Grilled and roasted meats are the pride of the kitchen here, along with enticing vegetable dishes and a decent selection of inexpensive wines. At the top of the menu is the shop's signature "beer-can chicken" - prepared in a special roaster that infuses the chicken with beer as it's cooking. Although the chickens themselves are fairly ordinary, the results are effective - crispy, crunchy skin with moist and tender meat underneath and a subtle hint of beer flavor.
More exciting though are the grilled pork back ribs - extremely tender, very fatty and flavorful, coated with a slightly sweet original barbecue sauce. There are serious-looking bottles of Thai chili sauce on the tables for when you want to spice things up.
The menu offers an impressive array of meat dishes to explore further - N9Y's special roast beef; roast pork loin with orange-marmalade glaze; grilled buttermilk chicken; venison ham; beef-tongue stew; and foie gras confit among them. This is the kind of place where you'll definitely want to share dishes so you can sample a bigger variety of flavors. Non-carnivores, perhaps dragged here against their will, can choose from among several salmon dishes, bite-size octopus steak, mussels or oysters.
While waiting for our mains (which take awhile to prepare), we explored the vegetable side of the menu. Bagna cauda seems to be popular everywhere in Tokyo these days, but N9Y does an especially good version, with more exotic vegetables than usual and an assertive anchovy dip. And our umami-rich grilled mushrooms in blue cheese were outstanding. The blue-cheese flavor was toned down quite a bit so as not to overpower the mushrooms, and the dish had the overall consistency of a very thick cream of mushroom soup, only with much more flavor (and far more mushrooms).
NY9 advertise themselves as specialists in butcher-fresh meats and microbrew beers, and the latter category includes several local Japanese brews on tap and some German and Belgian beers by the bottle. Unfortunately, though, the beer selection wasn't that exciting (even for our table of craft-beer fans), and the imports are on the pricey side. The inexpensive wine menu, starting in the range of Y500/glass or Y2000/bottle, is a much better deal.
The sprawling basement dining room is comfortable and casual, and is well-suited to group parties. Budget around Y3500 for food and drink at dinnertime; lunches are Y900-1800. Take-out and local delivery service are available.