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New MH Fish House is Sea to Table Restaurant

From the team behind Market House on the Square, the upscale seafood restaurant will open in Lake Forest Saturday.

Great news for foodies – the North Shore is finally about to get an upscale seafood restaurant, courtesy of the same creative team behind Lake Forest’s Market House on the Square. MH Fish House will open in downtown Lake Forest on the 29th, sharing a building with the Market House. (Fish House will be upstairs, and will have a separate entrance and kitchen.)

“We knew when we bought the building that we wanted to have a new restaurant back there,” Mark Westcott, owner of both Market House and MH Fish House, said. “We didn’t rush it…but after about a month it became clear that one thing that was missing on the North Shore is a really good seafood restaurant. 

Westcott noted that Chicago area is in a very unique position to get fresh seafood from both the east and the west coast, because it’s such a transportation hub. It’s because of this that the Fish House is committed to being a Sea to Table restaurant, ensuring that all the fish served has been freshly caught – and are sometimes less than 24 hours out of the water.

“Between the Internet and the way our chef can communicate with fish suppliers, we have a really good idea about what’s going on and what [the fishermen] are going out for,” Westcott explained. “We have one supplier in Honolulu and we’ll chat with him about what’s coming in and what they’re looking for, and then we’ll prepare our menu accordingly.”

It’s because of this commitment that the Chef Dominic Zumpano (who is also the chef at Market House) will be changing the Fish House menu on an almost weekly basis, to ensure that everything being served is as fresh as possible. 

The menu features Zumpano’s take on seafood classics, including Dover Sole, bacon cured sturgeon, brazino with braised cabbage and butternut squash, octopus, scallop gnocchi, fresh oysters and stone crabs. Non-fish entrees will also be available, such as rabbit sausage, and mac and cheese with braised oxtail.

While Westcott admitted that preparing to open Fish House while still running the popular Market House has been busy (“We’ve gotten really good at shucking oysters!” he joked), that hasn’t stopped the team from already planning their next move.

“We’re thinking about other things to do,” he said. “We have a bakery space that’s vacant at the moment. If that goes well…you never know, as much as my wife doesn’t like to think about that right now!” 

MH Fish House’s opening night is set for Dec. 29, and they’re now accepting reservations for New Year’s Eve. You can visit them online here.  

Ted December 28, 2012 at 01:00 PM
Sounds delicious! Great to see Lake Forest rising on the "food scene"! It is wonderful to have fresh restaurants at our doorstep rather than having to run to Highland Park or down to Chicago for a memorable meal. We also are fortunate to have lunch covered with the iconic Left Bank (Pasquesi's)!!! Gotta go, this foodie talk is making me hungry!
Ed Brill December 28, 2012 at 01:17 PM
Looking forward to a decent oyster bar!
David Levinson December 28, 2012 at 01:37 PM
Whew, that's a lot of jet fuel used there! Maybe the name should be "MH Carbon Footprint."
Sgrbaby December 28, 2012 at 02:26 PM
They might want to grammar/spell check the menu since their bass is "stripped"! Someone might be offended by this:)
Ted December 28, 2012 at 02:31 PM
Hi David, Sorry you believe the fish is being flown in on a private jet. They are cargo on a cargo airplane or more likely being flown in the cargo compartment of a United jet. This is very efficient and allows airlines to bundle services to lower the price of travel to all customers. Are you a vegan that believes we should not eat fresh food? I hope you walk to the restaurant as your carbon footprint would explode if you drove vs. walking to the fields to pick berries. Happy holidays!!!
David Levinson December 28, 2012 at 03:39 PM
Hey Ted, I understand that downstairs at the Market House, the ingredients are locally sourced. So upstairs, it's "whatever it takes to get it here." P.S. I run barefoot.
Ted December 28, 2012 at 04:50 PM
David, Just remember the law----no shirt, no shoes, no service! Don't run barefoot to the MH or any other restaurant.
Stevie Janowski December 28, 2012 at 07:32 PM
Sounds like you cant afford the food anyways.
Ted December 28, 2012 at 08:57 PM
David, As Ed said, I also am looking forward to a fresh oyster bar and fresh east and west coast seafood. I don't work for MH or benefit from debating you, so I can only say put your shoes back on and happy holidays!!!
David Levinson December 28, 2012 at 10:53 PM
My wife recently treated a friend to lunch downstairs at the Market House and really liked it. They do a really fine whitefish sandwich there! Have a good one-
Maria Marcotte December 29, 2012 at 08:22 AM
I Love Seafood. It's my favorite dish. I am so glad to have a seafood Restaurant near to my house. My specially is the "Paella" Oyster, Mussels, Salmon, Shrimp. I will go sometimes soon.

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