One hundred years ago, a large bartender named Joe Fortes became the first lifeguard at Vancouver's English Bay. Now this attractive seafood and chop ... More
Joe Fortes Seafood & Chop House
One hundred years ago, a large bartender named Joe Fortes became the first lifeguard at Vancouver's English Bay. Now this attractive seafood and chop house that bears his name is one of downtown's top dining spots. Oysters are the specialty (the fresh shucked and pan-roasted varieties) at the upscale haunt. The dozen or so fresh fish entrees are also popular, with cedar-plank salmon topping the daily list. The wine list is award-winning. Dinner for two costs CAD50-75. Reservations are recommended.
This place came recommended, and since it was the restauarant of the 1st Black Canadian citizen, we (as black folks) were eager to go. The place was crowed, and very loud. Not a place for a quiet romantic dinner. The waiter was nice, but something happened since we waited 1 hour for our food to arrive. It was such a joke. There was a large group of business men next to us who were running up their booze tab, and you should have seen how the manager was hovering over them like vultures over a fresh kill. No one cared that we were starving. The waiter even came by and said, "oh I can smell the food coming." What horse crap, since the food was still 30 minutes from the table. Then the food came, and it was very bland and had no flavor at all. My hubby's meal was bland as well, and we were both unpleased. Toward the end of the meal, the waiter came over and plopped down 3 desserts in our face to eat (we weren't hungry for them).. We then realized they were free as if to apologize for their poor service and food. BTW--we made no complaints, so they knew they messed up. I had the creme brulee, and just ate the crusty top. Hubby had the tasteless cheesecake. The meal for the 2 of us was $95! In no way worth it for our last meal in Vancouver. If I had been Chef Ramsey, I would have raised the roof.
We travel a lot, so we eat at a lot of different places. This would rate at the top for service and great food. Our Waiter was very good and the seafood was very fresh and prepared just right. Will go back the next time I can.
Our server was nice & quick. No complains here. we took two main dishes Steak & Seafood pasta they were good. If you are used to the desert in Italy then skip it here. Average price for 2 is not less than 70$. It is high for a casual restaurant.
We dined at Joe Fortes tonight with high expectations, and recommendations from friends. We were warmly and cheerfully greeted, and then sat at a somewhat crampt table.
Our waiter was pleasant and quickly took our order. We received our drinks in a timely manner, and soon afterward, our salads arrived. The salads were good, but nothing memorable. You could find them on any menu in most any chain restaurant.
Replacement drinks were delivered quickly, but we did question if our requested prime alcohol might have been replaced with sub-prime alcohol. The taste on the second round of drinks did not seem to have the same taste.
Our entrees arrived next, to our surprise, as we had not been served our appetizers yet! We then cancelled the orders of appetizers and started on our main courses.
I ordered the New York Steak, which had a good taste, but the quality of the meat was not exceptional. It was a meal that I would expect at any large mall chain restaurant. Good, but not for the price paid.
One of my daughters ordered the lobster for $55.00, which again, was good, but somewhat chewy.... I would expect this meal at Red Lobster, and not for $55.00.
My wife and other daughter had the halibut/salmon combo. I was amazed at the extremely small portions of fish on the plate, and at the dryness of the fish. It also tasted frozen, and not fresh. We half joked that the dish should have been called "boiled potatoes with fish sampler".
We decided to cut our losses and leave without dessert ... a big deal, and mostly unheard of for my "foodie" family.
Net-net, Joe Fortes is an "OK" restaurant.... nothing exceptional, and I believe that we could have done much better in spending our $245.00. For us, it was a sad end to a wonderful trip to Vancouver, and I will regret my decision to go here for quite some time to come.
This was a great dining experience. The oysters were outstanding and we recieved pleasent service from Jeff.
We actually received a thank you note from our waiter and the restaurant.
I made us want to return to Vancouver.
Food was "pre-fab" - can't think of how to describe it otherwise. Chicken looked like a food ad - grill marks on rubber and tasted exactly like that. Very pre-fab. No taste; nothing "fine" about dining here. You can get better food from a street vendor. Let's be clear: I travel a lot - my favoriate restaurant in Whistler is The Rim Rock - seconded by La Rua; in Vancouver otherwise I like Umberto's place; in Torornto I love Canoe...so it isn't an issue of price...it's that this place has no quality and no creativity whatsoever. Save your money.
Attitude the moment we walked in the door. Service was very poor. Ordered premium drinks and were served sub-premium as a pass-off. The staff shouldn't assume that people don't know the difference between e.g., Evian and tap water, a 12 year old scoth and an 8-year old scotch, etc. This made the rest of our experience very uncomfortable. If you want to pay to be insulted then you should go to this restaurant. It's unfortunate the staff try to take advantage.
This is a fun, lively restaurant with busy but attentive staff. Both quantity and quality of the food we were served was exceptional and the price was reasonable considering the quality of the food and service. The seafood was exceptionally fresh and creatively prepared. I would not hesitate to recommend to anyone.
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