Joe Fortes Seafood & Chop House is a bit of a Vancouver institution, having been around since 1985. This restaurant is known for its seafood, but you know that’s not why I went. Why, then? They have one of my favourite rooftop patios, which they renovated a few years ago. It includes a green wall and a lush garden which buffers the patio from busy Robson St. If you want to feel more of downtown’s energy, the east side of the patio overlooks busy Thurlow St. The location at the intersection of Thurlow and Robson is prime. The patio has a nice selection of both sunny and shady seats, something to please everyone, all surrounded by greenery.
I’ve visited Joe Fortes a few times, most recently for brunch. The interior is a little too stuffy/old school for me, but the rooftop patio is a breath of fresh air. Service is knowledgeable and helpful, but in the brunch instance could’ve checked on us sooner after everyone had finished eating.
As for the food, I was quite pleased with Dotty’s Chopped Salad (chicken, apple, pecans, dried cranberry, grapes, blue cheese). It was a very generous portion with ample blue cheese (yum!), plated on a cute “dotty” plate. Two people from my party ordered the Chef’s Creation of the Day, a seafood omelette which I was told was quite tasty.
And the fourth person had Joe’s Classic Seafood Hash (prawn, scallop, salmon, poached egg, béarnaise), also very good and nicely presented. We split a serving of yam fries, which weren’t covered in anything other than Cajun spices, so gluten-free, but did share the fryer with everything else (making them unsuitable for Celiacs). They were really good (the ones pictured below were from my previous time there, so they might look slightly different). Also, at the beginning of the meal, instead of a bread basket, we were presented with some chocolate chip scones, which were enjoyed by everyone but me :P (they looked really good, but of course I didn’t have one).
I wouldn’t hesitate to highly recommend Joe Fortes. If you just want to check out the patio, they have a Friday 4-6pm Happy Hour special with 50% off all appetizers. Also, don’t miss their weekday $10 blue plate lunch specials (different special each day as per the menu online). And in case you have little ones, they do have a kids’ menu (although I’m not a fan of kids’ menus in general).