Restless chef Marc Haines has a new spatula gig. He has vacated his post as executive chef of Cuba Libre and has assumed the task of giving Fish restaurant a face-hoisting. (The place has been without an executive chef since George Greiser departed for The Prison--that's a restaurant, not a penal institution--in McKinney.) Haines is assuming the task under the auspices of the Lincoln Restaurant Group, where he took a position as a corporate chef of sorts. He expects to be reworking Fish's menu for the next six months or so. "I'm taking my varied culinary interests and applying them on a unified front," Haines says. "I'm a troubleshooter for Lincoln. I want to be a jack-of-all-trades."
The Tarantino's space near Fair Park has been vacant since the restaurant shut down last spring, but it will soon be tingling with shakes and swizzle sticks. Muddy Waters bartender Simon McDonald and Michael Smith, a bartender at the Barley House, are looking to open a restaurant/bar in the space before mid March. Dubbed the Meridian Room, the place will serve simple nibbles with an intense focus on classic cocktails, stuff that used to be sipped in the '30s and '40s. "You get a lot of fruity stuff in drinks nowadays," says McDonald. "We're going to bring it back to the way drinks were supposed to be made." Which means drinks with vegetables and more jet fuel...It's hard to imagine how you transform a city park replica with trees, tweeting birds, and stars into an upscale South Beach-type sweaty bump and grinder, but that's what club vets Rich Vandeboom and Pat Tetrick plan to do with the former Angels in the Park space on Cedar Springs. The upscale nightclub will be called Lime and will feature plasma screens, hardwood floors, low leather couches, and a glass wall in front. "When it's done, it will probably be one of the nicest places in town," says Vandeboom, who adds it should be open by March. And to gird that rep, Lime will serve hamburgers, quesadillas, fruit platters, and chicken wings, not knock-down fair. But who wants twist and shake with someone who has just eaten foie gras?...California cult cab legend Joe Heitz died late last month. He was 81. Heitz began his wine career at the Italian Swiss Colony winery during World War II followed by stints at the E. & J. Gallo Winery and the Beaulieu Winery. He founded Heitz Wine Cellars in the Napa Valley in 1961 and over the years gained a reputation built almost exclusively on one wine: the Martha's Vineyard cabernet sauvignon, a much lusted-after cab known for its depth and resilience.