joe fortes

I wished I had taken more, and better, pictures of our night here. But we were just too busy enjoying ourselves. So I apologize, once again, beforehand.

With such history and background, Joe Fortes has been a proud Vancouver landmark for good seafood, not to mention their award winning oysters. With two stories, almost three, and a newly added patio seating, this place is filled to the rim with sophistication and elegance with live piano playing in the background. As we entered, everyone was hustling with a full house that night, but they didn’t let their service slip. Our server was excellent, very friendly and knowledgeable in both food and wine. Everything from beginning to end was perfect, except for the obnoxious hostess that brought us to our table.

There could have been a million ways to approach her question, but she chose the most uncomfortable and ignorant way to do it. As we were shown to our small corner table, she put down the menus and before leaving asked the exact words: “Is that bag real?”. Both Fatboy and I looked at each other astonished, thinking, did she really just ask that? I was carrying a Chanel Calfskin Patent Leather Shoulder Bags, 47926 in Red. I held back my anger and sarcasm as best as I can while answering her, and even talked a bit before she left. Well, enough with that, since the rest of our night was enough to over look the incident.


Our server introduced to us their featured wine, Poplar Grove. After trying the samples of the Pinot Gris and Chardonnay, we opt for the Chateau Ste. Michelle Riesling, since it was more to our liking. We ended up having two bottles since it was so sweet!

We also ordered half dozen of their Sawmill Bay oysters, which I didn’t take any pictures of. I’ve had them before at Rodney’s, they’re about medium size and super, but not overly considering their size, creamy. As we were waiting for our order, bread was brought out. I’ve been to Joe Fortes a few times before in the past, but I don’t really remember getting any bread. Boy was I missing out all these years. The bread came out cold, but that didn’t matter for the sauce was fantastic. Their special, house-made Lobster Infused Olive Oil, served alongside balsamic vinegar was to die for. We had to ask for more bread just so we could get the sauce, I regret not buying a bottle right on the spot! They sell for, I believe, $28 per bottle.


Jumbo Prawn Cocktail; classic cocktail sauce & fresh horseradish

While getting filled up on bread, the appetizers started coming in. We both ordered the prawn cocktail, and unlike the regular order it didn’t come in the martini glasses. Nonetheless, it still had the same great Joe Fortes flavours and freshness of the prawns.


New York Steak; garlic mashed potatoes & market vegetables

Aside from being famous for their seafood, they’re also well known for their steaks. My steak came just as I ordered, medium rare and super juicy, charred just right. The mashed potatoes had just enough garlic flavour that it didn’t over power the steak. Even after all that bread and wine, I still finished the whole plate, unlike Fatboy that had to pack half of his.


Sautéed Prawns & Scallops; artichoke ravioli, roasted red pepper and tomato cream

There was only four ravioli, but not the bite-sized type, they were roughly the size of my palm. The tomato cream was delicious when added a few drops of tabasco. Even though it was packed up, it still tasted wonderful at home afterwards.


Tiramisu with Lady Fingers, Mascarpone & Espresso


Tahitian Vanilla Creme Brulee with Cinnamon Biscotti

After sitting for a while and finishing up our wine, we couldn’t resist the call from our desserts. The tiramisu isn’t as heavy as one might think, and the Tahitian vanilla just hit the spot. Most interesting part was actually the scoop of cream on the side, being very light, I ate it despite it just being there for decoration purposes.

They also have an happy hour menu that starts from 4-6 which I’m really interested in, especially sitting at their Oyster Bar.
This is a great place for special occasions, or even not-so-special ones.

You don’t need an excuse to enjoy good food!

joe fortes
777 thurlow street
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