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The Dish: Nines at the River Club of Mequon

Photos by Dan Bishop

February 2013

I ordered the Crouching Tuna, Hidden Shrimp Roll, a toss of the dice from a menu that suggested unexpected flavor combinations on every line. The menu deconstructed the roll by listing tuna, avocado, shrimp, soy glaze, wasabi cream and caviar, but I chose to let the roll surprise me and let the flavors speak for themselves.

The Daily Special Soup, Thai Curry Peanut with Shrimp, an ideal prelude to the roll, was filled with surprising flavors and a touch of heat in a rich brown broth. When I asked chef Justin Disbrow about the soup, he said, "I just threw it together this morning. We simmered the broth for four hours, shrimp stock, coconut milk and peanut butter." Well, that plus some alchemy from a talented chef and two succulent shrimp made a memorable starter.

After our server explained the small plates/entrees menu, my companion chose a "flight." "Each small plate," our server explained, "is one third of an entrée, or 2 ounces of food. A traditional entrée will measure 6 ounces, thus three small plates make up a flight." Even though 2 ounces sounded like a minor bit of food, those small plates were not "small."

My companion ordered Pheasant and Waffles, Beer Can Chicken Enchiladas and Seared Sea Scallops. The pheasant, served on an oatmeal waffle with maple syrup butter and cranberry tomato jam, resonated with original flavors. The enchilada, stuffed with chicken alongside pork belly beans, topped the scale at considerably more than 2 ounces and her scallops were perfect, sweet and tender, enhanced by a hint of coconut.

Families are welcome in the dining room at this hybrid country club where the public is invited to dine along with club members. We turned the Small Plates menu over and found kid-friendly Flatbread Pizza, Chicken Tenders and a Nines Burger. But, it’s no ordinary burger as it’s topped with jalapeno bacon, an onion ring and beer cheese. There are also some more sophisticated items on the menu, such as Mussels and Fries, Buffalo Calamari and Cheese and Charcuterie.

For wine lovers, the Nines has a Cruvinet with 44 wines available by the glass. The club also has a corporate meeting room, a banquet hall that seats 500, a wine lounge for live music and tastings, and for the younger set, a game room.

We didn’t plan to finish with dessert until our server mentioned bread pudding and eggnog in the same sentence …

Nines at the River Club of Mequon
12400 N. Ville du Parc Drive
(262) 518-0129 |


This story ran in the February 2013 issue of: