Houston restaurant juggernaut Chris Shepherd kicked open the doors to his new restaurant UB Preserv last night with absolutely zero fanfare.
The chef announced the restaurant’s opening at 1609 Westheimer Road at about 7:30 p.m. on Facebook, officially bringing what he describes as the “evolution of Underbelly” to Montrose. “We opened UB Preserv to preserve what we started at Underbelly, but we’re taking it even further,” the restaurant’s menu reads. “Houston doesn’t limit itself, and neither are we. Houston is the most diverse city in the country, and our menu reflects that.
Without the restrictions of hyper-local sourcing and figuring out how to serve entire cows that governed his ethos at Underbelly, Shepherd’s new menu for UB Preserv is definitely a reflection of Houston’s culinary diversity. One dish, simply dubbed Crawfish & Noodles, is an homage to the James Beard Nominated-restaurant of the same name that involves searing noodles sourced from Houston’s own Van Loi into a cake, then topping that with buttery, Creole-seasoned crawfish tails. Vietnamese-style fajitas, queso fundido, and an epic seafood tower — dubbed the “Tower of Power” — will serve raw and cooked seafood preparations like oysters roasted in Valentina butter, king crab, and nuoc mam (fish sauce) marinated shrimp.
As Eater reported earlier this year, Shepherd has tapped Momofuku Ssam Bar alum Nick Wong to lead the kitchen at UB Preserv. Wong served as chef de cuisine at superstar chef David Chang’s second restaurant, which opened its doors in New York City in 2006. After that, he spent time in restaurants on the West Coast.
UB Preserv is now open for dinner service, from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. On Sundays, the restaurant will serve a “dim sum-style brunch” from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The restaurant does not accept reservations.
Before making the trip to Montrose, scope out the menu for UB Preserv below.