magazine
So what exactly does “best” mean in a city with thousands of pizza joints, hundreds of celebrity masseuses, and museum-worthy concept shops on every corner? Well, in the case of this, our annual “Best of New York” roundup, there’s a heavy emphasis on what’s new or what has somehow remained virtually unheard of (until now, of course).