A Vancouver landmark named after the city's first lifeguard in the 1890's. Joe Fortes is a multi-level, San Francisco-styled place with an oyster bar, rooftop garden patio and ample restaurant seating.
I brought my boyfriend here for dinner one night we ordered the seafood tower to start us off i had the miso sablefish and he ordered the chef's creation that day. the service was exquisite, our server was very outgoing and personable made us feel like were there everynight. he suggested i try the miso sablefish the very item i had my eye one and it was well worth the suggestion. the sable fish just melts like butter in your mouth and the seasoning was perfect not overdone. everything was presented well beyond expectations. it is on the pricey side but well worth it for quality and service.
another thing i quite enjoyed was the hired piano player during the dinner service.
The Best of the Best!
Joe Forets has yet to dissapoint. I have been here with my wife in the double digits and we have yet to have a bad experience. A true gem in Vancouver's restaurant industry, do yourself a favor and try the 16oz ribeye...its the real deal.
The service and ambience are second to none, these are career servers and it shows.
So there I was, an Englishman in Vancouver looking to satisfy my craving for good fish and chips. I went to Joe Fortes for lunch, and noticed on the menu Fresh Halibut and Chips. I couldn't resist, in such nice surroundings with attentive service I ordered my meal. Whilst enjoying the ambiance and a GI Pale Ale, my food arrived. Presentation was excellent, a golden battered fillet of fish served on a bed of crisp golden fries. Accompanying this feast was a helping of coleslaw, lemon wedge, and the Canadian mandatory tartar sauce. All this was nicely laid on a newsprint sheet on a large plate.Malt vinegar was also brought to the table - real actual malt vinegar!
I cut a piece of fish, the batter was crispy, perfectly cooked and the tender steaming halibut was so fresh looking and white. Then I tasted it! OMG!. It melted in my mouth, the crunchy light batter contrasting perfectly with the succulent fish. I'd died and gone to fried fish heaven. The fries although a little skinny for my English liking, were perfectly cooked. The coleslaw was amongst the best I'd tasted, and the tartar was - well I'm the wrong guy to say I suppose, ask a Canadian about that one.
All in all, I ate every last crumb of food and left very satisfied with the whole experience. No grease, everything cooked to perfection, appetizing. Whilst it was a little more expensive than a regular fish and chip place, you get what you pay for, the quality spoke for itself.
When I visited this restaurant, it was the occasion of my sister's wedding and we enjoyed a casual dinner with all members of my new family. I am pleased to say that our visit exceeded my expectations.
The best point was their professional service. Their explanation about the menu was detailed but also simple. I found their recommendations to be appropriate and not at all forceful, and those who ordered the recommended dish were rewarded with a very tasty meal.
Also, the staff were very attentive during the course of the meal, e.g.
when we needed to get extra drinks, they were quickly at the table to take the order.
And of course, the food was amazing: a particular favourite was the fresh seafood tower. For my main, I tried some of the seafood dishes and a Canadian beef steak, all of which was to my liking.
I definitely recommend this restaurant for any occasion.
My favourite restaurant in this city. The seafood is always fresh and very tasty. Service is top and evening ambiance is great. Good place for an elegant Saturday date night. The halibut is my favourite when in season. And the duos and trios of fish are great when offered (I think they stopped the duos for lunch).
I was there for DineOut Vancouver, and unfortunately I have to say I was very disappointed. The service and food was not up to the standards of what would be expected at the $38 price point. For the main course I ordered the albacore tuna with macaroni - there was no presentation to speak of. The plate was filled with orange jumbo macaroni with 3 pieces of sliced tuna on top in the middle. The flavour of the sauce on the macaroni was so overwhelming that I could not enjoy the flavour of the tuna. The place felt like a typical "tourist trap" - high price, poor food and service. I went there with an intention of having a wine pairing with the meal, but the server not even once asked our table if we wanted anything other than water. The only positive experience was the live music playing in the background.
Came here with a friend. Ordered a dozen oysters (half kusshi, half kumamoto), which were very fresh. I am an oyster lover and Joe Fortes had a great selection of East and West Coast oysters. We also ordered the king crab and lobster cake to start and it was delicious. For the main course I had the rib eye and my friend had the sablefish. They were both excellent. Service was excellent and we had a wonderful time. We will definitely be back for more!
My boyfriend and I visited the restaurant a few weeks ago over the weekend. The place was packed and we were seated near the overflowing bar area.
Ambiance: The tables are positioned so closely together, that we were feeling very squished and there was absolutely NO privacy at all. The place is beautiful inside, but when you make reservations, ask to be seated upstairs or away from the bar area where people wait to be seated. It was very loud and crowded to say the least.
Food: My dish was great. We both ordered steak, medium. His was the New York and mine was the Sirloin. My boyfriend found his to be closer to the well done side and when he asked the waiter if it looked a bit well done, the waiter insisted that it was just the lighting. He kept saying New York steak was a “tough” steak and that’s the way it’s supposed to look. I think it was just a busy night and he didn’t want to take it back and cook it the way we ordered it. We were not impressed since the dish was $37.00. The best part about the menu was that they offered ½ portions on their desert menu. It was great because we wanted something sweet, but couldn’t finish a full order.
Service: Other than the fact that the waiter didn’t take the dish back, the service was pretty good.
Value: Our meal was about $130 after tax and tip. We each had a glass of red wine, steak and a ½ desert. We left full but I wouldn’t come back unless it was a special occasion, and even then, there are better places to eat in Vancouver for that price.
I went to the restaurant recently and I have to say I was really underwhelmed. The service was quite slow and the food we decided upon was average at best. I had a tuna dish as my main, and not only was the tuna quite potent (I was always under the impression fresh tuna shouldn't be so strong), the rice was undercooked and crispy. All in all, not worth the pricey bill either.
To be honest, I think you can probably get better fish dishes at other places nearby.
So we go into Joe Fortes with obviously quite high expectations. The food is very uninspired, pretty surprised when I tasted the really bland vegetable bases on the fish dishes. The fish was great, which is expected seeing as they are the apparent "kings of the sea" etc etc
pretty mediocre, i'd go elsewhere, this place is totally geared towards the Robson Street cosmopolitans who are staying at the hotels on Burrard
Went to this place for a nice dinner. The food was good, but we all felt intimidated by the wait staff. Just because we take our time to decide, and ask questions about what items are, does not mean we do not belong in their fancy-smanchy restaurant. The bad service and good food, balanced each other out though. So we left feel not bad, but not good. Might go back.
To keep this short, Busy friday night, great atmosphere with piano playing in the background,
great server without match,
food presentation was very good not exceptional however
Food ordered - jumbo shrimp pasta and rockcod fish n chips - shrimps were indeed huge but a little blend. pasta had a tinge of spicyness to it that got me by surprise in a good way, it saved an otherwise boring dish in terms of taste. I tried some of the fish and chips and it was very good but once again not extraordinary.
Overall, I do believe you pay more for the service and ambience rather than the food.
I had heard good things about Joe Fortes from a number of different people and it didn't quite live up to the expectation. I had salmon from the prix fixe and while it was tasty it wasn't any tastier than the many other restaurants in Vancouver that serve tasty salmon. One thing I liked was that the decor wasn't the minimal, black shiny type restaurant that is so popular in Vancouver and reminds me of a bachelor pad.
This place has great steaks, fish & oysters. Never a disappointment. Their portions are huge. Their service is great as the staff are both friendly & professional. On jazz night, they have great, friendly musicians. I've been waved to by a staff member while just walking down the stairs & been able to have a chat with one of their musicians. The only thing is the space is quite tight sometimes and it's hard to walk around the tables & it can be very loud cuz there are so many people in such a compact area.
Even though they stopped giving quarterly deals, we still come back & think they're great. No other steak house in Vancouver can beat them. I should add their kalamari is both great & unique.
OK, so I ww=ent here about 3 years ago for the 1st time, I remembered the piano player and the food was too die for, very romantic.
I ended up moving downtown this summer (09) and saw the view of their patio from my balcony so I had to check it out again.
Went there twice during the daytime in summer and sat on the patio. It was always busy, the service was unbelievable and the food was fresh and so good!!! Went there on an evening one night and they had to shut off the music around 10pm on the patio...very lame. Also the crowd is older (40's) ....but still wouldnt stop me from going for a few drinks and sitting at the bar and ordering appies or having a romantic dinner.
My son took me here for Mother's Day. The service was mediocre at best. Had to keep asking her for our things like coke, bread etc... Value forget it. $24 bucks for a tiny pc of salmon & a few asparagus. The clam chowder was bland and full of potatoes instead of clams. Tables were cramped and the piano player was loud and horrible. Honestly if you're considering this place, Don't. Go to the boathouse for a better meal, great service and for the same price more food.
I have had a great and a so-so experience with Fortes. The steaks have been great (the best I have had) to utterly average(cold, tough and dry). It is an expensive gamble...so I am not sure if I want to go back.
The calamari starter is awesome, and the piano filled old-school ambiance is fun to return to.
Went here yesterday for Dine-Out Vancouver 2007. I started out with 4 fresh oysters on a half-shell, then a fishermen's stew that had a couple tiger prawns, a couple of scallops, some salmon chunks, and potatoes in a pretty good sauce/soup. It was pretty tasty considering I'm a big fan of scallops and potatoes. I chose the banana bread pudding. Thinking it was be like Starbuck's banana loaf, I didn't expect to find chunks of banana in it. It was pretty good. The caramel sauce was too sweet though and the brown-chocolate-like thing on the dessert was too sweet as well. Overall, it was a good experience. We were put in the Atrium with a lot of heat, which is awesome because I'm always cold. Old guys as servers. Asked us if we wanted coffee, etc. with our dessert, but made the assumption that we didn't want it. Server: do you want coffee, blah blah? Me: Ohh, no thanks, we're okay. Server (almost right away): Okay, No, okay! Hmm... Martini's 5/5. Cocktails a little bit too watered down.
this is the third time i dined at joe fortes, great meal, mediocore service.
went last saturday, the place was packed, i took advantage of the $28 3 course menu available every night. The raw plate (tuna and smoked salmon) was awesome, i had the seafood linguini as entree, it was decent, what's missing was the mussels and calamari, the other choice of entree was 7oz sirloin , it was very good. For desserts we tried both choices, tiramisu and cream brulee, both were good, i liked the tiramisu more, the cream brulee was a bit too heavy.
also had oysters on the side, the server recommended local beach oysters, they were pretty good and fresh. I had oysters at Rodneys last week, and seemingly joe fortes is better at shucking.
service was mediocre, i had to remind the server for our oysters.
Ambiance was on the loud side as expected from this busy restaurant..upstairs seems to be more quiet but i never had the chance to dine upstairs or the booths..maybe i should request that next time.
I had gone to Joe Forte's previously for dine out and had a great meal so I was expecting the same thing this time when I went with my co-workers. Service was great and server was prompt and quick. Had calamari and oysters to start which were excellent. We all had different types of fish dishes but they weren't that great. One of the plates were cold and not even luke warm and my miso halibut was way too dry. We told the waiter the fish was cold and they apologized and brought it back and even then the fish wasn't hot at all. So we had our dinner but didn't eat everything. We were looking forward to dessert and we had the cheesecake and creme brulle. Creme brulle was also a bit disappointing because it was cold as well and didn't taste the same as previous. The good part I guess of the night was the desserts were on the house since we weren't happy with one of the entrees and the dessert. We also felt a bit sick afterwards. I was really expecting alot from this place but was very disappointed and probably won't go back again unless it was for dine out.