Joe Fortes has been a Vancouver institution for all of my life. They have a stellar reputation for seafood and amazing service all packed into a beautiful dining space with one of Vancouver best summer rooftop outdoor oasis patio’s.
A bit about Joe Fortes Restarant from their website:
|One of Joe Fortes’ many unique qualities is the immediate sense of character and personality that guests recognize the moment they step inside. The large, bright room feels instantly powerful yet inviting, and it’s no coincidence that these qualities were also embodied by the legendary figure that we take our name from – Seraphim “Joe” Fortes.
In 1885, this burly seaman landed upon Vancouver’s shores and settled into a cabin in English Bay. There, Joe quickly became one of Vancouver’s most popular citizens, serving Vancouverites in a variety of ways – first as a bartender and later as Vancouver’s first official lifeguard. Today, he is remembered by a monument near the site of his home, and his popularity lives on inside the welcoming walls of Joe Fortes Seafood & Chop House.
|With our name inspired by a local legend famous for his warm, welcoming nature, we naturally believe that hospitality is a key ingredient in creating a memorable dining experience for our guests. We also firmly believe in engaging in fresh thinking throughout the restaurant, and nowhere more so than on our menus. Such is our commitment to freshness that our kitchen receives daily local deliveries, ensuring that you’re guaranteed to find the freshest ingredients on your plate every day.|
|Visit Joe Fortes Vancouver seafood restaurant and you are welcomed into an environment whose vibrant sights and sounds are as enticing as the menu is.
The main dining room is anchored by a soaring horseshoe oyster bar. This Grand Room boasts large, cozy booths, perfect for hosting high-powered lunch or dinner meetings, as well as intimate dinner dates.
From the mezzanine, diners enjoy a bird’s eye view of the action and live musical entertainment below.
The mahogany-walled wine room offers guests a unique and discreet setting in which to enjoy an intimate lunch, or a private corporate celebration.
The more casual side of Joe’s is experienced in the bistro and bar where locals and out-of-towners alike mingle, soak up the live music and keep their eyes open for visiting celebrities.
For a breath of fresh air, guests can step up to Vancouver’s most desirable roof garden and into an urban oasis featuring a living green wall, cozy outdoor fireplace and bustling horseshoe bar. No wonder Joe Fortes is the best seafood restaurant in Vancouver”
@MaryInVanCity and I made a visit in the midst of the Christmas season and it couldn’t have been a better time to have out very first visit for the both of us.
The room was beautifully decorated for the holidays and Christmas carols played throughout, both of us were really blown away with the beauty of the room, seated in the bar area we treated to a great view of the space.
Seating is plentiful here, tables and banquets make up the bar area, up some step lay some more tables and high back booths line the walls.
The service we received was super friendly and attentive from the moment we walked through the door. After we were presented with our menus we were served with complementary bread with balsamic and house made lobster oil, I thought it was good but it didn’t agree with Mary’s palette.
For appetizers we chose the New England Clam Chowder, this was actually part of my Blue Plate Special as an add on so I had some but Mary happy enjoyed the rest seeing clams aren’t my favorite. From my taste it was good, the bacon was a nice flavor and not too strong, the chowder was creamy and the potato added some nice thickness to the chowder, usually if one of my friends gets clam chowder I love to snack on these is possible:
the traditional New England Oyster Crackers, not a lot of places have these traditional ones so it was a nice treat for myself and Mary.
For another appetizer I went with the Dungeness Crab Cake with basil lemon aioli for $16.95, this was a killer crab cake, it was loaded with Dungeness crab meat and hardly any filler if any.
I really enjoyed the sauce as well, the lemon didn’t really come through but the basil did, it complimented the crab cake beautifully. This crab cake was also made with Oceanwise Dungeness crab.
Mary went with some fresh oysters on the half shell, I can’t remember what kind they were but shoe enjoyed them with the house made mignonette but they were also served with classic cocktail sauce and fresh horseradish
She also got one of these oyster treats
A Vodka Oyster Shooter for $8, it had Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco and as she put it~ a nice “meaty” oyster, the vodka came through right away but the flavor of the oyster complimented by the W sauce and Tabasco soon enveloped her mouth~she said that this was very enjoyable.
I was the only one having a main course~Mary had a killer lunch at the new Ensemble Tap before we met up so I was the one doing most of the eating here. The Blue Plate Special is what I chose and today it was Bourbon BBQ Chicken served with asparagus and white rice for $9.99, the special is served till 4PM and is changed daily, the menus is visible online.
The chicken was boneless thighs and the sauce was really flavorful, the meat was super tender and I just had to use my fork to cut it, the plate had 3 nice big pieces of BBQ chicken, the asparagus was ok and the rice was flavorful for white rice. It was a great plate for food and for $9.99 it can’t be beat.
I went with a Vanilla Creme Brulee~my Blue plate Special had a $9.99 add on for the soup and a dessert. The top was nicely caramelized and formed a nice layer on top of the brulee, the custard inside was nice and thick and super rich, the vanilla flavor was subtle and not overpowering.
Mary went with the Berry Pavlova that was filled with banana custard, beautiful berry’s and sweet meringue encased all these delish treats and for $8.50 it was decently priced.
We had a great meal here and would tell anybody who hasn’t been before to make a visit to Joe Fortes for some classic food and impeccable service.
Just a quick note~they DON’T accept Debit cards so you’ll be forced to use a 3rd party cash machine~something that surprised us but all major credit cards are accepted and they are closed over the Christmas holidays.
The Zagat review page for Joe Fortes can be view by clicking this link here and the Joe Fortes website can be viewed here with the option to make reservations online. Feel free to also check them out on Twitter @JoeFortesVan and their Facebook page .