Based on the East New York restaurant, Pep's, that his grandparents ran from 1935 to 1972, owner Gerard Renny (Stuzzicheria) is calling his latest restaurant "Zi Pep" (Pep's in Italian). Chef Paul Bari's Southern Italian menu is composed of updated classics, including a smattering of stuzzichini and dishes like duck lasagna or pork ribs alla pizzaiola, i.e., smothered in tomato sauce. Italian beers and biodynamic wines accompany. Pictures of Renny's family adorn the whitewashed walls, contrasting with dark banquettes and a copper-topped bar; and there's a back garden that will be open in warm months. Zi Pep opens November 14.
Zi Pep, 424 E. 9th St., nr. First Ave.; 212-475-7377