New Old City pasta restaurant brings tears of joy

Wife-husband restaurateurs and chefs Bridget Foy and Paul Rodriguez have bounced back from the fire that destroyed Foy’s namesake restaurant on South Street in 2017 with the recently opened Cry Baby Pasta. And you just might weep if you can’t get a reservation.

The cozy and elegant space was packed on a Wednesday night and we soon found out why. The menu is simple and concise — but the menu items are executed to perfection.

To start, focus on the more complex offerings on their bruschetta menu. The chicken-liver bruschetta ($8) was topped with a silky chicken mousse and bright, acidic balsamic onions. Even more exciting was the grilled-sardine bruschetta ($8), another colorful dish that was vibrant with chilled roasted red and green peppers resting beneath the fresh sardines.

Another starter that set the mood was the fritto misto ($13), a generous selection of expertly fried and crispy rock shrimp, smelts and calamari, elevated by little details like the charred lemon half and the excellent house-made lemon dill sauce.

Pasta isn’t the only entree selection here but, when in Rome … The spaghetti cacio pepe ($12) is textbook example of a simple, uncomplicated dish in presentation that delivered big flavor. The house-made spaghetti had a remarkable chew and the sauce was a creamy, rich delight. The campanelle ($19) had the perfect rustic scampi feel, buttery and hearty with garlic and shrimp carrying a lot to entice the senses. Side dishes like the light-and-tasty meatballs ($9) and the bold crispy potatoes ($7) with basil pesto, rounded out the meal nicely.

The dessert menu was just as simple and elegant as well, with a nice selection of sorbet and gelatos. But it was the chocolate panna cotta ($7) that got our full attention. The panna cotta itself was surprisingly, but not unpleasantly, subdued in the sweetness department and the balsamic caramel that glazed the top of the dish steered the flavor profile into an interesting, almost citrusy, direction. It played well with the textural flourishes of the biscotti crumble and the hazelnuts that added crunch to the smooth airy feel of the treat.

All things considered, Bridget Foy hasn’t missed a beat and is still at the top of her game with the new venture and location. You’ll definitely get emotional if you can get a table at Cry Baby Pasta.

Cry Baby Pasta is located at 627 S. Third St. Phone 267-534-3076. Web Hours Tues.-Thurs. and Sun.: 5-10 p.m., Fri.-Sat.: 5-11 p.m.