Post-Sandy Restaurant Roundup: What the Experts Are Saying About Recovery

(Photo: Shore Helpers via Facebook)

(Photo: Shore Helpers via Facebook)

NYC is still deep in recovery mode from Hurricane Sandy, so New York Times restaurant critic Pete Wells decided it was not the moment to grip about “a long wait between courses or a less than perfect sear on a lobe of foie gras.” Instead, he used to space usually devoted to his reviews to pen a love letter to downtown restaurants and their place in the city’s fabric.

In the grand hierarchy of important stuff, restaurants may not supersede families who have been left without necessities like food and shelter. Wells acknowledges this, but notes that New Yorkers are used to multi-tasking and “these restaurants, the people who own them and, even more, the people who work for them, need us” as much as locals need them.

For the industry, as Wells’ colleague Glenn Collins points out, a lot may change in the wake of Sandy. In his piece, he predicts “a long-term overhaul that could change much about the way restaurants operate, even those untouched by the storm.” This means addressing a number of questions on issues like building infrastructure, industry traditions, emergency plans, communication systems, and employee welfare.

In New Jersey, casino workers are grappling with the aftermath. While some have turned to homeless shelters, those who work for Caesars are staying at the hotel. Quite a few casinos, such as the Borgata, are not yet fully operational. For boardwalk restaurants, the news is grim. In an interview with Eater, Atlantic City Rescue Mission’s Tom Davidson says “a lot of them that had to be completely rebuilt or closed.” Eater’s coverage includes the operational statuses of the casinos.

Chefs and food purveyors have not stopped holding benefits for Sandy relief, says Bon Appétit. This week brings a new round of events hosted at NYC restaurants like Russ & Daughters and the Meatball Shop. TED also compiled a list that includes organizations that accept donations by text, Twitter feeds to follow, and ways to volunteer.

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