By Amy McCarthy
By Scott Reitz
By Scott Reitz
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Alice Laussade
By City of Ate
Even more amusing is a ditty called two cones. It's a pair of slender pastry bugles filled with tuna tartare (one) and lobster salad (the other) floating in a wire-frame server. Chopsticks are provided, a steakhouse first if memory serves. They're good, if a little warm.
But it's hard to tease out the details because the room's hiss and fizzle seems to always gain velocity. On a second visit, our waiter rattles through the menu like an auction barker. He must. The noise demands it. Though does he have to describe and comment on virtually every item? "Very well thought out; very well put together," he says of the ahi, hamachi and salmon "sashimi N9NE." That's a whole lotta shouting.
He urges garbage on us. Garbage is a chilled mound of romaine, shrimp, salami, artichoke, hearts of palm and tomato topped with fried onions in brisk Dijon vinaigrette. At N9NE it's good to eat garbage.
2440 Victory Park Lane
Dallas, TX 75219
Category: Bars and Clubs
Region: Uptown & Oak Lawn
Two cones $13
Caviar trio $26
New York sirloin $44
Ahi tuna $29
Kobe burger $25
Sea bass $32
Campfire símores $9
Smooth lobster bisque in cognac crème fraiche is inert with little marine potency. It's reminiscent of papier-mâché paste. Ahi tuna is deliciously silken, but the sea bass is spongy and dry.
That's why it's better to stick with meat. Kobe carpaccio is thin, rosy patches webbed with fat capillaries. They adhere to a plate with watercress and marinated mushrooms and onions. The meat is cool and lacy, separating into rich ravels.
The juice-riddled Kobe burger is a feast of girth. A puffy bun hides oozing slices of Vermont cheddar and thick ribbons of applewood-smoked bacon. House-made ketchup with mustard seed is provided for trimming, and delicious, hot and crisp sea salt-crusted fries serve as breathers between burger bites.
Dessert is pure play. Revel in the campfire s'mores. With this you can torch skewered marshmallows over an iron crock filled with pink Sterno jellies flickering blue flame. It stinks. But you hold your nose and smear marshmallow goo over milk chocolate-covered graham crackers. It's the perfect nightclub nosh if you're careful not to set your martini on fire.
N9NE doughnuts are equally gimmicky, with a tall, foil-lined carton overflowing with all manner of glazed, speckled and powdered sugar donuts.
A carton of doughnuts. It's the perfect N9NE trope: decent food (and excellent steaks) in a place where you don't want to eat it. What N9NE needs is a drive-up window and runners in Manolo Blahnik roller skates. At least then the menu wouldn't make your ears hurt.
3090 Olive St., 214-720-9901. Open 5:30 p.m.-10 p.m. Monday-Thursday; 5:30 p.m.-11 p.m. Friday and Saturday. $$$$