PaperCity Magazine

December 2019- Houston

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Page 129 of 147

BY LAURANN CLARIDGE. PHOTOGRAPHY JOHN DAVIDSON, JULIE SOEFER. The Annie Cafe & Bar HOUSTON MAIN EDIT ART: IMAGES # 64e1019 - 68e1019 By Laurann Claridge I t's the fourth iteration in a challenge Chris Shepherd started three years ago when he conceptualized his restaurant One/Fifth: fi ve years, fi ve concepts. Signing a fi ve-year lease in the former Mark's Restaurant space, the ambitious chef opened with One/Fifth Steak, then moved onto fare infl uenced by France, Italy and Spain (One/Fifth Romance Languages), then took a holiday to the Mediterranean (One/Fifth Mediterranean) before closing the eatery for two weeks in August to focus on Gulf Coast cooking with One/Fifth Gulf Coast (through July 31, 2020). Many on his staff are native to the region; together, they jumped into a rental van for a little R&D road trip before the opening. The team caravanned through back roads, stopping at meat markets and shrimp shacks, devouring boudin and plate lunches while searching for the best pistolette (fried/stuffed bread) they could fi nd. They even headed to Gonzales, Louisiana — reputed to be the jambalaya capital of the Gulf. One/Fifth's menu refl ects their romp through the region with cheeky offerings such as Gas Station Snacks, which change daily and might include chicken on the stick with pickles ($12) — apparently a big thing at Mississippi pit stops — and popcorn shrimp with a dipping sauce of fresh creamed corn whipped to an unctuous purée ($16). Naturally, there are raw oysters from the Gulf (six for $18, 12 for $32) and others roasted in the hearth ($18), as well as all variety of shellfi sh served cold, fried, cured, and smoked. A fan of Joe's Stone Crab in Miami, Shepherd sourced out stone-crab claws pulled from the waters of Texas and serves them on ice ($30/$55). The muffaletta makes an appearance — not as an overstuffed sandwich but as a salad ($14), as do hushpuppies slathered in melting honey butter with optional house ham. The slow-roasted lacquered duck is prepared much like its Peking cousin — air-dried before a long, slow roast, its skin lacquered with cane syrup — and served with long-grain rice from Beaumont ($45). Chef de cuisine Matt Staph is particularly proud of the wood-roasted fl ounder amandine ($55). A scarce fi sh with size and quantity limitations set by the state, it's also a challenge to catch. Staph set out with his supplier after dark to spear the elusive fi sh and has made it a permanent fi xture on the dinner carte. Desserts by pastry director Victoria Dearmond include a sour cream coconut cake ($12) and a Key lime inspired-pie with preserved black lime and topped with brûléed Italian meringue ($10). Open for dinner and Sunday brunch. One/Fifth, 1658 Westheimer Road, 713.955.1024, onefi FOURTH/FIFTH Chris Shepherd Wood-roasted fl ounder almondine Slow-roasted lacquered duck 120

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