Joe Fortes Restaurant is as legendary as the man it’s named after. Open for 25 years, it has a reputation for being Vancouver’s best oyster bar.
Joe Fortes has a fantastic lunch menu, and one of the best features of it is their blue plates specials. This is one of the city’s bests values. For $9.95 you can have your choice of a main dish, (it changes every day). For an extra $9 you can add a bowl of Clam chowder, or a soup, and a dessert.
@yvrbcbro and I decided to check out Joe Fortes on a Tuesday, which mean our special was Bourbon BBQ Chicken. But more on that in a second.
Now you can’t come to Joe Fortes and not try the oysters. I’m a big fan of Kusshi Baynes Sound oysters. They’re meatier, sweeter than any other I’ve ever tried. They’re also not cheap. Each one costs $3.60.
The presentation is great: Served icy cold on the half shelve, accompanied with classic cocktail sauce, mignonette or horseradish and lemon.
Another noteworthy appetizer is the Dungeness Crab Cake ($16.95) – served with a basil aioli, The crab cake is nicely seasoned, and the crab meat is tender.
Joe Fortes is fully licensed, and I thought about getting a vodka martini. Vodka goes great with oysters, it really brings out the flavour of the seafood. Instead, I ordered a Oyster Vodka Shooter ($12). For the same price as a Grey Goose Martini, you can order this innovative appetizer.
We were ready for our 3-course blue plate special. We started with the New England Clam Chowder. Big chunks of clams, bacon, potatoes in a creamy broth. So tasty. It came with oyster crackers. The portion was very generous. I wasn’t expecting that.
The BBQ bourbon chicken came with rice and asparagus. Again, the portion was surprising large for the price. Great value. I loved the taste of the chicken, great sauce. The chicken was very juicy.
Our deal came with a choice of two desserts: vanilla gelato or vanilla bean creme brulee. Sean chose the creme brulee, but I opted for a more flamboyant dessert:
This was a great experience. The service was great, and the restaurant itself is a lovely spot. Their summer patio is legendary and has been voted one of the best patios in Vancouver.
Joe Fortes is also part of the Oceanwise program, so all their seafood is ocean-friendly and sustainable.