Devon Sanner and Mat Cable are ecstatic to announce that their culinary bromance restaurant project, Zio Peppe, will be opening to the public for takeout and delivery for lunch and dinner starting on Monday, May 10. Located at 6502 East Tanque Verde Road on the near-Eastside’s restaurant row, Zio Peppe features a distinctly Tucson take on Italian-American cuisine. Old Pueblo natives Sanner and Cable call the restaurant “a love letter to Tucson,” the United States’ first UNESCO-designated World City of Gastronomy.
Zio Peppe’s menu is anchored in Italian-American classics of pizza and pasta, but draws heavy influence from the foods and flavor profiles of Tucson and the Sonoran region. The centerpiece of the new restaurant is a unique gas and wood-fired oven with a rotating stone hearth, from which the pair will be firing pizzas with an emphasis on house-made and locally-sourced top quality ingredients. The pizza dough, a chimera of traditional Neapolitan formula and Tucson terroir, combines Caputo 00 flour with locally sourced mesquite flour and hard red wheat grown and milled in Marana. Classic mainstays such as a Margherita with basil and hand-pulled mozzarella and a Pizza Bianca with house-made fennel sausage and BKW Farms blue oyster mushrooms share menu billing with only-in-Tucson pies like the Prickly Pickle with nopales, cholla buds pickled in pepperoncini brine, red onions in escabeche, and guajillo and black garlic crema.
Pasta offerings at Zio Peppe similarly underscore Cable and Sanner’s ethos of culinary confluence, incorporating in their various pastas ingredients such as wolfberry, green chile powder, and local Pima durum wheat. Familiar comfort dishes like fettuccine alfredo juxtapose Sonoran-Italian future classics like green chile pappardelle with marinara colorado.
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. Black and white art photos of Joe and Tesseo’s grace the walls with a touch of Tucson restaurant history. The avuncular spirit of Zio Peppe promises to be a “funcle” – a fun uncle with bold personality, good hospitality, and a little cheekiness, to boot.
Cable has been the owner/operator of Fresco Pizzeria & Pastaria since 2008, and First We Eat Catering and Confections since 2019. Mat is also a partner in Dante’s Fire, the house caterer for Z Mansion, and a two-term President of Tucson Originals, a collective of independent, locally-owned restaurants.
Sanner joins forces with Cable after having cooked under Tucson culinary legend Janos Wilder for the past 15 years, serving as chef at Janos, JBAR, Downtown + Cocktails, and The Carriage House.
Sanner and Cable are two of the founding members of the Gastronomic Union of Tucson (GUT), an affiliation of several dozen chefs and culinary artisans. Inspired by Tucson’s designation as a World City of Gastronomy, GUT seeks to honor Tucson’s food heritage and to foster culinary innovation and creative exchange. Sanner and Cable’s embrace of the city’s culinary heritage and contemporary food scene evinces itself not only on their menu, but also in the instantly Instagram-able mural by Ashley White of Modern Aquarian, featuring local foods and dishes by several of Tucson’s most celebrated chefs and food makers.
Zio Peppe will be open 11 am to 9 pm seven days a week initially for take- out and delivery only. Inside and patio dining will be announced in the coming weeks. To view the full menu and to place orders visit http://ziopeppeaz.com/