Two years after Hurricane Sandy devastated this waterfront neighborhood, business has come back strong, and a strip of warm restaurants, combined with the close-knit feel of this community, make this one of the most charming areas for eating in the city. If you’re not sure where to begin exploring, tuck yourself into a table at Fort Defiance, one of the anchors of this mini-scene, where Red Hook residents hang out all day. Here, you’ll find homey and deceptively simple American fare built on painstakingly sourced local ingredients. The menu changes with the seasons, and at dinner, the specials — a summer-capturing watermelon salad or pan-seared dorade, for instance — reign supreme. During the day, consider a breakfast sandwich on a cheddar biscuit or the muffuletta sandwich, a New Orleans specialty made with mortadella, coppa, salami, cheese, and olive salad. The burger, a juicy ground chuck patty on a brioche bun, is always reliable, too.