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 never made that comeback, a surprisingly large number have. --JOAN REMINICK, firstname.lastname@example.org
Wildfish is a waterfront restaurant in Freeport right on the town's canal. (June 19, 2013)
SWINGBELLYS BEACHSIDE BBQ, Long Beach: Reopening in May following massive 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.
A waitress serves a table heaping plates of barbecue at Swingbellys Beachside BBQ in Long Beach. (June 18, 2013)
A half rack of baby back ribs is served with chipotle honey sauce at Swingbellys Beachside BBQ in Long Beach. (June 18, 2013)
Pickle chips are served at Swingbellys Beachside BBQ in Long Beach. (June 18, 2013)
THE WHITE WHALE, Seaford: Back from the storm is this waterview spot whose menu is dominated by seafood. But there’s a big section devoted to German specialties, too, giving the restaurant a distinctive niche. Broiled scallops, crab-stuffed sole and the fried platter arerivaled by sauerbraten, pot roast with red cabbage, and wursts.
The White Whale's lobster bake includes mussels and baked clams. (July 14, 2013)
SPEAKEASY, Long Beach: 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.
Speakeasy is a casual bar and grill in Long Beach. (June 16, 2013)
Julia Lenigon serves an order of fish tacos at Speakeasy in Long Beach. (June 16, 2013)
BEACH HOUSE, Long Beach: 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 or fish and chips. Sidewalk dining, too.
The Beach House in Long Beach offers dining inside and out. (June 21, 2013)
JETTY BAR & GRILL, Long Beach: The new incarnation of 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).
Jetty Bar & Grill, the new incarnation of Bahia, reopened in May with a beachy new interior. (June 16, 2013)
Jetty Bar & Grill in Long Beach includes a large bar area. (June 16, 2013)
Mojitos at Jetty Bar & Grill in Long Beach include, from left, berry, regular and watermelon-jalapeno. (June 16, 2013)
SUTTON PLACE, Long Beach: 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.
The dining room at Sutton Place in Long Beach. (June 16, 2013)
Tuna satay at Sutton Place in Long Beach. (June 16, 2013)
WHALE'S TALE, Long Beach: In May, this beachy-casual space became fully operational following 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.
The beachy-casual Whale's Tale in Long Beach has a bar and indoor and outdoor seating. (June 16, 2013)
The beachy-casual Whale's Tale in Long Beach has a bar and indoor and outdoor seating. (June 16, 2013).
MINNESOTA'S, Long Beach: 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.
Outdoor seating at Minnesota's in Long Beach. (June 21, 2013)
Minnesota's in Long Beach sports a fully remodeled interior. (June 21, 2013)
FISHERMAN'S CATCH, Point Lookout: Rebuilt in parts and fully remodeled and landscaped, this scenic waterside seafood favorite returned in April. On chef Way Main Soo-Hoo's menu: crispy fish tacos, kung pao shrimp and squid, tuna sashimi, herb-crusted swordfish and blackened sea scallops. Lobster, too. Outdoor option at lunch only.
Fisherman's Catch in Point Lookout has a large dining room, as well as a bar and an outdoor deck, overlooking the bay. (June 16, 2013)
Crowds pack Fisherman's Catch, a bay-side restaurant in Point Lookout. (June 16, 2013)
POINT LOOKOUT CLAM BAR, Point Lookout: 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 or scallops.
Point Lookout Clam Bar offers seating inside as well as on the deck next to the water. (June 16, 2013)
Point Lookout Clam Bar offers seating inside as well as on the deck next to the water. (June 16, 2013)
Clams on the half shell are served simply at Point Lookout Clam Bar. (June 16, 2013)
ARTIE'S SOUTH SHORE, Island Park: 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 its 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.
Artie's South Shore owner Artie Hoerning often catches the fish that's served. (June 21, 2013)
Artie's South Shore owner Artie Hoerning often catches the fish that's served at the Island Park restaurant. (June 21, 2013)
Lawson Pub in Oceanside.
Chef-owner Joseph Bonacore and his team had Lawson's Pub in Oceanside up and running about a month after Sandy hit. (June 21, 2013)
WILDFISH, Freeport: Chef and co-owner Brad Rubano unveils a new menu and specials for its March 2014 opening weekend. Wildfish has Indoor or outdoor seating overlooking boats in the marina.
Wildfish in Freeport offers indoor and outdoor seating overlooking boats in the marina. (June 19, 2013)
Wildfish chef and co-owner Brad Rubano got his seafood restaurant up and running in March, after replacing furnishings, flooring and the electrical system. (June 19, 2013)
Citrus-soy tuna is served at Wildfish Restaurant in Freeport. (June 19, 2013)
PARKSIDE CAFE, Seaford: Perched above the canals of Seaford, this New American restaurant reopened in April following extensive renovations. On the menu are kung pao calamari, tuna tartare, Cajun-spiced jumbo diver sea scallops and paella.
Perched above the canals of Seaford, Parkside Cafe reopened in April following extensive renovations. (June 20, 2013)
The Parkside Cafe in Seaford serves a New American menu. (June 20, 2013)
CRABBY AMY'S, Seaford: 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.
New outdoor seating at Crabby Amy's in Seaford. (June 20, 2013)
The lobster roll at Crabby Amy's. (June 20, 2013)
A customer orders the combo basket at Crabby Amy's in Seaford. (June 20, 2013)
PIER 44, Babylon: 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.
Pier 44 is a waterside seafood restaurant in Babylon. (June 20, 2013)
Fully redecorated and re-equipped, Pier 44 in Babylon reopened in early May. (June 20, 2013)
Grilled swordfish at Pier 44 in Babylon. (June 20, 2013)
The lobster burrito at Pier 44 in Babylon. (June 20, 2013)
Seafood fra diablo at Pier 44 in Babylon. (June 20, 2013)
TRES PALMS, Babylon Village: Having gutted and renovated the site before opening last 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 Rincón, 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, a marinated skirt steak and the roasted fish of the day. Indoor and outdoor waterside dining.
A waitress takes orders outside at Tres Palms, a waterfront restaurant in Babylon Village. (June 19, 2013)
A lobster roll at Tres Palms in Babylon Village. (June 19, 2013)
Seared tuna tacos are served at Tres Palms in Babylon Village. (June 19, 2013)
CAPTAIN BILL'S, Bay Shore: This venerable waterside seafood spot had to be 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.
Captain Bill's restaurant sits right on the canal in Bay Shore. (June 16, 2013)
Stuffed baked clams are served at Captain Bill's restaurant in Bay Shore. (June 16, 2013)
FATFISH, Bay Shore: 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. Authentic Spanish tapas choices include Serrano ham, empanadas and saffron mussels. On the regular menu: chargrilled spice-rubbed mahi mahi, lobster, steak.
Diners linger on the newly opened deck at Fatfish in Bay Shore. (June 16, 2013)
Diners chat in the covered bar at Fatfish in Bay Shore. (June 16, 2013)
Fatfish in Bay Shore serves lunch, dinner and tapas such as this trio of Serrano ham, empanadas and saffron mussels. (June 16, 2013)
SWEPT AWAY, Bay Shore: 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, seafood stew.
The new interior at Swept Away in Bay Shore draws on reclaimed barn wood and other natural materials for a sea-weathered driftwood effect. (June 16, 2013)
Diners eat at the bar at Swept Away in Bay Shore. (June 16, 2013)
Sesame-crusted yellowfin tuna is served at Swept Away restaurant in Bay Shore. (June 16, 2013)
MOLLY MALONE'S, Bay Shore: Owner Peter Higgins is still weeks away from finishing the indoor dining room of his Irish-American seafood spot, but he has reopened an enclosed outdoor deck. The new dining room will be more modern looking, with tile floors instead of carpeting. An updated menu ranges from Irish egg rolls with corned beef to Thai calamari, fish and chips to stuffed sole and mashed potatoes.
Diners hang out on the outdoor deck at Molly Malone's in Bay Shore. (June 16, 2013)
Teriyaki salmon (from left), Jack Daniels chicken and bistro steak salad are about to be served at Molly Malone's restaurant in Bay Shore. (June 16, 2013)
VIEW, Oakdale: 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.
View in Oakdale is a modern, nautical restaurant surrounded by views of Great South Bay. (April 13, 2013)
The newly renovated View restaurant in Oakdale has a $10 brew & burger deal in the bar and grill room. (April 13, 2013)
Yellowfin tuna tartare is served with a sesame-ginger vinaigrette and avocado puree at View in Oakdale. (April 13, 2013)