It was a fateful day for Santhosh Kochuparambil when the chef at his restaurant didn't show up for work one morning. Unwilling to turn away hungry customers, Santhosh rolled up his sleeves and began cooking the dishes himself. From that day fourth, Santhosh continued to work in the kitchen, developing a knack with the saucepan and a skill with spices. After graduating from culinary school, Santhosh took on jobs in top kitchens across India, eventually leaving his native home for restaurants in Russia and New York.
Today, Santhosh brings his years of culinary experience to his own restaurant—Karavalli Regional Cuisine of India. Deep in its kitchen, the skilled chef stirs pots of spicy curries and bakes lamb, seafood, and breads in a traditional tandoori oven. He whips up his authentic Indian dishes using only fresh herbs and fiery spices, eschewing pre-made sauces or counterfeit magic beans. When discussing his dishes with reporters from The Saratogian, Santosh maintained, "after you eat, you feel something. Your taste buds are up. Once you start eating Indian food, then you like it. Plus, the spices are very good for the health".
The self-described "beer geeks" at Growler & Gill Craft Beer Shoppe work double duty, pouring brews behind the bar and helping customers select six-packs in the retail section. Made up of certified cicerones and experienced home brewers, staff members are happy to explain the difference between a lager and an ale or a wheat beer. Visitors who decide to pull up a barstool and sample a few gills—a unit referring to a quarter-pint—can also order a bite to eat off a pub menu that includes Bavarian pretzels, Polish pierogi, and bratwurst. They also offer regular events throughout the week, such as Wednesday night trivia to free brewery tastings on Thursday. In the spring and fall, the Lower Hudson Valley Craft Beer Fest comes to Growler & Gill Craft Beer Shoppe and features beer-centric food and samples from several domestic and international breweries.
U-Me Sushi Hibachi Japanese Restaurant forges together the flavors of its ample menu with the flourishes of fiery tableside hibachi-style preparation. The behind-the-scenes action leaps to the fore at the sushi bar, where nimble fingers assemble delectables into neat bundles such as the california maki roll ($5). Understudies of Elvis impersonators can rouse mouths with the Rock'n roll, its tobiko-ensconced shrimp tempura, eel, avocado, and cream cheese tastefully harmonizing ($12.50), and the vegetarian roll composes notes of lettuce, carrot, cucumber, radish, and more ($6.50). Those seeking heated eats can let eyes alight on the scintillating energy of the hibachi-style craft as chefs sear steaks and sizzle edibles on table-mounted gas griddles. Chicken teriyaki ($14.50) and sukiyaki nabe, a medley of beef and veggies cooked in succulent broth ($14.50), are among many offerings sweetly capped off with fried bananas ($5.50) or fried ice cream ($5.50).
The son of an Irish father and a Mexican mother, Jose O'Brien got his first taste of fusion cuisine as a child in New Mexico. While his grandmothers colluded on Mexican-Irish holiday meals, Jose acted as translator, taste-tester, and pint-sized UN Secretary General. The cuisine born in that kitchen lives on today in a restaurant named after Jose and located far from its regions of origin.
As one might expect, the menu features both traditional cuisine such as the casa burrito with shredded chicken, pico de gallo, and guacamole; and slightly more unusual combinations such as the Irlandes burrito, with ground beef, Irish bacon, bangers, mash, and cheddar cheese. It's also punctuated by a huge burger section, brimming with items like the Tijuana Philly, drowning in mushrooms, jalapeños, cheese, and barbecue sauce; or Jose's burger, a house favorite that comes with bacon, avocado, green chili, and the coup de grace, a fried egg. Those with a taste for unaltered Emerald Isle cuisine can get their fill as well: Jose O'Briens makes a mean shepherd's pie and a quite personable bangers and mash.
Marly and Matt, who contributed their initials to M & M Pizza Bistro, use a range of fresh ingredients, as evidenced by a large selection of daily specials based purely on the morning’s market finds. The eatery’s tables populate daily with tender gnocchi, ravioli, and tortellini in thick bolognese or creamy alfredo as well pizza draped in roasted red peppers, goat cheese, meatballs, and other toppings. Wine-infused marsala and piccata dishes steam beside fresh bruschetta and garlic knots. At the counter, guests ask the cashier about fillings for a calzone or confuse it with Cal Ripken’s treehouse, The Cal Zone.
With your arm armed with a wristband, you'll be free to revel in unfettered access to all of Sam's Fun City's rides and special attractions. Start by getting your vroom-vrooms out at Kart City, a lawless land of underage driving whose mayor takes bribes of red Starburst. Children nostalgic for the simple joys of early infancy can take a trip to Yesterville and go for a spin on the Jitter Bug Swinger. For those who'd rather reminisce about the more recent past, bring back the sandwich you ate an hour ago with a ride on the Give Peace-a-Whirl tilt-a-whirl. A round of Hollywood mini-golf gives you 18 opportunities to hone your victory dance's jazz hands and pirouettes, while an indoor play area provides welcome relief from the sun's crushing gravity with two giant inflatables and a three-story play structure.