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Catfish Max in Seaford has a new chef in the house, and he's cooking with a Southern accent. Erik Hopkins, who terms his culinary style "out of the box," trained under legendary chef Paul Prudhomme at his landmark New Orleans restaurant, K-Paul's.

Prudhomme's influence can be seen in Hopkins' list of daily specials, which might include cornmeal-crusted smoked catfish over sweet potato and crabmeat hash with a "voodoo" sauce ($25). "I love crusting any type of fish," Hopkins said. On the regular menu is a Moroccan spice-crusted seared tuna with roasted garlic hummus ($20).

Before coming to the canal-side restaurant in Seaford, Hopkins cooked at the Pier at Watch Hill on Fire Island. Catfish Max is at 3681 Naomi St., Seaford, 516-679-2020. -- JOAN REMINICK


FreshDirect, the online grocer specializing in high-end, organic and local foods, has expanded farther into Nassau County.

Since it started in 2002, the Long Island City-based company has become a leading provider of both grocery items and prepared meals, first in New York City and, increasingly, in Westchester, northern New Jersey and southern Fairfield County.

For the past few years, FreshDirect has been delivering to Great Neck and, in the summer, to the Hamptons, but as of Oct. 10, much of Nassau (including the Gold Coast, Five Towns, Garden City and environs and other prosperous burgs) began to see the company's distinctive delivery trucks. To see if your ZIP code is within the delivery zone, go to

FreshDirect has an easy-to-use computer interface that gets easier the more you use it. Unlike the online grocer Peapod (which on Long Island is affiliated with Stop & Shop), FreshDirect's selection is more akin to that of Whole Foods or Fairway. In addition to groceries, the "store" is also a reasonably priced source for home staples such as breakfast cereal, paper towels and soap. The minimum order for Nassau County delivery is $30; delivery fee is $6.79. -- ERICA MARCUS


Jellyfish is very much alive in the water. The long-delayed opening of the waterside Centerport restaurant, more than two years in the works, seems as though it might happen in late fall or early winter. This according to general manager Philip Potthoff, who said that permits for outside decks have finally been approved by the Town of Huntington and that once the permits are in hand, deck construction will begin.

Potthoff added that chef Heather West, winner of season two of "Hell's Kitchen," is writing up the menu for the seafood-focused spot. Situated in a restored 1850s Whitney manse, it will have a clam bar, a sushi bar and a soda fountain, plus a jellyfish tank, a koi feeding pond and a live-lobster tank. Art from the Vanderbilt Museum, too. Stay tuned for updates.

Jellyfish is at 441 E. Main St., Centerport, 631-262-0300. -- JOAN REMINICK

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