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Wednesday, March 13, 2019

#TerrificTakeout #CheechandPeppes #PeachyDeegan #WhomYouKnow #Manhattan @ManhattanPeachy Cheech and Peppe's Inaugural Review #Italian #Restaurant #Ristorante #Pizza by #MariaPugliese and her son #FrankPugliese #Sicily #Sicilian

From the namesake Cheech and Peppe's Fettuccine Pasta above to their signature Cheech and Peppe's Brick Oven Pizza below, Cheech and Peppe's is making a grand opening indeed on Manhattan's Upper East Side, brand new since March 1st!
 It's never been who you know.
It's WHOM YOU KNOW and if you have been reading us since 2009, you know that this site was named after Peachy's 10th grade English class by Mover and Shaker Rennie McQuilkin.
Though we adore the classics and the most winning businesses we have discovered, it is always fantastic to find somewhere new that impresses us, and Cheech and Peppe's did.  
Owned by mother Maria Pugliese, born in Sicily, and run by her son Frank Pugliese, first-generation American, Cheech and Peppe's opened just days ago on March 1, 2019 on Manhattan's Upper East Side, the best part of town.   The Sicilian family tradition of fantastic Italian fare continues; they have owned several restaurants previously. We are honored to be the first to review this outstanding Italian newcomer and we were delighted to meet Frank and also work with his Executive Chef, Paolo Radice, who hails from Milan.
The name Cheech and Peppe's is derived from family nicknames, and Frank's kids Frank and Joe are Cheech and Peppe, respectively.
 We were graciously greeted by a lovely cappuccino, and note this spot is so new their liquor license is on its way.  Stay tuned.
 We began with their namesake salad: Cheech and Peppe's Insalate.
It boasts mesclun, avocado, walnuts, cherry tomatoes and red onions with gorgonzola cheese.  They listened and put the creamy balsamic vinaigrette on the side for Ms. Pretty Picky and we are impressed with both the quality of vegetables in terms of freshness and the size of the salad as well.  The salads arrive in large bowls, and eating fresh vegetables like this is just what the doctor ordered.  Peachy is a fan of Caesar, so we tried that next:
The lettuce was fresh and crunchy, as it should be, the shrimp was properly grilled and the creamy caesar dressing was solid.  What was most outstanding to us here was the incredible shaved parmigiano!  All of their cheeses really wowed us throughout.  We did not try any appetizers this trip but their burrata sounds good. 
The interior is spotless and was completely remodeled; we noticed as we had reviewed the restaurant that was previously in this space many years ago.  We particularly admire the lighting and the mirrors behind their aesthetic motivation. 
We always like to see what we think of dishes that are named after the venue, because to us it indicates that they are communicating something special.  Above, we liked the Cheech and Peppe's Pasta: perfectly al dente, the fettuccine pasta had an outstanding combination and ratio of pancetta from Italy, asparagus, peas, onions and parmigiano in a lovely cream sauce.  Yes, we do suggest you add a bit of black pepper!  Peachy is a truffle enthusiast, and to that end, we tried the Risotto Funghi Porcini, below.  The depth of flavor was amazing in this risotto with of course porcini mushrooms, and the touch of truffle pate was the right accentuation.
However, what we found most laudable in the pasta section was the Eggplant Parmigiana.  It is simply superior and much better than others we have tried.  In our first and only experience so far, Cheech and Peppe's really knows what they are doing as far as Parmigiana goes...stay tuned as we have more to say below.  The layers of eggplant goodness are gooey and deliciously intoxicating and we can't wait to pair this with an Italian red when the liquor licence makes its debut.  Not everyone nails the classics but Cheech and Peppe's did here.  The mozzarella and tomato sauce is tops and less is more; we reveled in its simplicity.
 This is the best pizza we have had anywhere in 2019.
Peachy is still in deep mourning since Mimi's Pizza closed on 84th and Lexington, but this certainly made her smile.  What makes this pizza special is both the craftsmanship that goes into it and the high quality ingredients of fresh mozzarella and tomatoes garnished with evoo and basil.  It is so great it is ridiculous!  The pizzas in house are twelve inches and to go, you can get 16 inches.  Above, meet the Cheech and Peppe's (that's the name of the pizza) pizza.  Tomato sauce, mozzarella, sausage, pepperoni, peppers, mushrooms and onions team up for a winning combination.  Though the crust is thin and delicious, it is strong enough to hold up to all these quality ingredients.  Below, the margherita is another successful classic that you will not be able to stop eating.  Piping hot, these pizzas smell fantastic and taste even better.  
Landscape view: 
We live for glamour shots of Chicken Parm.
We live for eating it even more.
For our meat entree, we chose the Chicken Parmigiana under the Pollo section.  Note their menu is extensive and several pages, which deserves further applause.  Sometimes when we see a long menu we find a weak spot, but we didn't here.  The breaded chicken breast with tomato and mozzarella is mouth-watering and entirely delicious.  Under the Pesce, we tried Gamberi in Burro e Vino: Shrimp sauteed in butter with Pinot Grigio.  Both the meat and the fish is delivered twice a week, and everything we tried was completely fresh. 

 Cheech and Peppe's has impressed us on our inaugural review!
We look forward to seeing what they do next.
1484 Second Avenue 
Between East 77th and East 78th
212 585 4024
Website to come...

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