Eating authentically prepared food lets you taste the very essence of a country and draws far fewer angry glares than chewing on its national flag. Enjoy digestible cultural appreciation with today's Groupon: for $25, you get $50 worth of Indonesian and European fare at Yono's Restaurant.
Yono Purnomo—a guest chef at the famed Beard House—synthesizes a menu split between Indonesian cuisine and traditional European fare that can be paired with one of 1,000 wines. The wild Alaskan king salmon ($28) poaches in hot-and-sour nage and shares a plate with crab dumplings stuffed by hands clad in iron gloves to protect against pinching or crustacean-style tickling. The nasi rames allows cuisine imbibers to dabble in Indonesian samplings including saté, soft-shell crab, and beef short ribs ($32), and other dishes commit palates to exotic meats such as grilled kangaroo with sweet-potato tater tots and braised bok choy ($36). Diners can navigate a labyrinthine list of wines and spirits with the help of discriminating sommeliers to select one of 1,000 wines from 15 countries, more than 40 vodkas, 15 single-malt scotches, and 20 brandies and cognacs.
The dining room cradles 15 tables amid re-created 19th-century construction, offsetting the original woodwork with tin ceilings, bronzed mirrors, and Yono's personal collection of Indonesian artifacts and artwork. Guests can pass salt or sauce back and forth by affixing a string to the crystal chandelier glittering above a mahogany service table, and a live-piano-and-acoustic-bass duo entertains ears on Friday and Saturday nights.
A native of Jakarta, Executive Chef Yono Purnomo polished his culinary techniques under the tutelage of noted chefs including Master Chef Fritz Sonnenschmidt, a dean of the Culinary Institute of America. Yono developed his own style of blending Indonesian dishes with a continental smorgasbord that encompasses global flavors, grabbing various accolades along the way. Along with his wife, resident dessert artist Donna, and son Dominick, GM and sommelier, Yono works to provide a dining experience that has been praised by Gayot and Fodor's. He augments the standard menu, which features exotic blends of lemongrass, coconut milk, lime leaves, and dragon-mouthed sambals, with nightly rotating features. And the 12-foot wine loft offers 700 selections that embody the tastes of 20 countries. The opulence of the wine selection and cuisine is mirrored in the revamped 19th-century townhouse replica where diners feast. With just 15 tables, each set with custom-made china, the intimate space stretches beneath tin ceilings and flaunts bronzed mirrors and original woodwork. The focal point of the dining room is a large crystal chandelier above a rich mahogany service table. It's here where a professional, friendly service team has catered to guests for nearly 30 years.
25 Chapel St.
Albany, New York 12210