Door No. 4

Chris Shepherd's Next One Fifth Is Gulf Coast

One Fifth Mediterranean is closing, but maybe not for long.

By Timothy Malcolm July 12, 2019

This is exactly what it looks like when Chris Shepherd is thinking up ideas for One Fifth.

Image: John Davidson

So far, Chris Shepherd's celebrated restaurant One Fifth, which honors a specific aspect of the Houston food experience with a vastly different concept each year for five years, has tackled steak and Southern American meat culture; the influence of Spanish, French and Italian cuisines; and most recently, Mediterranean and Middle Eastern fare.

One-Fifth Mediterranean will be closing soon, which means the fourth of five One-Fifth concepts is about to open. And it'll be a celebration of our regional foodway. Per an announcement Friday, One Fifth Gulf Coast will open in August.

However, Shepherd and his team didn't want to close One Fifth Mediterranean (which garnered a pretty good review here) and debated keeping it going for the remainder of the five-year building lease, which would've stopped the idea of One Fifth altogether. They're pressing on with the new restaurant, but Shepherd is actively looking for a property so he can spin off Mediterranean with its own standalone restaurant (like he did with One Fifth Steak, turning it into Georgia James).

One Fifth Gulf Coast will be led by chef de cuisine Matt Staph and culinary director Nick Fine and will feature both land and sea dishes from the Gulf Coast spanning Texas to Florida. Look for roasted oysters, blackened ribeye, crawfish of all kinds, Texas stone crab, pork belly with cane syrup from Steen's of Southern Louisiana, made-to-order jambalaya, okra with pimiento cheese, muffaletta salad, and more. Dessert from Victoria Dearmond will include key lime pie, a pineapple upside-down treat, and more. Brunch will be served here, too, from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Sundays.

Beverages will include local wines, plus a bevy of Southern cocktails like hurricanes, hand grenades, and Texas teas. A "Matagorda Booze Cruise" will also be available—a choice of any five bottled cocktails served in an iced-down bucket, along with some Miller High Lifes.

Along with Staph, Fine, and Dearmond, general manager Jeff Buhrer will also be at the new iteration of the restaurant. For the One Fifth team, this will be the most personal concept yet.

"Every time I’m in Rockport, I catch my own fish, and I buy shrimp directly from the boats and cook them," said Staph. "We’re so lucky to live in a region with such an incredible bounty of fish in our waters. It’s been fun to research all of the options throughout the entire Gulf Coast region to develop this menu. The hardest part has been narrowing it down.”

We'll have more on One Fifth Gulf Coast as it approaches; as for Mediterranean, it closes July 31. 

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