The evening sky is painted pink and gray, traces of sunlight reflected in the still waters of the boat-filled marina. On the deck of The Patio, at the newly renovated Freeport Inn -- a good distance from the more frenetic Nautical Mile -- the scene is retro-chic: a 1964 motel restaurant awash in 2011 glam.

Back in 1964, though, I can't imagine a Freeport restaurant serving raspberry mojitos -- at least not like the killer version I'm sipping from a jelly jar with a straw wide enough to catch bits of fresh fruit and mint.

advertisement | advertise on newsday

As an appetizer, I order Peruvian sashimi with "dueling chili sauces" and "smashed avocado." Sounds ideal. But the sauces are mere squiggles on the plate, the perfectly fresh tuna and escolar cut in big, clumsy hunks. Better is a duet of lump blue-claw crabcakes -- fat, crab-intense cylinders -- served with peach sauce and slaw.

The sky darkens; torches are lit; entrees are served. My Scottish salmon turns out to be a lovely piece of fish topped with fresh orange slices and dill over grilled asparagus. Too late do I learn that a starch (potatoes or corn) must be ordered a la carte. My companion's linguine with white clam sauce looks great; it's made with lots of clam meat out of the shell. A shame the pasta is overcooked to near paste.

We share a mini Key lime tart in a cookie crust. Nice.

On our way out, we stop to admire the little koi pond with waterfall, taking pleasure in a summer night well spent.

advertisement | advertise on newsday