South Shore dining rebounds after Sandy

advertisement | advertise on newsday

Take a walk through Long Island's South Shore towns, and you may have a hard time believing that, a mere eight months ago, superstorm Sandy set tables and refrigerators floating down streets, ripped out sections of buildings and submerged entire kitchens and dining rooms.

It took superhuman strength -- of spirit and body -- to navigate the insurance maze, renovate and rebuild. Although many restaurants haven't made that comeback, a surprisingly large number have.

Here is a cross-section of those that rebounded -- many in better shape than ever. LONG BEACH

SWINGBELLYS

BEACHSIDE BBQ

909 W. Beech St., Long Beach

516-431-3464, swingbellysbbq.com

Reopening in May after renovations, this barbecue spot is back to slow-smoking ribs, brisket, chicken and pulled pork. What used to be a platform dining area is gone; now, everything is on a single level -- the bar on one side, tables on the other. Sidewalk seating is another option. $$

SPEAKEASY

1032 W. Beech St., Long Beach

advertisement | advertise on newsday

516-889-3279, speakeasylb.com

This casual bar and grill with outdoor seating reopened in late December. On the menu: avocado fries, fish tacos and barbecue pork sliders. And surf-and-turf mac and cheese. $-$$BEACH HOUSE

906 W. Beech St., Long Beach

516-208-8733, thebeachhouselbny.com

One of the first of the West End restaurants to open, this casual sports bar offers such choices as a blackened chicken tidbit sandwich, burger and fish and chips. Sidewalk dining, too. $$

@Newsday

JETTY BAR & GRILL

832 W. Beech St., Long Beach

516-442-1338,

jettylb.com

The new incarnation of

advertisement | advertise on newsday

Bahia reopened in May

with a beachy new interior featuring a communal table fashioned of reclaimed boardwalk wood and rails. Chef Israel Hernandez continues to offer a small- plates menu that includes fish tacos, a Cuban sandwich and pulled-pork corn cakes (arepas). $-$$

SUTTON PLACE

124 W. Park Ave., Long Beach

516-431-3133, suttonplacelb.com

advertisement | advertise on newsday

It took about eight weeks for this New American Bar & Grill to make a comeback. Chef Matt Serra offers such dishes as tuna satay, crab-crusted filet mignon and burgers. $$

WHALE'S TALE

916 W. Beech St., Long Beach

516-432-9587, awhalestale.com

In May, this beachy-casual space became fully operational after renovations. On the American seafood grill menu are such choices as fish tacos, a shrimp po'boy and, on Thursdays, a $10 lobster special. Sidewalk seating options. $$

MINNESOTA'S

959 W. Beech St.,

Long Beach

516-432-4080, minnesotaslb.com

Its interior fully remodeled, this New American spot reopened in March with such dishes as crabcakes, seafood fra diavolo and a surf-and-turf burger. $$

POINT LOOKOUT

FISHERMAN'S CATCH

111 Bayside Dr., Point Lookout

516-670-9717, fishermanscatchrestaurant.com

Rebuilt in parts and fully remodeled and landscaped, this scenic waterside seafood favorite returned in April. On chef Way Main Soo-Hoo's menu: crisp fish tacos, kung pao shrimp and squid, tuna sashimi, herb-crusted swordfish and blackened sea scallops. Lobster, too. Outdoor option at lunch only. $$-$$$

POINT LOOKOUT

CLAM BAR

99 Bayside Dr.,

Point Lookout

516-897-4024

Under the same ownership as Fisherman's Catch, this casual clam bar-fish market relaunched with a new sushi bar, which operates Wednesday to Sunday. Order at the counter and sit inside or out. Menu options: lobster bisque or clam chowder, local littleneck clams, a lobster roll and grilled local calamari, flounder, monkfish and scallops. $-$$

ISLAND PARK

ARTIE'S SOUTH SHORE

4257 Austin Blvd.,

Island Park

516-889-0692

It took six weeks for owner Artie Hoerning to reopen his fish market and restaurant. Although the place may not have changed in appearance, all the cooking equipment had to be replaced. Hoerning often catches the fish that's served. Options include first-rate Ipswich clams, swordfish, lobster rolls and house-made fries. Some outdoor seating. $$

OCEANSIDE

LAWSON PUB

3112 Lawson Blvd., Oceanside

516-307-8753, lawsonpub.com

This classy gastropub came back after about a month; credit the manual work of chef-owner Joseph Bonacore and his team. On the menu: truffled house-made potato chips, surf and turf of short ribs and barbecued shrimp, and a pig's "butt" sandwich. $$

FREEPORT

WILDFISH

507 Guy Lombardo Ave., Freeport

516-442-0565, wildfishli.com

Chef and co-owner Brad Rubano got his seafood restaurant up and running in March, after replacing furnishings, flooring and the electrical system. On the menu: Carolina crabcakes, a Long Island lobster roll and linguine with white clam sauce made with local clams. Prix-fixe options, too. Indoor or outdoor seating overlooking boats in the marina. $$-$$$

SEAFORD

PARKSIDE CAFE

2479 Adler Ct., Seaford

516-785-2390, parksidecafe.org

Perched above the canals of Seaford, this New American restaurant reopened in April after extensive renovations. On the menu are kung pao calamari, tuna tartare, Cajun-spiced jumbo diver

sea scallops and paella.

$$$

CRABBY AMY'S

2880 Ocean Ave., Seaford

516-783-2554, crabby-amys.com

Amy Breidenbach reopened her counter-service marina cafe in mid-May. You'll find only outdoor seating and three squares a day -- omelets, wraps, mussels, clams and lobsters.

$-$$

BABYLON

PIER 44

444 Fire Island Ave., Babylon

631-661-5999, pier44restaurant.com

Fully redecorated and re-equipped, this waterside seafood restaurant reopened in early May. On the menu: roasted oysters, rare grilled yellowfin tuna, broiled or steamed lobster tail. $$-$$$TRES PALMS

16 East Ct., Babylon Village

631-482-1465,

trespalms.com

Having gutted and renovated the site before opening in August, co-owners Danny and Jodi O'Donnell got only a couple of months out of their coastal seafood restaurant named for a surf spot in Rincon, Puerto Rico. With help from volunteers, they reopened in early December with a simpler, less pricey menu that features such options as fish tacos, tuna tartare, marinated skirt steak and roasted fish of the day. Indoor and outdoor waterside dining. $$-$$$ BAY SHORE

CAPTAIN BILL'S

122 Ocean Ave., Bay Shore

631-665-6262, captainbills.com

This venerable waterside seafood spot was gutted and refurbished in time to reopen in late November. On the menu are a seafood tower, baked stuffed clams, horseradish- crusted grouper and linguine with shrimp and scallops, as well as burgers and lobsters. Scenic outdoor dining. $$$

FATFISH

28 Cottage Ave., Bay Shore

631-666-2899, fatfish.info

Chef-owner Brian Valdini spent an entire winter renovating his waterside spot in stages. First, the tapas bar and its deck opened; later came the large main outdoor dining deck. And, any day now, the main dining room. Choices for authentic Spanish tapas include Serrano ham, empanadas and saffron mussels. On the regular menu: chargrilled spice-rubbed mahi mahi, lobster and steak. $$$ SWEPT AWAY

25 Bay View Ave., Bay Shore

631-206-0420, coolwatergrill.com

The former Coolwater Grill humorously renamed itself Swept Away before reopening in early June. The new interior draws on reclaimed barn wood and other natural materials for a sea-weathered driftwood effect. On the menu: pistachio-crusted salmon, pan-seared scallops, sesame-seared yellowfin tuna and seafood stew. $$$

MOLLY MALONE'S

124 Maple Ave., Bay Shore

631-969-2232, mollymalonesbayshore.com

Owner Peter Higgins is still weeks away from finishing the indoor dining room of his Irish-American seafood spot, but he has reopened a semi-enclosed deck over- looking the water. The new dining room will be more modern-looking, with tile floors instead of carpet. An updated menu ranges from Irish egg rolls with corned beef to Thai calamari, fish and chips to stuffed sole and mashed potatoes. $$

OAKDALEVIEW

3 Consuelo Place, Oakdale

631-589-2694, lessings.com

An April reopening followed major repairs and restoration for this waterfront restaurant known as much for its outdoor dining and nautical vistas as for its New American cuisine. Choices include blue claw crab cocktail, Maine lobster bisque, wood-roasted local oysters and pan-seared local diver scallops. $$$-$$$$

You also may be interested in: