Posted February 20, 2013 by Natasha Lees in Blogs

The Finest Surf n’ Turf on the Pacific Coast: Book Joe Fortes for Dinner

Joe Fortes Restaurant - Vancouver BCWhen you reserve a table at Joe Fortes Seafood & Chop House restaurant you can expect to indulge in vibrant taste bud tingling dishes and experience an outstanding culinary adventure unlike any other establishment in Vancouver, British Columbia. Known for their service excellence, top quality food and valued reputation, as well as being one of the top award winning restaurants in Vancouver, Joe Fortes is the place to wine and dine.

Whether you are visiting from out of town, traveling on business or whether you live down the street, Joe Fortes Seafood & Chop House restaurant aims to satisfy all of their customers upon each and every visit. This San Francisco grill-style restaurant has been satisfying visitors and locals for over 27 years and continues to excel with every dish served.

A Little History

Joe Fortes Restaurant History, Vancouver BC

This famous Vancouver establishment is also known by its rich history. Joe Fortes was named after a legendary seaman named Seraphim “Joe Fortes” who in 1885, landed on Vancouver’s glorious shores. He set up a refuge in English Bay and began his journey of changing the lives around him. His first job was to serve up various cocktails and spirits to the general public and then later worked his way into becoming an admired official lifeguard that watched over the young and old as they enjoyed the Pacific blue. To this day, his memory lives and thrives on the walls of Joe Fortes Seafood & Chop House.

About the Restaurant

Joe Fortes Restaurant Main Dining Room You will feel the ambiance at Joe Fortes as you enter through their doors into a cozy, warm and welcoming haven that offers locals and visitors a place to mingle and sample scrumptious cuisine. Conveniently located downtown at 777 Thurlow Street, at the corner of Thurlow Street and Robson Street, this restaurant is only steps away from first-class shopping, nightlife, attractions and more.

Small and large groups are always welcome and the restaurant team can organize a specialized menu for you upon your visit.

Joe Fortes Restaurant Oyster BarWith a towering horseshoe-style oyster bar, intimate booths, warm inviting lighting, buzzing bar and bistro area, mahogany-rich wine room and a rooftop garden area, this famous restaurant is one of Vancouver’s most popular dining venues.

Hold a high-powered business meeting, celebrate a birthday or anniversary, or enjoy cocktail hour on the garden patio after a hard day of work.

Whatever the case or celebration, there is always a reason to visit Joe Fortes.

Get to Know the Executive Chef

Joe Fortes Restaurant - Executive Chef WayneExecutive Chef Wayne Sych creates a variety of West Coast inspired dishes including some of the best local ingredients and imported seafood. Previously, he has worked with the former Cannery Seafood Restaurant and the famous Fish House in Stanley Park. His passion for sharing his creativity with food is portrayed through every class he teaches across the mainland of British Columbia. He continues to flourish in his career along the side of an excellent kitchen, food and beverage team at Joe Fortes Seafood & Chop House.

Going Green

Joe Fortes Seafood & Chop House believes in uttermost freshness, therefore, the restaurant is a true believer in sustainability. They are involved in a variety of programs, from Vivreau water and Green Table to Ocean Wise. Joe Fortes allows their guests to relax in a fine dining atmosphere, experience world-class cuisine while providing a low impact on the environment today. As the top runner of numerous awards and accolades, Joe Fortes provides their guests with a green-friendly experience and outstanding cuisine; now that is guilt-free dining!

Thumbs Up to Joe Fortes! Our Personal Experience

Joe Fortes Restaurant Patio Vancouver BCEntering Joe Fortes was an awakening experience. We had thought that since we reserved a table on a Tuesday night that it might not be as busy. We were obviously wrong in this case. Joe Fortes Seafood & Chop House was buzzing from wall to wall! We loved the ambiance and the enthusiasm that oozed from the Grand Room upon entering and climbing the stairs to the garden rooftop patio. As we climbed the elegant stair case, a pianist played at the end of the first few stairs which added to the vibe of the entire establishment.

We were offered a seat near the fireplace and under a heating lamp which was helpful as it was still quite cool mid-June. We were served some French bread along with a lobster oil and balsamic vinegar dipping sauce which awoken our cravings for fresh seafood from BC’s West Coast.

Joe Fortes Restaurant Dinner Vancouver BC

Our first taste of Joe Fortes’s cuisine excellence was two appetizers including King Crab Tempura with sweet soy, fresno chile and smoked bacon, along with Crispy Fried Local Oysters with Joe’s classic tartar sauce. Both superb, colourful and unique in their individual form, I definitely recommend you try them both when visiting Joe Fortes. But, don’t let my suggestions limit you as there is an array of appy’s to enjoy. I spotted some other appy’s on nearby tables that appeared mouth-watering, such as the New England Clam Chowder, Oyster’s Rockefella, Smoked Local Albacore Tuna and the Beef Carpaccio. Needless to say, Joe’s Seafood Tower on Ice is definitely a ‘must-try’ on our next visit.

We then welcomed our main dishes which we shared so that we could enjoy the full experience at Joe Fortes Seafood & Chop House restaurant. Our mains included Joe’s Surf n’ Turf (sirloin steak, peppercorn sauce, jumbo prawns and market vegetables) with a small portion of Dungeness Crab and the Cedar Smoked Wild Salmon with artichoke ravioli, white wine, cream and mushrooms. Both dishes blew us away with their presentation, quality and taste bud tingling ingredients to curb any seafood craving. FYI: All steaks at Joe Fortes are Canadian AAA beef and aged a minimum of 28 days. Love wine? Check out Joe Fortes wine list here!

Joe Fortes Restaurant Desserts - Vancouver BC

As for dessert, we sinfully indulged in the decadent ‘Dessert Trio’. Imagine; tiramisu, brandied cherries, Tahitian vanilla crème brulee, molten center chocolate cake, biscotti and vanilla gelato. Can anyone say YUM?! We gobbled up the devilish dessert (in a tasteful manner of course, fork in tow) and took in the garden patio crowd. The staff was extremely helpful and knowledgeable about each dish that was served or inquired about, and all of our questions about the restaurant were answered accordingly.

My personal experience at Joe Fortes was above and beyond and I will return without a doubt at some point soon to enjoy their wide selection of East and West Coast inspired oysters, flawlessly cooked steaks and seafood, perfectly seasons appetizers, as well as their sweet indulgences.

Visit their restaurant at 777 Thurlow Street and the corner of Thurlow Street and Robson Street. If you are craving top-of-the-line, lip-smacking cuisine that will have you begging for more, Joe Fortes is the place to be, and be seen.

You can also visit their website at http://www.JoeFortes.ca

or reserve a table by calling 604-669-1940.

Natasha Lees

Natasha Lees
Natasha Lees is a dedicated and professional travel copywriter with over 16 years of experience in the travel and tourism industry. Some of her past and current roles include the New York Times travel channel on About.com, Trivago, Sunwing Vacation Group, WeddingVacations.com, Mastercard Caribbean, Princess Cruises, CanadaTravels.com, Escapes.ca and a variety of other worldwide travel media resources.