Joe Fortes Seafood & Chop House – Seafood Tower

Joe Fortes is practically an institution in Vancouver… much like their namesake.

I’ve always wanted to try them out but it’s taken this long for me to make it down there. On our visit in July, we were seated in the upper mezzanine where we had a view of all the action… including the pianist on the staircase.


We started out our meal with a couple of drinks to cool down from the summer weather that we’ve been having. The Fortes Punch ($4.25) and the Blood Orange Italian Soda ($4.00) drinks were perfectly refreshing.  Better still, however, was the complimentary bread and lobster oil/balsamic vinaigrette dipping sauce. I remember the first time I had this at the now defunct Cannery Restaurant and still look forward to it at the few restaurants in town that still offer it.


Those of you who read our blog knows that I simply adore oyster crackers. They make the perfect accompaniment to a cup of New England Clam Chowder ($6.95). This creamy soup containing bacon and thyme was tasty – although perhaps I was just enamored by the oyster crackers.


Joe’s Seafood Tower on Ice – 1 Tier ($59.95) was impressive and contained Atlantic lobster, chilled crab, oysters, clams, mussels, scallop ceviche, smoked albacore tuna, and poached jumbo prawns. I always find that chilled lobster and crab are difficult to eat (compared to how they’re prepared in Chinese cuisine). My favourite part of this dish was the scallop ceviche and the ginormous poached prawns.


I should mention that service started out quite good. They have lots of servers here and they know how to make an impression. Little things like refilling water glasses without being asked and refolding napkins when someone leaves the table so that it looks presentable when they return. Unfortunately, a really large table came in midway through our meal and they took most of the attention away from us for a while.

For our main courses, we settled on the Seafood Linguine ($36.95) which contained mussels, clams, mushrooms, jumbo seared scallops & prawns in a white wine cream sauce as well as the 10oz Flat Iron Steak ($34.95) served with a chimichurri sauce, market vegetables and truffle parmesan frites (along with an additional side of Bearnaise sauce for $2.50). Both dishes were perfectly crafted but the truffle parmesan frites were probably the best that I’ve ever had – superbly crispy and flavourful.


We couldn’t leave without trying dessert so we ordered something that we thought wouldn’t be too rich… Pineapple Sorbetto ($9.50). Sure enough, the sorbetto was light but we weren’t prepared to have 4 huge scoops of it.


The food here is really good but on the pricey side. Still, I think it was well worth it. For most of our meal, the service was also quite impressive.

777 Thurlow Street
Vancouver, BC

<Joe Fortes Seafood & Chop House on Urbanspoon


Posted on October 29, 2014, in Desserts, Italian, Restaurant Review, Seafood, Steakhouse, West Coast and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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