A steakhouse in Quincy will soon have a sister that focuses on Italian cuisine. Zef Cicchetti & Raw Bar is slated to open at 1472 Hancock St., next door to its older sibling, Alba. The restaurant will draw its inspiration from Venice, putting communal dining, a raw bar, salumi, cocktails, and house-made pasta front-and-center, and it will feature cicchetti — small side dishes that are the hallmark of Venetian wine bars. (See also: SRV, which recently opened in Boston's South End.)
The restaurant takes part of its name from these small plates. The "Zef" part comes from Alba’s owner, Leo Keka, who named the restaurant after his father, Jozef, who passed away last year in Albania.
To prepare for the opening of Zef Cicchetti, Alba brought on Keith Andersen — formerly of Legal Harborside, Troquet, Craigie on Main, and Franklin Southie — to serve as executive chef. While continuing Alba’s 15-year tradition of steak, seafood, and Mediterranean cuisine, Andersen will also develop the menu for Zef, drawing on his experiences from living in Venice.
Potential Zef Cicchetti dishes are already in the works, and Andersen has tested some at Alba, including a pig’s head ragu pasta with broccoli rabe, a melon gazpacho, and an oxtail cannelloni.
If all goes as planned, Zef Cicchetti could open as soon as October.