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One Fifth Earns Three Stars In First Major Review

Suffice it to say, Chron critic Alison Cook is a fan

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Chef Chris Shepherd’s ambitious One Fifth project has been open for nearly five months, and the restaurant’s meaty first iteration has received its first review from Houston Chronicle critic Alison Cook.

In her review, Cook raves about Chris Shepherd’s creative interpretation of the steakhouse, making particular note of the menu’s most affordably-priced cut of beef, a $35 hanger steak. Sliced on a plate, it looked humble but tasted magisterial. A gratifying, resilient texture girded the expansive beefiness and tang that extended aging can confer,” writes Cook. “I am fairly confident that is the best hanger steak I will ever eat.”

Non-beef options, like lamb neck braised with Castelvetrano olives and tomato earned raves, as did a country ham appetizer served with bruleed Redneck Cheddar and a swipe of mustard made with pickle juice reclaimed from NRG Stadium’s concession stands.

There were some misses for the critic — like a chicken liver pâté and shrimp remoulade. Ultimately, though, Cook says that One Fifth exceeds expectations. Check out this excerpt from her review below:

I will admit that my heart sank a little when Shepherd announced last fall that his first incarnation of One Fifth would be a steakhouse. Houston is overrun with high-end beef palaces. Few stray far from the familiar steakhouse canon of crab cakes, chops, Caesars and towering hunks of cheesecake. Despite interesting recent developments at spots like Ritual and Killen's STQ, the steakhouse genre was low on my list of formats I'd care to see reimagined. Yet One Fifth Steak grabbed me from my first visit.

At this point, it is unclear whether or not Cook will return to One Fifth as it shifts to its future iterations, like the forthcoming Romance Languages, which will focus on Italian, French, and Spanish cuisine. Eater has reached out to Cook for more details on how she plans to approach reviewing the restaurant, and will update this post with any new information.

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