Best "Take That, Sandy" Comeback - 2013
"Fort Defiance was small, but an exceedingly strong defensive position." George Washington's words ring true still today, though it is a Red Hook café, not the military fort for which it is named, that deserves his praise. Sandy was undiscerning in her surge, and the little restaurant that could was no exception to the storm's destruction. But owner St. John Frizell felt he had a responsibility to the neighborhood to persevere, and just one month later, Fort Defiance was back open, once more providing Red Hook with a singular place of comfort. Seeing the refurbished space, pleasantly worn and feeling like home, you'd never know that the dining room had been under six feet of water, the basement completely submerged. But don't let the casual atmosphere fool you; this recovery came from serious hard work. Once again offering mean cocktails and a friendly vibe, plus a burger night that's not to be missed, the neighborhood mainstay has proven that nothing—not mold, sewage, or bureaucracy—can keep it from feeding its friends.