When traveling through Vancouver, the first thing that comes to mind is fresh seafood.
British Columbia oysters, wild salmon, or a filet of halibut are just a few of the great offerings at many restaurants in the city.
But when it comes to freshly prepared and locally sourced food with great ambiance, Joe Fortes Seafood and Chop House is leading the way for its impressive culinary experience.
Joe Fortes is located in a bustling part of downtown Vancouver right off Robson Street. The two-level restaurant gives patrons a choice of bar seating both up and down, dining room options as well as outdoor patio seating on the top level with views of the city streets.
Bringing a great ambiance together with impeccable service and Joe Fortes is a favorite among locals and visitors.
The San Francisco-style seafood grill is serving perfectly cooked seafood paired with seasonal side dishes along with prime cuts of meat cooked to personal liking. And with an extensive wine list featuring over 300 award-winning wines from around the world, the meal enjoyed at Joe Fortes is a true culinary experience.
The raw oysters, both local and sourced, are a great starter to any meal. Served on an ice tray with cocktail sauce, horseradish, lemon and their own signature spicy ginger soy sauce, the oysters are so fresh. With a variety of tastes and sizes, it is recommended that you ask your waiter, who is very knowledgeable, for suggestions based on your liking.
Bread and dipping oil is served with every meal, but be careful not to eat the whole loaf with Joe Fortes' own lobster-infused oil to accompany it. The taste of the sweet lobster mixed with the light canola oil and topped with a balsamic reduction makes this dipping oil addicting and unique to the restaurant.
Since all the fish served on the menu is brought directly into the restaurant and handled by its executive chef, seafood dishes are the top selected entrees from the menu. There are daily specials that coincide with seasonal and local food from Vancouver along with signature dishes that won't disappoint. The Miso Marinated Sable Fish was just one freshly prepared dish with lots of flavor. The generous portion of sable fish is served perfectly pan fried with a ginger scallion butter, baby bok choy and mushrooms over jasmine rice. The fish practically melts in your mouth bite after bite, it's cooked to perfection. Fresh BC salmon is also a speciality served in various ways at Joe Fortes.
And the menu also includes a variety of chop house selections. All the meat served at Joe Fortes is AAA Canadian beef and aged a minimum of 28 days. From sirloin steak to fillet mignon, the restaurant is serving up its meat paired with crispy onion rings and other complimenting sauces and sides.
You must save room for dessert. With many homemade options featured on the dessert menu, the Pavlova is a favorite among the sweet indlugence at Joe Fortes. The dessert, which originated in Australia and was named after the Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova, takes on its own flavor at Joe Fortes. The meringue-based dessert is paired with lemon custard inside and drizzled with fresh, locals berries topped with a dollop of whipped cream. The combination of lemon and crispy meringue shell is both sweet and sour, which helps create an even balance on the pallet.
And for that after dinner drink, a glass of the Quails Gate Optima—a sweet wine made in the Okanagan Valley wine country of BC—is a perfect drink to pair with any sweet dessert, or to enjoy on its own.
So the next time you find yourself hungry in Vancouver, Joe Fortes is a great option for seafood lovers, carnivores and wine enthusiasts—there is something in it for everyone.
Location: 777 Thurlow Street at Robson, Vancouver
Price Range: Main courses between C$25-C$50
Travel tip shared by Ashley Curtin