"We really want people to see the space; we couldn't be happier with how it came together."
After its grand opening of to-go and delivery only, the eastside restaurant Zio Peppe is opening up its dining room and patio on Tuesday, June 1.
Those who have ordered food to-go during the restaurant’s first month have been able to admire the facade, but local chefs and owners, Devon Sanner and Mat Cable, are pumped for guests to get a good look at the interior of their “culinary bromance” concept.
“We’re thrilled to be able to invite our guests to join us and experience Zio Peppe in person,” said Sanner. “We’ll continue offering takeout and delivery for guests who would like to enjoy our food at home, but we’re elated in anticipation of a well-seated, convivial dining room.”
Zio Peppe, which means “Uncle Joe” in Italian, is in part a tribute to Cable’s uncle, Joe Sottosanti, who opened Tucson’s first Sicilian pizza place, Tesseo’s Pizzeria, nearly 50 years ago.
So, what’s on the menu?
When it comes to the new spot, it’s considered to be the Old Pueblo’s take on Italian-American cuisine — a “love letter to Tucson.” A great example would be the Fettuccine Alfredorado, which the duo cites as being among the most popular dishes since the restaurant opened.
“Fresh pasta, a rich, unctuous, creamy sauce redolent of earthy, sweet, and slightly piquant red chiles,” said Sanner. “Who can resist that?”
Also, don’t think twice about the Elote Arancini — Mexican street vendors’ corn rolled into risotto balls, crusted with crushed corn tortilla chips, fried to perfection, and served with cilantro/lime crema, queso fresco, and Tajin.
The pizza kitchen is fired up
What Cable and Sanner are particularly eager for guests to scope out is the open pizza kitchen in the dining room, equipped with a stone hearth oven that’s fueled by mesquite and gas.
The pizza menu features classics like a Margherita with fresh, hand-pulled mozzarella, as well as the new school hit Figgy Stardust, with figs, honey and chamomile whipped goat cheese, mesquite-smoked bacon, and pomegranate gastrique.
“We’ve got pizzas that are unique; you could only get this in Tucson,” said Cable.
The chef/owner duo like to refer to their location on Tanque Verde’s “restaurant row” as “the Bermuda Triangle of fun.”
“We’re right across the street from Trail Dust Town and Golf N’ Stuff, and in between a dispensary and The Cowpony Bar,” said Cable. “You’ve got a full night’s entertainment for any age.”
Beginning Tuesday, June 1, the restaurant will be open for dine-in, takeout, and delivery from 11 a.m. – 9 p.m. daily.
Zio Peppe is located at 6502 E. Tanque Verde Rd. For more information, call (520) 888-4242 or visit ziopeppeaz.com.