Greeks love Easter. Traditionally, spits are prepared and grills are fired up for the day-long process of roasting whole lambs for the Easter feast. Ovens are filled with traditional accompaniments and trimmings, Greek wines and ouzo flow freely, and preparations for the meal turn into festive celebrations even before the eating begins. These high-spirited gatherings often last long into the night. This year, Kalypso’s Sports Tavern will host two different Easter brunches, one for the Roman Easter on April 5th and one for the Greek Orthodox Easter on April 12th.
Why are there two Easters, you ask?
Well, in the 4th century it was decided that Easter would fall after the first full moon following the vernal or spring equinox to coincide with the Jewish feast of Passover. In the 16th Century things got a little tricky when the Julian calendar, which was established in 46 BC, was superseded by the Gregorian calendar. It took a while for each country to adopt the new calendar and didn’t happen in Greece until the start of the 20th Century. Therefore, Greek Orthodox churches still use the Julian calendar to calculate the vernal equinox and the full moon that follows it. This is why there are two dates.
Lucky for us Restonians, we now have two opportunities to taste Kalypso’s spectacular rotisserie lamb and their Lamb Kleftiko. We caught up with owner Vicky Hadjikyriakou to find out more.
Vicky told us that In addition to grilling on the patio on Lake Anne Plaza, they will also be making Lamb Kleftiko. Lamb Kleftiko is a traditional dish that is made on special occasions. The term kleftiko is derived from the term klephts which means thief. Traditionally, Greek bandits would steal lambs or sheep and then cook them in covered pits. This covered form of slow-coooking ensured that the meat cooked evenly and eliminated the smoke and fire that could give away their location. These days, the meat is marinated with oil, garlic, pepper and herbs and then slow-roasted in parchment paper in the oven. It’s outrageously tender and flavorful.
Kalypso’s special Easter brunch menu will include grilled octopus, grilled bronzini, Greek-style chicken, pastitsio, moussaka and baklava. The menu is not prix fix so guests are free to order however they please.
Reservations are strongly encouraged and can be made by calling 703-707-0660 or by visiting their website.
Kalypso’s Sports Tavern
Lake Anne Plaza, Reston