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Lower East Side

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BiCE’s New Milanese Bistro Open in Midtown West; Gary Robbins Preparing for West Village Debut

Bedford-Stuyvesant: Egg didn’t make this list of top southern eats, but Five Spot Soul Food at 459 Myrtle Avenue was picked as a fave since dishes like Kentucky Turkey Chops and Charleston Low Country Smothered Chicken "sound good" even if they’re not necessarily authentic classics. [Gridskipper] Chelsea: Klee Brasserie's open for brunch and dinner on Easter, and you can order the "Thinly Sliced Easter Ham & Bio Egg," which combines honey-glazed ham, deviled eggs, and capers, at both seatings. [Grub Street] Lower East Side: The new vegetarian restaurant Broadway East adds to its sustainability cred by featuring local beer and wine. [Zagat Buzz] Midtown East: The first soft-shell crabs of the season are now available at the Oyster Bar. [Grub Street] Midtown West: Bistro Milano from team BiCE has opened at 1350 Sixth Avenue, and sidewalk seating opening this spring will double the restaurant’s 70-cover capacity. [TONY] West Village: "Chef Gary Robins was the best thing to happen to the most recent Russian Tea Room relaunch. So, naturally, he was fired." But, you’ll be able to taste his cooking downtown this spring, when rustic restaurant Sheridan Square opens at 134 Seventh Avenue South. [Bottomless Dish/Citysearch]

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]

Modernity Encroaches on Katz’s Once Again

katz's deli
Katz’s, like all sacred spaces, is an affront to the forces of progress; and it seems that the 21st century is intent on battering all its most glorious traditions with the gale-force winds of the Zeitgeist. First came the real-estate boom and, with it, the threat that some developer will buy the place and build a giant condo there. Then, earlier this winter, the Health Department sent its spiteful functionaries in to condemn the mother of all delis for selling salami the way they have for 120 years. In a ritual of degradation, the Health Department poured bleach on the precious beef sausages, to ensure they would never be consumed. (A similar atrocity occurred last year at Il Buco and is remembered in food circles as the Great Soppressata Massacre.)

Catty Males Shake Beatrice; Charcuterie Mania

Clinton Hill: There are a few places in the nabe to find gluten-free products, but one celiac sufferer would like to find out about any others. [Clinton Hill Blog] Lower East Side: Video of a Tailor bartender doing his thing. [Snack] Midtown East: Former Savoy chef Matt Weingarten's year-long plans to start dinner service at Café St. Bart’s will come to fruition on May 5. [Zagat] Upper West Side: Bar Boulud may claim the top charcuterie in town (though Mia Dona’s stepping up), but you can also find some tasty stand-ins at Café d’Alsace and elsewhere, including Fort Greene’s Stonehome Wine Bar. [Citysearch] West Village: Spencer Morgan of the New York Observer supposedly slapped Hud Morgan from Men’s Vogue at the Beatrice Inn on Wednesday night because the latter didn’t respond to the former’s apology e-mail. A true New York noble. [Gawker]

The Lower East Side's Latest Sustainable Restaurant; Plus, Rayuela's New Takeaway Outlet

Clinton Hill: Don’t be fooled by Met Foods window painting claiming the supermarket has the “[l]argest fresh organic products in the area.” You’ll be “hard-pressed to find any (just the usual half-rotten produce they usually carry). It’s clearly a reaction to the threat of all the discerning customers shopping at Green Planet.” [Clinton Hill Blog] Greenwich Village: The Starbucks on 8th Street between Fifth and University is closing and has posted in its window a bizarre, farewell letter of sorts, which begins, "This thing we have together, it’s bigger than this place." And in a weird way, the epistle is spot-on. [Gothamist] Harlem: Where can a gal just get a beer and a burger in this gentrifying area? [Uptown Flavor] Lower East Side: Rayuela is expanding with a Latin takeout spot set to open at the end of March in the former LoSide space. [Eater] Lee Gross’s organic eatery Broadway East opens March 7, and like this week’s ecofriendly thirst quenchers, "filters and carbonates its own water." [Strong Buzz] Freemans will totally let you order artichoke dip before you place your entrée order; they changed their policy two years ago after Bruni’s "Satisfactory" review. [Diner’s Journal/NYT]