Of all the excellent restaurants Vancouver has to offer, this place has to be one of my favourites. The food is tasty and always cooked exactly to my specifications, the service is terrific, and the atmosphere is vibrant and fun. Because this place tends to be incredibly busy and somewhat noisy especially on the weekends, we tend to book a later dinner (8:30 or 9:00PM). That way we avoid the dinner rush and with the later hour we tend to get a better table. The main dining area is preferred as the bistro area can be quite noisy. In summer months, the upstairs outdoor patio is the perfect spot. It really is an oasis of sorts, so beautiful and romantic, and it adds a completely new and different dimension to the usual dining at Joe's.
My three top picks from the menu are the Queen Charlotte Halibut (when fresh and in season), the salmon with maple brown butter sauce, and the house special duo of fish. The desserts, while not over the top, are very good, and I like the fact that they are available in half orders. The chocolate duo is excellent as is the banana creme pie. The wine list is extensive and reasonably priced and the cocktails are great. If you like real ginger beer, the Dark and Stormy is to die for. For something light and refreshing, try the Russion Spy. Overall, this place gets top marks for food, service, and atmosphere. We have been dining here for a number of years now, and with such a high standard of excellence, it is not much wonder that Joe Fortes has earned our loyalty.