Zi’ Pep

Pep Rally

An Italian Throwback in the East Village

None 7 Photos Zi’ Pep
This one’s for all the lovers out there.

The hopeless romantics. The star-crossed fools. The “I’m using you just for your body” folks.

Also, the people who still call all pasta macaroni.

Introducing Zi’ Pep, a whitewashed Italian date spot that oozes old-school charm (and the aroma of deep-fried meatballs), opening tonight.

If you’re a marinara sauce historian (or a high-ranking member of the Gambino crime family), you’ll probably remember this place’s initial incarnation, Pep’s Bar & Grill. From the 1930s till the 1970s, it was a favorite of East New York’s most famous/famished waste management consultants. The reincarnation—well, its intentions skew heavily toward the seductive arts.

You’ll want to meet here straight after work. Just you and “you know who” from human resources. Grab two stools at the copper-topped bar and order up a series of stuzzichini: we’re thinking fried cubanelle peppers into potato croquettes into rice balls into flywheel sliced salumi. Good warm-up. Now let’s eat.

From a low-lit booth along a brick-exposed wall, you’ll wave over Southern Italian staples like butter-tossed fettuccine and pork rib pizzaiola. Of course, if this was the spring, you’d conclude all proceedings by taking the rest of your chianti out into the private back bocce garden.

You love a restaurant with its own sports arena.


Zi’ Pep
424 E 9th St
(between 1st and Ave A)
New York, NY, 10009


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