Miss City Discovers: Review of Yono's Restaurant in Albany

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Review of Yono's Restaurant in Albany

Yono’s in Albany, NY

            When I first walked into Yono’s, in the heart of Albany at 25 Chapel Street, I saw the classic bar scene: people happily chatting over drinks with groups of friends. I noticed a man in a chef’s uniform sitting at one of the tables, animatedly talking and laughing. As soon as he noticed my group, he jumped up and gave everyone a big hug. I soon realized this was the famous Yono, whom my fellow diners knew very well. He personally led us to the back dining room, and it felt as if we were leaving one world and entering an entirely different one.
The dining area was stunning. Hanging in the center of the room was a magnificent crystal chandelier, and everything it sparkled on glowed with a golden sheen. Adding to that glow was a fire-place, which we luckily were seated next to, that only enhanced the sense of romance and intimacy. There were tables with exquisite plates and silverware atop crisp white table cloths, servers dressed immaculately, and a pianist and cellist playing in one corner of the room. Live music is always appreciated in a restaurant as it adds to the sense that you’re receiving a one of a kind evening, making the restaurant original and imaginative.

One thing that I always immediately notice in a restaurant is the quality of service. From the moment we walked in, greeted by Yono himself, until the last wave goodbye the servers and staff at Yono’s were attentive, swift and genuinely kind. The service was incredible, and in some cases, that’s what can break or make a restaurant.
When I first glanced down at the menu, I was very surprised to see some of the dishes listed. Appetizers like “Sautéed Farm Raised Alligator” and “Veal Sweetbreads” which I learned later was a gland in an animal! I was fortunate enough to get to try both of these appetizers, and they were delectable. On the entrée side of the menu, I came across “Crispy shallot encrusted kangaroo” which one of my fellow diners ordered and I also had the chance to taste. Who knew kangaroo was so delicious? The sauce that accompanied each meal was perfectly matched to what was being served. Yono’s has a very different menu due to the owner’s Indonesian background, which only adds to the originality of the restaurant. You won’t find food like this anywhere else. Now, don’t be too discouraged if you’re not used to trying all of these different foods, because there are the cult classics on the menu as well including a New York Strip, Beef Short Ribs and Pork Tenderloin. Throughout our meal, wait staff brought out small plates with little tastes of other foods to enjoy in between courses, which was very thoughtful and different. We were never bored or hungry! For dessert I ordered the Chocolate Rendezvous that had layers of chocolate, but was not too rich which was right up my alley.

At Yono’s you can have the best of both worlds. There is the bar and more casual restaurant in the front of the restaurant called DP’s, which is run by Yono’s son, Dominick, and then there is the beautiful fine dining in the back. The food is delicious and unlike any other cuisine you’ll find in Albany. The service is spectacular, and the experience is one of a kind. Yono’s receives a four star rating from me, and I will definitely be back for more.


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