“We love One Fifth Mediterranean, but Southern food feels right for right now,” Shepherd said in a statement. “The beauty of One Fifth is that it’s a concept based on change, so it gives us the freedom to cook and serve the food that fits the moment.”
What feels right at the moment is a creative, celebratory take on Southern cuisine that's designed to appeal to holiday dining and winter cravings. While the menu won't mimic One Fifth Gulf Coast, the iteration that ran from August 2019 until the start of restaurant shutdowns in March, it blends some of those elements along with a few new twists. Chef de cuisine Matt Staph's menu offers dishes such as jalapeño cornbread, oysters (roasted and raw), fried shrimp, and flounder Ponchatrain.
“I want the food on this menu to remind our guests of being with their families at a time when that may not be possible,” Staph added.
In addition, One Fifth will channel its Romance Languages phase with housemade pastas such as oxtail ragout with crispy gnocchi and blackened chicken and crawfish pasta. Shepherd also challenged Staph to create a version of crab-stuffed jalapeños worthy of legendary seafood restaurant Monument Inn.
On the beverage side, One Fifth will focus on classic Southern cocktails, such as milk punch, Daisys, and Juleps. A housemade version of the restaurant's namesake liqueur will be available as well.
As of now, One Fifth Southern Comfort doesn't have an end date. The restaurant could revert back to Mediterranean or remain Southern Comfort until its leases runs out at the end of July 2021. Who knows, maybe Shepherd will finally unleash the red sauce, Italian-American concept he contemplated when discussing the proposed One Fifth Lightning Round concept.