— Lots of celeb-spotting going on this week, with Joe Jonas holding court at a booth in Chinese Tuxedo on Wednesday night. Plus, Sunday night at Le Coucou was practically a pre-Met Gala party, with Barbra Streisand and James Brolin, Meg Ryan, and Laura Dern, and Gwyneth Paltrow all in the house. Finally, last night’s opening of The Grill was the absolute hottest place in town to be — stay tuned for a look at who was there later today.
— This week, the Times’ Ligaya Mishan heads over to La Esquina in Queens. Not that La Esquina — this one is fully named La Esquina del Camarón Mexicano, and it’s a kitchen inside a bodega at 80-02 Roosevelt Avenue in Jackson Heights, mainly dedicated to seafood cocktails. Mishan calls them “bright, creamy, meaty, salty-sweet,” and also hints at more hidden bodega restaurants to come: “He then kindly gave me directions to other hidden kitchens inside other bodegas up and down the strip, and, grateful, I wrote down every word.”
— 2 Bros. Pizza is entering the modern day with brand-new signage, up at the location at 32 Saint Marks Place. EV Grieve spotted the sleek new look, with photos right this way.
— Here’s a cool aspect of NYC icon Grand Central Oyster Bar: It’s completely employee-owned. Read all about it over on Eater.com.
— A reminder that tramps will do just about anything for ramps: Someone viciously stole some very-carefully-cultivated ramps from the Brooklyn Botanic Garden.
— Times critic Pete Wells is tartly here to remind us that meals at restaurants are transactions, thank you very much.
— The spate of Indian restaurant openings continues, this time with the entrance of Rahi, focused on the entire country rather than just one region. The 40-seat West Village restaurant (60 Greenwich Avenue) opens Thursday, May 11 with food from around the country, courtesy of Mumbai-born chef Chintan Pandya and owner Roni Mazumdar, who is from a much smaller town. Expect dishes like edamame chaat, lamb chop with juniper berries, and rumali bread, and more.
— The WSJ takes an advance look at how the minimum wage increase — $9 to $13 in one year — will affect NYC restaurants. TL;DR is: there is no conclusion just yet.
— Modern Brooklyn bakery Ovenly is celebrating its third location, opening late May at 210 Flatbush Avenue, through a collaboration with tea company Ippodo. Other locations in Greenpoint and Urbanspace Vanderbilt are serving the take, a coconut cake layered with lemon matcha frosting.
— It’s finally Friday, so celebrate with a video of how to do a NYC Korean-style party night out right, just in time for the weekend: