Visit Tucson: Zio Peppe opens for dinner Tuesday June 1st

May 28, 2021

Tucson, AZ – The new Eastside Restaurant, Zio Peppe, will open its dining room and terrace starting Tuesday June 1st for guests to dine on-site. Chef / Owners Mat Cable and Devon Sanner are excited to welcome the public to the room at 6502 E. Tanque Verde Road, where they have given the facade and interior a whole new look. “We are very pleased to invite our guests to join us and experience Zio Peppe in person,” says Sanner. “We will continue to offer takeout and delivery for guests who want to enjoy our food at home, but we look forward to a well-seated, sociable dining room,” he added.

Zio Peppe’s menu shows a mix of Italian-American and Sonoran cuisine, reflecting the chefs’ love for comfort classics as well as the regional flavors and ingredients of their hometown Tucson. Characteristic of this synergy between Italy and Sonora is the Fettuccine Alfredorado, which Cable has named as one of the most popular dishes since the restaurant opened to take-away earlier this month. “Fresh pasta, a rich, creamy sauce that smells of earthy, sweet and slightly spicy red chillies … who can resist that?” Asks Sanner. Similarly, the Elote Arancini show the chefs ‘fondness for intercultural culinary alchemy: Mexican street vendors’ corn, rolled into risotto balls, crusted with crushed corn tortilla chips, perfectly fried and topped with coriander / lime cream, queso fresco and tagin.

What Cable and Sanner particularly enjoy is the dinner and a show that the open pizza kitchen in the dining room offers. When asked what style of pizza they make, they say emphatically: “We make Tucson pizza.” Indeed, the mesquite and gas-fired stone hearth oven and the carefully tested dough recipe – a combination of Neapolitan Caputo 00 flour, locally grown durum wheat from BKW Farms and local mesquite flour – give the pizzas a flavor profile that Cable and Sanner describe as ” Tucson Terroir “. The pizza menu includes classics such as margherita with fresh, hand-pulled mozzarella and the new school hit Figgy Stardust with figs, goat cheese with honey and chamomile, smoked mesquite bacon and pomegranate gastrique. “We have pizzas that are unique. Only in Tucson,” says Cable, referring to the prickly pickle with its cholla buds with pepperoncini brine, nopalitos and escabeche with red onions.

While guests have been enjoying Zio Peppe takeaway and delivery for several weeks, “we really want people to see the space; we couldn’t be happier with how it came together,” says Sanner. Zio Peppe’s expansion and decoration recapitulate allusions to tradition and innovation. The interior is adorned with black and white photos of Cable’s uncle Joe Sottosanti, who opened Tucson’s first Sicilian pizzeria nearly 50 years ago. Sottosanti is further honored in the name of the restaurant: Zio Peppe is Italian for “Uncle Joe”. The exterior of the building has also been fundamentally redesigned. The most dramatic feature is a mural by modern Aquarian artist Ashley White that pays homage to Tucson as a UNESCO World City of Gastronomy. The mural incorporates visual cues to indigenous food crops, layers of culinary tradition brought by subsequent generations of immigrants from Father Kino to the recent UN refugees who provide foraging and food for the restaurant through the Iskashitaa Refugee Network, and unites these elements , a set table with dishes from some of Tucson’s most famous chefs and restaurants.

The duo of chef and owner jokingly describes their location in the Tanque Verde restaurant row as “the Bermuda triangle of fun”. Cable says, “We’re right across from Trail Dust Town and Golf N ‘Stuff, and between a pharmacy and the Cowpony Bar … they have full nighttime entertainment for all ages.”

Zio Peppe is closed on Monday, May 31st, Memorial Day and on June 1st, seven days a week from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. for dining, take-away and delivery. Visit https://ziopeppeaz.com to view the full menu and place orders online. Phone: 520-888-4242

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This press release was produced by Visit Tucson. The views expressed here are the author’s own.

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