dp An American Brasserie
25 Chapel Street
Albany, NY 12210
Monday – Friday, Lunch & Dinner | Saturday – Dinner | Closed Sundays
Albany is home to more than a few good bistro style restaurants, but none more celebrated than dp An American Brasserie, hidden in the literal and metaphorical shadow of its even more celebrated sister restaurant, Yono’s. Both restaurants are located on the ground floor of the Hampton Inn on Chapel Street. The “dp” of dp An American Brasserie is the proprietor, Dominick Purnomo, son of Widjiono Yono Purnomo, who presides over the kitchen for both operations. Yono’s culinary CV includes stints with the legendary Fritz Sonnenschmidt of CIA fame, recognition from the James Beard Foundation, and numerous TV appearances. His forte is Indonesian cuisine, and his menu reflects that predisposition. His son, Dominick, has cultivated his own fan club, due in large part to his enthusiastic curation of the wine list at both restaurants. Those efforts have also been recognized by the James Beard Foundation with a nod to Yono’s wine program last year.
The menu, which you can peruse here, is thematically much like Yono’s. Hints of the Indonesian spices and techniques of Yono’s home show up in some dishes, and sometimes not. Some dishes are traditional French bistro classics like steak frites and onion soup. The fried rice dishes and Indonesian stir fries suggest a provenance a little east of Paris.
The brasserie and bar adjacent to the more upscale Yono’s is the duo’s effort to present a less formal setting for a more casual dining experience. The bar at dp services both the brasserie and the dining room at Yono’s. It is also open for lunch during the week, which is how we came to be there recently.
The lunch menu offers a selection of salads and small plates, in addition to larger entree courses. We started with a simple but well prepared green salad, offered with sesame ginger dressing. An appetizer portion of smoked chicken and avocado spring rolls was more substantial than the “small plate” listing suggested, and was also just fantastic. The pulled chicken was studded with black beans and just a hint of jalapeno, and plated with pico de gallo, chipotle sour cream, and guacamole for toppings. Not that it needed anything.
The dp luncheon 10 oz. Angus sirloin burger goes off the shelf at $13, a relative bargain in comparison to the custom blended extravaganzas seen on many menus these days. If, however, you are charging your tab to your campaign war chest and are searching for that said aforementioned burger extravaganza, you can also opt for the $29 “dp Burger” created with Wagyu beef, topped with shaved truffles, seared Hudson Valley foie gras, and applewood smoked bacon.
We, on the other hand, opted for fried rice and pasta, and a glass of Morgon cru Beaujolais chosen from the “by the glass” offerings on the restaurant’s award-winning wine list. Both of our entree selections were listed on the “Signature Dishes” section of the menu. The jasmine rice was blended with tiny cubes of succulent slow roasted pork shoulder. Each cube of pork, along with the accompanying vegetables, were cut to precisely uniform size for the stir fry, as if measured by laser, by someone who was most definitely paying attention in knife skills class. It was also delicious.
The pasta was even better. Orecchiette (little ear pasta) was tossed in a Sambuca spiked cream sauce, chock full of chunks of smoked chicken breast and slices of spicy andouille sausage. The sauce was enhanced with sliced cloves of roasted garlic, cooked down to a sugary dollop of intensely sweet flavor. Just fantastic.
We are adding dp An American Brasserie to our list of favorite bistros in the Albany area. If you are just passing through, the restaurant is an easy two-minute drive from exit 4 / route 787 in downtown Albany. You can grab seats at the bar for lunch with your new favorite bartender, Tyler, and listen to the classic jazz playlist while you enjoy your meal. What’s not to like?