5 Corners Kitchen: Former Aquitaine Chef Shares His Vision for New Marblehead Eatery

Posted: March 26th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: 5 Corners Kitchen, Bistro, Marblehead | Tags: , , , , , , , | 26 Comments »

3262010bAlthough the North Shore has been experiencing something of a restaurant renaissance lately, Marblehead hasn’t really seen much activity in its dining scene—until now, that is. Marblehead resident Barry Edelman plans to change that by bringing enthusiasm, fresh ideas, and his passion for food to 2 School Street.

A former chef de cuisine at Aquitaine in Boston, Edelman had recently moved to Bistro du Midi in the Back Bay. When that didn’t work out as planned, he decided it was time to make his personal vision a reality and open his own restaurant.

As real estate agents have drilled into us, it’s all about location, and in that respect Edelman hit the jackpot. The former Ladycakes Bakery space sits precisely in the middle of the action at the Five Corners intersection. As Edelman says “When you walk into a space, you want to feel good energy.” With antique architectural charm, high pressed-tin ceilings, large windows, and a corner front door, the space has great potential. The clincher? Edelman can walk to work.

A hands-on guy with boundless energy, he is managing the renovation on his own, and I found him earlier this week with hammer in hand and plaster dust covering his jeans. He showed me around the space, which will feature a bar and dining room, accommodating about 40 people between the two. The kitchen is small, but being both owner and chef, he’s designed it to work for his style.

And what is his style? Despite a background long on French cuisine, Edelman says “I take pride in the simple things, I am going to be doing a lot of humble ingredients. My style is whatever’s good, whatever’s fresh, whatever’s local. I want 5 Corners Kitchen to be a place where people are happy, enjoy themselves, eat well, and not feel they’ve been robbed,” he said.

Edelman’s passion for this type of cooking is obvious. “Sometimes chefs feel like they’ve gotta be creative and do some crazy concoction,” he said. “I want to use fresh, local ingredients in a way t­hat makes sense. I’m someone who cooks a little bit more classically and tries to nail the way it should be done.”

Fresh is a word Edelman repeats like a mantra. And he’s serious about the local aspect. “I told my seafood vendor, ‘I’m the guy you’re going to want to call when you’ve got skate.’ Nobody uses skate or monkfish—local stuff like that comes from our waters.”

As spring unfolds, many more local foods will be available, of course. “I want to use the stuff that actually comes from here. We live in a beautiful place that has so many great farms,” Edelman said. “In the spring, you can bet I’ll be at the farmers’ markets every week.” He also hopes to be able to offer handcrafted charcuterie.

Right now, the plan is to offer six or seven appetizers and entrees very moderately priced, with entrees under $20. The menu will change almost constantly to accommodate foods that are fresh and in season. Like the main menu, the wine list will be small, clean, concise, and ever-changing, as well as affordably priced.

Edelman feels strongly about keeping his prices reasonable and says he’ll be able to do this because he’s not paying Boston rental prices. He wants to provide a city experience in terms of food and service but at a North Shore price point.

“The things I’m going to focus on don’t cost any extra money,” he said. “To properly season and cook a piece of fish doesn’t cost any extra. To greet someone at the door and make sure their server is attentive without being intrusive doesn’t cost anything.”

5 Corners Kitchen will initially be open for dinner and for a “good old-fashioned brunch with proper omelets” from 10:00 to 3:00 on both Saturdays and Sundays. Eventually, Edelman hopes to offer lunch as well. Right now, the target date for opening is May 1. From the look of things, Edelman has his work cut out for him to meet that date, but if he can create a comfortable room that offers interesting fresh food with great service at reasonable prices, we’ll be the first in line, whenever it opens.

Edited 5/11/10; 5 Corners Kitchen is slated to open tomorrow, May 12th, for dinner.

Edited 5/28/10; Our review of 5 Corners Kitchen has been posted.

5 Corners Kitchen
2 School Street, Marblehead


26 Comments on “5 Corners Kitchen: Former Aquitaine Chef Shares His Vision for New Marblehead Eatery”

  1. #1 Geoff said at 3:20 pm on March 26th, 2010:

    Sounds fantastic! Can’t wait.

  2. #2 Micky said at 3:34 pm on March 26th, 2010:

    You say the words “local” and “fresh” and to me that is the most challenging, and exciting way to cook. It evokes a kind of mythic cooking that draws from the ingredients in the purest sense, to fashion something delicious, memorable, and distinct. I can’t wait to try that skate! ;)

  3. #3 David and Pam Miller said at 4:17 pm on March 26th, 2010:

    We are jumping up and down! We live right around the corner, and we hope to be your first customers!

  4. #4 kathie said at 10:40 pm on March 26th, 2010:

    How do I get a server’s job at what looks like will be the hottest new restaurant on the Northshore??

  5. #5 Ragda said at 12:40 pm on March 27th, 2010:

    We’ll walk down and will bellied up for sure. Best of luck hitting all of your targets.

    Hope to see you in May!

  6. #6 Katherine said at 2:46 pm on March 27th, 2010:

    Fabulous! Count us in.

    Can we put in a special request for vegetarian options?

  7. #7 Pam said at 7:11 pm on March 27th, 2010:

    This is super news – we live within walking distance and would love to have a reasonably-priced local in the ‘hood. Welcome!!!!

  8. #8 Karin Martin said at 3:36 am on March 28th, 2010:

    Great! I live a block away…..40 years on Sewall Street and have seen many changes at Five Corners. As a senior volunteer I swept clean four blocks around Five Corners past twenty years. Good to see the benches gone as kids littered after going to ice cream store.
    Picking up people’s trash was good exercise and was a sign that business was good at businesses at Five Corners. Good luck, we’ll visit u soon. Karin

  9. #9 Karin Martin said at 3:41 am on March 28th, 2010:

    PS I have aa great picture of a monkfish my late brother, Ken, caught. He sold to Chinese Restaurant in Swampscott. I’ll look for it.

  10. #10 Joyce Leavitt said at 11:45 am on March 28th, 2010:

    So exicited, love to talk to Barry! Please email me.

  11. #11 Jonas Boinay said at 10:05 am on April 1st, 2010:

    I’m very happy for you old friend!

  12. #12 Teddy Plante said at 9:26 pm on April 2nd, 2010:

    I’m very excited for anyone who has the opportunity to dine at Barry’s restaurant. He is VERY passionate about his fare, attentive to those he’s cooking for and he will not lead you astray! Congratulations Barry!

  13. #13 Michael Storozuk said at 11:15 am on April 3rd, 2010:

    Congratulations Barry! I wish you all the best.

  14. #14 Veggie Mama said at 8:57 pm on May 11th, 2010:

    Please have some vegetarian options.


    Pasta with Marinara doesn’t count, I can make that at home.

    And something for kids other than the “famous five”…mac’n'cheese, cheese pizza, pasta and sauce, chicken fingers or grilled cheese.


  15. #15 Lauren said at 12:16 pm on May 12th, 2010:

    Veggie Mama:

    Then make it at home and stop dictating to a chef how to run his restaurant. Places like this shouldn’t cater to children, either.

  16. #16 Erik said at 3:23 pm on May 14th, 2010:

    Great response Lauren! Glad to see a quality restaurant in MHD that is not heavy on the fried fish! Good luck, we’ll be supporting you!

  17. #17 Ronan said at 9:39 am on May 16th, 2010:

    As a Marblehead resident unable to find a decent meal at a Marblehead restaurant, I’m very excited to have a good chef, with passion and energy open up a spot in town. I can practically see 5 corners from my house, and I look forward to becoming a regular.

    I certainly hope the restaurant is a great success, and that it inspires the complacent (or lazy, or untalented) chefs and owners of The Landing, The Barnacle, Three Cod, etc… to put decent food, and decent decor into their restaurants.

  18. #18 RE: Veggie Mama said at 9:46 am on May 16th, 2010:

    Dear Veggie Mama,

    Why on earth would a quality restaurant have ANY kids items at all, let alone items outside of the five things that kids will eat without tantrums. Oh, and here’s a newsflash… NO ONE wants your kids in a 40 seat restaurant anyway.

    And with a limited menu, driven by fresh local ingredients, satisfying your restricted diet should not, and hopefully will not be a priority.

    Back to the kids again… if you’re one of the purposeless Marblehead Mommies who make Startbucks a miserable place to be by bringing your kids there, too… stop it. It’s a COFFEE SHOP. Your wind-up critters don’t belong there, anymore than they belong in a decent restaurant.

  19. #19 Lucy said at 9:53 am on May 16th, 2010:

    Since moving to Marblehead, I have had many friends and relatives visit. Why? Because our little peninsula town is gorgeous. And having guests here fills me with pride for my wonderful little town.

    And then one of them suggests we grab a bite somewhere. And I’m humiliated. Where do I bring them? Barnacle? Ugh, no. Landing… vomitous. Hurricane? Are you kidding me?
    Now, finally, I can proudly turn to my guests and say, “There’s this wonderful little place, right in the center of town… you’ll love it.”

    Thanks Barry, for finally giving Marblehead a chef with passion, talent, and taste.

  20. #20 5 Corners Kitchen Opens in Marblehead — The Best Restaurants, Wine Reviews, and Food Literature said at 8:50 pm on May 16th, 2010:

    [...] on the opening of 5 Corners Kitchen in Marblehead, please go to the North Shore Dish link below.5 Corners Kitchen: Former Aquitaine Chef Shares His Vision for New Marblehead EateryTweet This! Share on Facebook. Tags: Marblehead restaurants, restaurant [...]

  21. #21 Amy Malkoff said at 12:21 am on May 17th, 2010:

    Lucy: I could not agree more. The food choices around here are embarrassing. I look forward to trying this place. In fact, I tried to go there on Thurs with a few friends from out of town but it was SO LOUD that we realized we wouldn’t be able to talk, and went somewhere else. That worries me. It may be one of those places that structurally just amplifies sound, and that will definitely keep me away. I’ll try again, though.

  22. #22 admin said at 8:41 am on May 17th, 2010:

    All: We really appreciate the great feedback we get from your comments, but please refrain from directly insulting other commenters.

    This is a forum for discussion about local restaurants, and we always welcome alternate views, but let’s keep them respectful.

    Thank you,
    North Shore Dish

  23. #23 Susan said at 11:48 am on May 20th, 2010:

    Ate there last night with my husband. The place was packed but we got a spot at the bar. Mike the bartender was attentive and friendly. The steak frites is a great dish – good-sized portions, awesome sauce, perfectly seasoned crispy fries and just a great combination of flavors. I had a huge pork chop with a unique and tasty chili sauce. The flavor really popped but wasn’t overbearing on the pork (which was moist and cooked perfectly). Prices are very reasonable in relation to portion size, unlike some other local restaurants where you pay a lot and get a little. Yes it is a bit noisy but it’s hard to find complete nirvana without heading into a high priced restaurant in Boston. The great food at 5 Corners blotted out any noise issues for me. There is no other restaurant in Marblehead like this one, and I thank Barry for his vision of creating a quality Boston-like restaurant without the high prices.

  24. #24 Richard said at 4:02 pm on May 21st, 2010:

    We love Marblehead and do eat out often. We live around the corner so we can’t wait to try your place. It is great to have a new face in town. Best of luck!!! Will there be a full bar?

  25. #25 WOW said at 6:00 pm on June 8th, 2010:

    I’m very interested in this restaurant but just had to comment on the harshness of people…yes, restaurants don’t have to cater to a specific person but vegetarianism is not that rare of a thing; and hoping for perhaps a new/different menu item for children isn’t unreasonable either…i’m not sure why these requests have to lead to an assualt on “purposeless” Marblehead mothers who visit Starbucks…perhaps the individual(s) who is/are so bothered by the atmosphere there should open his/her own coffee shop for childless carnivores.

  26. #26 Harriet Diamond said at 4:52 pm on October 1st, 2010:

    Six of us went last night. The food was good but we had to wait for over an hour after we ordered. We did not get a reason, however, we got a demitasse size cup of soup as a consolation. The noise level is awful. We could not hear each other speak. Something has to be done about the noise, maybe baffles hanging from the ceiling, curtains on the windows and rugs on the floor.

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