Last weekend I enjoyed what may have been the ideal early autumn Sunday afternoon in Albany. And it didn't even involve football or chicken wings. Instead, I got to wear something pretty and see people I originally met a couple of decades ago when I first worked for Donna and Yono Purnomo. I've celebrated quite a few milestones over the years with Albany's first family of restaurateurs - there have been graduations and birthdays and weddings and other anniversaries, but this event was to mark 25 years of Yono's, the restaurant. And the Purnomo family knows how to entertain, be it professionally or personally, believe me.
Naturally, there was food and wine in tasteful excess, along with faces I haven't encountered in many years. I felt a wonderful sense of family, and was struck by how many of the guests present had born witness to my life, as I have to theirs. It was a lovely party and I hope there will always be a place for me on the Purnomo guest list. If not, no worries - I'll just crash the party!
After spending a couple of hours chatting and having my appetite piqued with Bakmi Goreng and Babi Kecap, I headed over to Capriccio's cozy bar to enjoy a more substantial meal. I very much am an "eating at the bar" kind of girl because it is just so damn convivial. This occasion was no exception to this life tenet and our party ebbed and flowed as we
took over shared the bar with old, as well as new, friends.
When I got in my car to drive home I was thrilled to listen to Hello, Pretty City on 97.7 WEXT. My drive seemed far too short but I arrived back in the DelSo smiling at Laura's voice, and feeling utterly at home and grounded in Albany, NY. The afternoon may have begun as an acknowledgement of a milestone in the hospitality business but it concluded, for me, as a celebration of my adopted city. My professional and personal experiences with Donna and Yono over the past 20+ years are completely responsible for my introduction to Albany's finest restaurants. The kindness and consistent support I received from them provided the perfect foundation for me to expand my love for food, hospitality and the people who make both of those happen each day. It may have been Donna and Yono's silver anniversary which we were celebrating, but to me, they truly are worth more than gold.