Joe Fortes Seafood & Chop House Review

It was Gary’s birthday last week so we dined at Joe Fortes because my hubby loves steak and seafood! I submitted the reservation on and made a special request that “Happy Birthday” was to be written our dessert. Not a ridiculous request, I thought, since most restaurants in Vancouver will gladly accommodate.

Upon arrival, we were seated promptly by a friendly hostess. However, our server was very rushed the whole evening. When asking us questions, he would ask them while walking away from us, as if he didn’t really care what our answer was. When you’re paying $40 for a steak, you expect service a little better than what you’d get at Denny’s. Not sure what the rush was. He had food runners, bread boys, bartenders, hostesses, etc. etc. Also, we noticed that the table beside us had a different server who gave exceptionally better service than what we had received.

When our dessert arrived, there was no “Happy Birthday” to be seen. To add insult to injury, the table beside us had “Happy Anniversary” written on their dessert. Apparently some tables get perks at Joe Fortes, and some don’t.

After our meal, our server asked if there was anything else we’d like. We said no, but I quietly voiced my disappointment regarding the lack of happy birthday on the dessert. And mentioned that if I had known that my request would have not been accommodated, I would have made reservations elsewhere.


The manager came over and tried to blame me for using Open Table, trying to imply that somehow it was my fault that the request was never received. The reservation was in the system, but the request just got lost? Hmm…blaming the customer is never the wisest choice when dealing with discrepancies. Perhaps the manager was new to food & beverage.

Now I will say the food was delicious: perfectly cooked steak and lovely, moist salmon. Was it worth the steep prices and lousy service? No. Joe Fortes’ seems to cater to tourists (aka non-repeat customers) as it has a great location, right off Robson on Thurlow.

Also, Joe Fortes’ atmosphere is quite casual. It was also very busy. They cram tables side-by-side, elbow-to-elbow – basically on the lap of the customers beside you. The restaurant was also very loud and hectic, the antithesis of a relaxing establishment.

Overall, it was a disappointing experience. Even though the food was great, we will not be returning to Joe Fortes Seafood & Chop House.

Joe Fortes Seafood & Chop House on Urbanspoon

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About Taya & Gary

This husband and wife team search for the best dining experiences - including restaurant launches, new menu tastings and culinary events. Learn more about the couple here and connect with them on Twitter and Facebook.

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