Long-time friends jointly open a new Italian-American restaurant in Tucson | Caliente

Mat Cable (left) and Devon Sanner are opening Zio Peppe at 6502 E. Tanque Verde Road sometime in April.

Isaac Stockton / Off Kilter Photo

Tucson Indians, Mat Cable and Devon Sanner, had flirted with the idea of ​​a culinary collaboration for a couple of years, and as luck would have it, the timing and circumstances came together last fall that had never seemed right – at the height of it of the COVID -19 pandemic.

In April, two long-time friends, Zio Peppe, open an Italian-American restaurant on East Tanque Verde Road, borrowed from Cable’s Fresco Pizzeria & Pastaria and Sanner’s 15 years of work in Janos Wilder’s kitchens.

But lest you believe this is a redux from Fresco, consider the couple’s plan to add what they call Tucson terroir to the menu. House noodles, pizza, and bread are made from indigenous mesquite flour and heritage, as well as local grains, including white Sonoran wheat, Pima Club wheat, and Red Fife wheat. Sausages and other sausage products are made in-house.

The idea is to add “typically Tucson” Italian cuisine, from the loaded Elote Arancini with coriander and lime aioli to the creamy Masa Polenta with smoked cheddar and green chillies or the Lasagna Sonorense with homemade chorizo, chilli Colorado, queso fresco and queso Oaxaca .

The classic Margherita pizza consists of San Marzano tomatoes, fresh basil and mozzarella, and a calzone is filled with homemade fennel sausage, mozzarella and ricotta, and tagliatelle Bolognese. The pasta is served in homemade focaccia bowls.


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