The local dining scene is heating up again as restaurateurs start working on projects to be ready when “season” kicks off.
One of the biggies so far is the Decks Fish Market, set to debut sometime this fall in the CityPlace spot formerly home to Taverna Opa. The West Palm outdoor mall hasn’t had a real seafood eatery since McCormick & Schmick’s shut down last year, so this should be good news for fish fanciers. Not a lot of details just yet, but look for a convivial, colorful space marked by a giant outdoor dome splashed with a vibrant underwater mural by noted artist Carey Chen. Look for the nautical theme to be repeated in a red-and-black lighthouse replica and items off old ships repurposed in the dining room. The seafood-heavy menu is said to include a raw bar, clam chowder, stuffed flounder and other piscine classics. Stay tuned. . .
Already up and running is a second location for the fast-casual Mexican eatery, Taco Vida (330 Clematis St., 561/223-3462), which took over the downtown West Palm space formerly occupied by one of the Five Guys burger joints that wasn’t a roaring success. The Chipotle-esque restaurant goes their menu one better, adding a burger, empanada, nachos and seafood dishes to the usual roster of burritos and tacos. Oh, and a salsa bar too, featuring a quartet of salsas and garnishes that you can load up on to your heart’s content, which to me is one of the big points in Taco Vida’s favor.
Of course, what goes up must come down. In this case it’s Cha Cha’s, the good-timey pan-Latin restaurant in Palm Beach, which closed recently after less than two years in business. The Coniglio family, which owns the place, is reportedly working on an American bistro eatery set to debut later this year. So I’ll be checking into that too.