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.