— Renovations are now complete at Tribeca stalwart Pakistan Tea House. The inexpensive restaurant was purchased by the owners of Baluchi's last year, who decided to close the shop for some renovations in January. The space now has a few new details — including large wooden tables, and chrome panelling on part of the wall — but the overall layout remains the same. Tribeca Citizen notes that the restaurant is now serving a limited menu, which includes vegetarian and meat combo plates for $8 to $10. According to the specials board, samosas are two-for-a-dollar. Lucas Peterson stopped by right before the revamp, in an episode of Dining on a Dime:
If you visit the new version of Pakistan Tea House this weekend, let us know what you think.
— The forever-changing Hotel on Rivington now has a new nightlife venue called Jia. Roberto Buchelli and Corey Lane, two veterans of the Meatpacking club scene, created this new bar, which has a 1930s Shanghai theme. It inhabits the space that was previously occupied by Viktor & Spoils, the bar whose walls were plastered with actual money. This summer, Buchelli and Lane will also open an as-yet-untitled Mediterranean restaurant on the ground floor of the hotel.
— The Times is teaming up with Chef'd to launch a meal kit delivery service this summer. The kits will be linked to recipes from the Cooking site, and customers will be able to order them a la carte or through a subscription. The Times and Chef'd will split the profits.
— Here is a blurry photo of Mario Batali giving Bono a neck massage at Babbo:
— Plywood went up in front of the space at 136 Second Avenue that previously housed Bar 82. EV Grieve notes that a new bar or restaurant is moving in, and that the DOB application lists a "proposed banquet hall."
— Manila Social Club, the Williamsburg restaurant that introduced a $100 doughnut, is now serving a $150 platinum-covered doughnut that's made with Patrón tequila. The restaurant is making a donation to the American Cancer Society for every doughnut sold.
— After a week of previews, the East Village's Tim Burton-themed bar Beetle House is having its grand opening tonight. Owner Zach Neil tells Bedford and Bowery: "We’ve taken 5,600 reservations so far." Neil also says that Tim Burton's publicist reached out, but it did not end on a positive note: "He has this huge movie coming out in the fall, and they were talking about maybe doing some promotional stuff with us, but then Warner Bros. contacted us with this cease-and-desist so I don’t know what’s going on."
— Finger on the Pulse's BBQ Blowout series returns on May 17 with a party at The Drink in Williamsburg with food from Kings County Imperial, music from Swete Pete, and beer from Brooklyn Brewery. Tickets are $10 and include food and one beer.
— And finally, here's how to make fried chicken like the team from Pies 'n' Thigshs: