The hummus is back

Chris Shepherd fires up the pita for his comforting One Fifth revival

Chris Shepherd fires up the pita for his comforting One Fifth revival

One Fifth Mediterranean dips
One Fifth Mediterranean returns Friday.  Photo by Julie Soefer

Chris Shepherd has good news and bad news about the future of his One Fifth, his Montrose restaurant that annually changes concepts.

The bad news is that he’s scrapped plans to reboot the restaurant as One Fifth Lightning Round. Announced in February, the ambitious project would have seen the restaurant cycle through a number of different concepts — Vietnamese, Russian, Italian, etc. — every few months.

Instead, Shepherd and One Fifth chef de cuisine Matt Staph have decided to revive the restaurant’s Mediterranean concept that ran from September 2018 to July 2019. Beginning Friday, May 8, Staph will start serving OFM signatures like Turkish hummus, taboon-roasted tomatoes with whipped feta, and kebabs.

Shepherd tells CultureMap that the restaurant’s menu is well-suited to a time when restaurants are serving customers to-go due to the coronavirus.

“We don’t know what’s going to happen. We’ve got 18 months [left on the building’s lease],” he says. “We could still be doing this for 18 months, who knows? It’s the perfect food for to-go. The staff love it, and I miss it.”

Additionally, the restaurant’s physical setup includes a door in the kitchen that leads directly to the parking lot, which will make curbside service easy. A relatively affordable price point and the food’s ability to reheat well as leftovers also influenced the decision.

“I want some kibbeh nayeh, I want some hummus, I want some kebabs. And I want it in my refrigerator,” Shepherd says. “When you get takeout food, you get it and you may eat it the next day, too. I think coffee-roasted beets, it’s still as good tomorrow as it was when you got it. Even kebabs and pita warm up nice.”

Last week, Staph held a little trial run by offering hummus and pita through Georgia James’ online marketplace. It sold out in minutes. “It was, like, ok, the people have spoken,” he says.  That impulse fits the chef’s own cravings, too.

“I want to jam hummus and pita in my face everyday, especially that stuff,” Shepherd says. “Matt has that dialed in so good. To be able to take that Turkish hummus as a take-and-bake, let’s go.”

Intrigued? The restaurant is offering a three-course, Mother’s Day feast for four that includes hummus, vegetable dishes like coffee-roasted beets and roasted tomatoes, lamb merguez with cucumber labneh, yogurt-marinated half chicken, and katafi cheesecake. It costs $160 and can be ordered via One Fifth’s website.