Meatballs with smoked ricotta, Roman egg drop soup, and tagliatelle bolognese are on the menu at the new Cry Baby Pasta in Queen Village, named for the cult favorite John Waters film staring Johnny Depp. It opens Friday, January 18, at Third and Bainbridge streets.
The Italian restaurant, which comes complete with a liquor license, is from two established restaurant couples: Bridget Foy and Paul Rodriguez, whose Bridget’s on South Street burned down in 2017 after almost 40 years (Foy’s parents opened it), and chefs Carla Goncalves and David Gilberg, who had popular Portuguese BYOB Koo Zee Doo in Northern Liberties.
Set at 627 S. 3rd Street in what was most recently Jason Cichonski’s Ela, Cry Baby seats 55, with a separate bar pouring Italian wines, about a dozen beers, and Italian cocktails. The menu is somewhere between red sauce and modern Italian, with plates made for sharing, like fritto misto, a selection of pastas, and a few bigger dishes, including a pork rib ragout with polenta and broccoli rabe. For dessert: chocolate panna cotta with biscotti crumble.
The idea for Cry Baby came about after Bridget’s closed and Foy and Rodriguez suddenly found themselves with a lot of free time. They started dining out more and decided the neighborhood needed a “rock and roll pasta and wine bar,” Foy says — a casual neighborhood Italian eatery somewhere between the fine-dining destinations and old school Italian-American favorites Philly is known for.
They met Goncalves and Gilberg after applying to a Craigslist job ad for summer help at a restaurant and hotel in the Thousand Islands region the former Koo Zee Doo owners were running. By the end of the summer, Cry Baby was in the works.
Cry Baby kicks off with dinner service only, with the bar opening at 4 p.m. and the dining room at 5 p.m. daily. Lunch and brunch may be added later. Foy and Rodriguez are also in the process of rebuilding Bridget’s, aiming for a fall 2019 opening.
Take a look at some of Cry Baby’s dishes:
Here’s what the inside of the restaurant looks like:
And, here’s the menu: