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Food Samaritans at Spigolo

A couple is randomly picking up other diners' checks at the Upper East Side Italian restaurant.

By Daniel Maurer

Cheap Food Still Available in Astoria; Bronx Pizza Will Get Better

Astoria: Wow, cheap-eats prices may be going up in elsewhere, but at Omonia (the café that baked the elaborate wedding cake for My Big Fat Greek Wedding), you can get a $12 brunch that includes an entrée, dessert, a morning cocktail, and coffee, tea, or juice. (And it’s good.) [Foodista] Bronx: Peter Meehan found someone to drive him to Trattoria Zero Otto Nove on Arthur Avenue to try the margherita that’s been getting blog buzz as "the best Neapolitan pizza in New York City.” It’s good, he says, but needs work (and less sweet sauce). [Diner’s Journal/NYT] Slice’s Adam Kuban, Ed Levine’s, and DJ Bubbles also tried Zero Otto Nove and found potential not perfection. The grilled pizza from Coals at 1888 Eastchester Road was also dubbed "surprisingly good" during the same trip. [Slice] Lower East Side: Chubo has closed, and it looks like it’s going to be turned into a Japanese cooking school that will sell its pastries out of a flagship café by this summer. [Bottomless Dish/Citysearch] Upper East Side: Chef Michael Vernon has left Geisha to consult on new Serafina restaurants. [Strong Buzz] Midtown East: The owner of now-closed Portofino Grille will open a steakhouse called Creston’s Bar & Grill in the same space come May. [Zagat Buzz] Upper West Side: Spigolo chef Scott Fratangelo loves Land Thai restaurant. [Diner’s Journal/NYT] Williamsburg: The state of neighborhood pizza here is weak overall, evidence being leftover slices you don’t even want to eat. [A Brooklyn Life]

Kyotofu South; Soup Nazi Not Feeling the Love Out of N.Y.

Kyotofu really is expanding downtown with a second outlet that should be completed by next summer. In the meantime, its delicate Japanese treats will also be available at a new midtown tea shop opening this month. [Mouthing Off/Food & Wine] The Bleecker Street Magnolia Bakery has renewed its lease for another ten years. [Eater] CJ continues to fantasize openly about cooking Padma breakfast. [Eater LA] Related: ‘Top Chef’ Non-Winner CJ on the Broccolini Backstory, and Why Hung's Food Is Soulless