WHO’S IN CHARGE It’s hard to beat a family-run eatery like Cohasset’s Corner Stop for heart. Over the last seven years, husband and wife Rudy and Ron Vale have created a big welcoming restaurant infused with a sense of community and warmth. Having both worked in the industry for years before taking the plunge and buying their own place, the couple came to ownership with plenty of experience, and it shows. The 115-seat restaurant has a casual vibe that’s elevated by the Vales’ hospitality and the terrific servers they’ve empowered. The couple offers their second dining room for community events sometimes — a storytelling evening every other month, meetings of the Rotary Club, and more. Over the past five years, the Vales have donated 10 percent of each October’s sales to the Breast Cancer Research Center and, with other community donations, have raised nearly $90,000 for the organization.
THE LOCALE A rock wall rises behind the Corner Stop, and from the main bar and dining room, most of what you see out the big windows is stone. It’s a cool calming view and in winter the space feels a bit like a ski lodge with its large U-shaped bar, stone fireplace with adjacent love seats, and plenty of room for tables and banquets. Pretty glass pendant lights fly above the bar, which is a lively place to eat even if you’re not drinking. The second dining room, on the other side of the entrance way, is more sedate. Wide hallways lead to various areas, giving guests space to chat with friends en route from the coat room to the bar or their table.
ON THE MENU I haven’t batted 100 percent at a restaurant in a while, yet on three recent visits to The Corner Stop everything we ordered was great. Maybe our luck was due to helpful suggestions by good servers. Or maybe it’s that chef Bob Gould and the Vales have really drilled down and honed their menu to a hit parade they can produce with consistency. For starters, the gorgeous sea scallops appetizer ($12), two to an order, are served over a rich serving of mushroom risotto with just the right touch of truffle oil. Another small dish, the short rib empanada ($9), is a perfect little meat pie served with a sensational horseradish dip. Street tacos ($13 lunch/$13.50 dinner) are a nice trio of lightly blackened cod topped with a smoky chipotle aioli. The flatbreads are actually house-made pizzas with great crust, and the slightly spicy sausage fennel ($14) is as good as can be. I’ve become leery of ordering salads, disappointed by limp mesclun, but you can count on the salads here. The packed bowl ($13) is fresh and filling with arugula and the mild, but chlorophyll-rich, green that is (well-raised) baby kale and more: quinoa and farro, nuggets of roasted Brussels sprouts and butternut squash, big dollops of goat cheese, pomegranate seeds, and pieces of candied pecan that taste just like French toast. All the salads can be ordered with an added-on protein, and the chicken ($6), so often a dried-out afterthought, is moist slices of brined breast. The pan-roasted salmon ($16.50 lunch/$24 dinner) is a nicely grilled fillet atop an original crumble of cornbread, quinoa, bacon, and Brussels sprouts. The lovely lamb burger is served on a grilled brioche bun, with a pile of gorgeously caramelized onion, a rosemary feta spread, arugula, and some terrific truffle fries. I’m all in on this place.
The Corner Stop, 235 Hull St., Cohasset, 781-875-3065, www.cornerstopeatery.comJoan Wilder can be reached at [email protected].