I was surprised to see there were no posts on the relatively new Market House on the Square in Lake Forest. Market House opened last May in the building that formerly housed South Gate Café and Bank Lane Bistro. The building is over 100 years old and prior to SGC/BLB, it was the Lake Forest Police and Fire Department. The new owners did an extensive renovation and hired a talented chef, Dominic Zumpano. Dom is a Chicago area native who was previously cooking in Milwaukee. For us old timers, his first kitchen job was at Plentywood Farm in Bensenville.
In September, I had a wonderful lunch on the beautiful patio, under the canopy of several shade trees, with my youngest daughter on a fabulous autumn afternoon. Eating on the patio, with a nice view of Market Square, is reminiscent of leisurely al fresco meals in Europe.
Last night my wife and I had a super dinner. Nancy began with the mushroom strudel, crimini and oyster mushrooms, asparagus, and goat cheese in filo, which came with a small salad of frisee and oven roasted tomatoes dressed with mustard vinaigrette. We really enjoyed this. I started with the shrimp and creamy cheddar grits. I am not a grits aficionado, but they were delicious.
We shared a bowl of great Corn chowder. The breadbasket comes with house made white bean hummus and black olive tapenade, along with butter.
Nancy had ricotta filled, house made ravioli that were buried under a vegetable topping of Brussels sprouts, asparagus, tomatoes, mushrooms, and other vegetables. I didn’t try, it but she loved it. My main was a red wine braised lamb shank atop borlotti beans, cooked with onions, celery, bacon, carrots and peppers. An extremely satisfying winter dish, and a fabulous pairing for our old Barolo.
We shared the apple-cranberry crumble with vanilla ice cream and rum caramel.
The menu had many interesting choices, especially for entrees, we can’t wait to return. The owners and the manager, Larry Flam, are doing things the right way and the restaurant was hopping on a Thursday evening. Market House is a welcome addition to the North Shore. Market House on the Square
655 Forest Avenue
Lake Forest, IL 60045