Peter McAndrews’ (Paesano’s, Modo Mio, Monsu) first cooking job in Philadelphia was at Bridgid’s more than 20-years ago. And now he’s back in charge of the Fairmount mainstay. He’s installed Patrick Collins as the chef. Collins has worked on 13th Street for Valerie Safran and Marcie Turney as well as for George Sabatino. This isn’t the first time McAndrews has turned back towards Bridgid’s. The chef consulted there in 2012. But this time he’s taken over the whole operation.
The menu is Italian, offering a menu of Chichette, small plates for just $5 each, 3 for $13. The new Bridgid’s will also offer a selection of ten-or-so house-made pastas for $10 to $12 a plate. Entrees will have a seafood focus and top out at $18 per plate. As is McAndrews m.o., expect bold flavors and wine friendly dishes. Speaking of wine, McAndrews is offering 8 white wines and 11 reds by the glass. McAndrews says he wants Bridgid’s to be a “true Italian restaurant, intriguing and affordable,” a place to have a good time with a good glass of wine or two.
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Bridgid’s was one of our first steps in the right direction when it came to beer in Philadelphia. The homely bistro was a Belgian beer haven before Monk’s, The Belgian Cafe, or anyone ever uttered the term gastropub. It was there before the boom, but then sort of got lost in the vast assemblage of craft beer bars Philly is now bursting at the seams with. Their food was neither here nor there—and when competing with the likes of those other establishments, good food is vital.
So they decided to step up. Peter McAndrews (Modo Mio, Monsu, Paesano’s, Popolino, and La Porta) is taking the helm behind the stoves, and he’s turning the kitchen around. For a restaurant that prided itself with European-influenced American food, it seemed to lack continuity—the old menu featured “Escargot Au Pernod” right above “Southwest Chicken Rolls”. Consistency and identity are two absolute requisites in restaurants, and Bridgid’s had it with beer, just not so much on the other end.
Check out McAndrews’ menu »
For more than 20 years, Bridgid’s in Fairmount has been a neighborhood place with fine, though not remarkable, food. It was also the first place – and still the only one in Philly – to pour Yards through its gravity tap. But now, in the wake of the foodaphilia currently gripping Philadelphia, a decision has been made to develop the food side of things.
Over the past few months, the restaurant’s interior has been redone. The menu has been changed and new chef, Dave Clarke (former sous at Morimoto and exec sous at Osteria–which is a damn fine resume for a guy running the line at a neighborhood joint), has taken over ops in the kitchen.
“We decided to renovate now because we feel that the Art Museum area is really coming into its own,” said Chris Ryan (son of Bridgid’s owner, who also happens to be named Chris Ryan). “We want to be a part of this.”
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