One Fifth From Award-Winning Chef Chris Shepherd Debuts In Montrose

One Fifth Dining Room

One Fifth, the highly anticipated second restaurant from James Beard award-winning chef Chris Shepherd of Underbelly, is now accepting reservations. It officially opens to the public on Thursday, January 25 and is located at 1658 Westheimer in the former cathedral that used to house Mark’s American Cuisine.

That space, by the way, has undergone quite a facelift while retaining the impressive arches and cornices that have always been part of the allure. Light, dove gray paint has brightened the space. There’s plenty of room for saddling up to the lengthy marble bar. The red and blue squares of the drop ceiling are an homage to Shepherd’s beloved sports team, the Houston Texans. (Outside linebacker Whitney Mercilus is a business partner in One Fifth, by the way, along with Kevin Floyd and Steve Flippo, both of whom are involved with Underbelly as well.)

The name alludes to the concept. Each year on September 1, for five years total, an entirely new restaurant will be revealed. (One Fifth will close every August to transform the space, menu and beverage lists.)

One Fifth Lamb Neck
There are plenty of typical steak cuts on the menu, but diners should go off the beaten path and try more interesting meat selections, like this dense, flavorful lamb neck. Photo by Julie Soefer

For its debut, One Fifth is a steakhouse (aka “One Fifth Steak”) under chef de cuisine Nick Fine, but a peek at the menu reveals that it’s not an ordinary one. There are surprises in store for diners by way of silky Chicken Liver Pate accented with strawberry black pepper preserves (with equally worthy crusty bread served alongside), Wood Roasted Lamb Neck well-seasoned with olives, tomatoes, shallots and herbs and a 10-ounce Sirloin Flap sourced from Texas beef purveyor 44 Farms.

If those cuts sound esoteric, it’s because Shepherd isn’t throwing his commitment to sustainability out the window just because One Fifth is currently a steakhouse. Diners might not realize that the lust for prime cuts (ribeyes, New York strips and the like) can result in the waste of meat that is delicious when properly prepared.

One Fifth Carrots
Carrots, three ways, all on the same plate at One Fifth. Photo by Julie Soefer

That said, there are still more familiar cuts on the menu, including two different ribeyes and a hefty 36-ounce Porterhouse that can probably feed the table (unless it’s full of linebackers, which is a distinct possibility at One Fifth). There are several beautiful salads that feature fresh produce as well, including carrots served roasted, shaved and pureéd, all on the same plate.

When September 1 rolls around this year, One Fifth will reemerge as One Fifth Romance Languages (think French, Italian and Spanish fare). On the same date in 2018, One Fifth Fish will be revealed. The final two concepts have not yet been announced.

One Fifth’s hours are from 5 to 11 p.m. every night. To make reservations, visit this web site link.

(We’re waiting to see if there’s also a phone number and will update this article if we get it.)

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