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Joe Fortes


fud
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First off I have to mention that we didn't actually have the dineout menu because due to a hypothermic incident earlier in the day I was simply not hungry (which really is unheard of).

We arrived a bit early for our reso, sat down at the bar with our friends and had a beer. I was wondering if my Guiness was "stamped". My Guiness expert friend told me it "must be". Regardless it's Guiness and I'm generally pretty happy drinking it stamped, tap-decorated, or poured direct from the tap to my mouth.

We were seated around 15 minutes to 20 minutes after our reso time but no big deal since most of the group hadn't shown up yet. We sat and ordered some cocktails, the waitress was very attentive. I wanted to express my deepest empathy for the restauranteurs - four of our party did not show. It was a surprise birthday party for my friend and his wife organized it. Two couples simply didnt show. This, I find highly unnacceptable as it is both annoying for the staff and shows lack of respect for the birthday boy.

But anyways that's not why I'm writing this. I will admit right now that I've never been a big fan of Joe Fortes. I found the food was average and expensive before. This time around I want to say - my opinion has dramatically changed. Dramatically. I ordered the double pork chop (recall that I wasn't hungry? so yeah ONLY a double pork chop). Sandy ordered a plate of stella bay oysters and the calamari. All the other guests ordered from the dineout menu.

The oysters. Stella bay must be like the ocean equivalent of MSG. Absolutely delicious. Every bite, every ocean-flashback salt-of-the-sea sweet morself was mind blowing. The fresh horse radish coctail sauce - bang on. Kudos.

The pork chop. Well I will admit that I think it had gotten smaller from the first time I ordered it many many years ago, BUT perfect for my appetite and really delicious. The meat was tender, the thinly sliced fruit was complimentary and the au jus just the right "sexy' consistency and bang on flavour. I have to admit the dineout menu'ers were eyeing my plate.

The Calamari - wow. This is a plate that arrived and I was staring at it. It just LOOKED SO GOOD. I immediately attacked it while Sandy looked at me in shock - stop eating my damn food you tard, you have double pork chop in front of you! The dipping sauce...I could butter my toast with that stuff. Yum!

Funny, dineout - even though we didn't even order from the dineout menu has put Joe Fortes back on the list of restaurantes I will go to again and again. Good work guys/gals!

Edited by fud (log)

"There are two things every chef needs in the kitchen: fish sauce and duck fat" - Tony Minichiello

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All our fresh oysters are very simply served on ice with lemon wedge and cocktail sauce topped with fresh horseradish. Let the oysters do the talking  :laugh:

I have always had them with a few refreshing pints on the side. Sort of a four oysters to each beer kind of pairing. It seems to work out perfectly for all involved.

Neil Wyles

Hamilton Street Grill

www.hamiltonstreetgrill.com

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All our fresh oysters are very simply served on ice with lemon wedge and cocktail sauce topped with fresh horseradish. Let the oysters do the talking  :laugh:

I like them with plain lemon juice or a mignonette. The Stellar Bays I had at Aurora were amazing...though I forget what was in the mignonette.

I've always had really good oysters at Joe Fortes too! :smile:

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All our fresh oysters are very simply served on ice with lemon wedge and cocktail sauce topped with fresh horseradish. Let the oysters do the talking  :laugh:

And talk they did. They said "EAT ME. Now!"

I like the horseradish on top. Very nice. I was putting that stuff on bread :biggrin:

"There are two things every chef needs in the kitchen: fish sauce and duck fat" - Tony Minichiello

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I wholeheartedly endorse Joe Forte's as a place to go anytime for oysters.

My friend and fellow oyster shucker-brother-from-another-mother, "Oyster Bob" Skinner does an excellent job of servicing the oyster.

The Stellar Bay Golds are a staple of any fine oyster house or fine dining establishment in North America.

Although, you can keep the cocktail sauce for someone else :raz:

Keep on shucking

Oyster Guy

"Why then, the world is mine oyster, which I with sword, shall open."

William Shakespeare-The Merry Wives of Windsor

"An oyster is a French Kiss that goes all the way." Rodney Clark

"Oyster shuckers are the rock stars of the shellfish industry." Jason Woodside

"Obviously, if you don't love life, you can't enjoy an oyster."

Eleanor Clark

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  • 5 weeks later...
An Excellent Dine Out Experience

Thank you to our server Derek for making it the most enjoyable of our stops that week!

We were greeted by smiling faces, ushered to a nice table and placed in the hands of Derek who engaged us in light conversation and made us feel right at home. Based on some other reviews, we expected a pretentious atmosphere but were pleasantly surprised. Derek was excellent!

We started off with the oyster appetizer, 4 good sized oysters, fresh and tasty. For the main course, I had the beef and my lady had the ahi tuna. Both melted in our mouths! Delicious! For dessert, banana bread pudding and cheese cake. Again, delicious!!

We even tried one of Forte's local made house wines and were very pleased.

Before we left, we filled out the comment card and were surprised to receive a response from Derek thanking us for our comments. We enjoyed ourselves immensely! If you go, ask for Derek, there isn't a snobby bone in his body!

Here is a little something I found today.

It would appear that the Winegeek has made someones day !

Neil Wyles

Hamilton Street Grill

www.hamiltonstreetgrill.com

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An Excellent Dine Out Experience

Thank you to our server Derek for making it the most enjoyable of our stops that week!

We were greeted by smiling faces, ushered to a nice table and placed in the hands of Derek who engaged us in light conversation and made us feel right at home. Based on some other reviews, we expected a pretentious atmosphere but were pleasantly surprised. Derek was excellent!

We started off with the oyster appetizer, 4 good sized oysters, fresh and tasty. For the main course, I had the beef and my lady had the ahi tuna. Both melted in our mouths! Delicious! For dessert, banana bread pudding and cheese cake. Again, delicious!!

We even tried one of Forte's local made house wines and were very pleased.

Before we left, we filled out the comment card and were surprised to receive a response from Derek thanking us for our comments. We enjoyed ourselves immensely! If you go, ask for Derek, there isn't a snobby bone in his body!

Here is a little something I found today.

It would appear that the Winegeek has made someones day !

I've been racking my brain to see if we have another Derek at Joe's. Over 40 servers, only 1 Derek (ask anyone there, one's enough :raz: ).

Thanks Neil. Nice to come home from work and read that.

Derek

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That Oyster Bob... the guy has been at Joe's forever! I helped open the joint in 1985 with him.

Somebody ought to name a restaurant after him.

McDonald's brags about their billion burgers... how many oysters has Bob shucked?

I'll have to keep Derek's name in my diner's rolodex - always good to have somebody on your side.

Bradley Cooper

You should be reading my blog!

WINE & VINE BC

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That Oyster Bob... the guy has been at Joe's forever!  I helped open the joint in 1985 with him. 

Somebody ought to name a restaurant after him.

McDonald's brags about their billion burgers... how many oysters has Bob shucked?

I'll have to keep Derek's name in my diner's rolodex - always good to have somebody on your side.

Oyster Bob has probably shucked somewhere around 3-4 million oysters!

Derek

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  • 1 month later...

i was lucky enough to have my first raw oyster experience last year at Joe Fortes. it was a work party thing, so luckily i didn't have to pay :biggrin:

one of my work mates is a huge oyster fanatic and he ordered a selection so i could try a variety and see the differences. i had some big fat oysters that i'm more familiar with (eg. chinese deep fried oysters), and they were so...meaty. i definitely prefered the small/medium sized ones (some japanese-sounding name...maybe "kumamoto"?). they had imho a better flavour and more depth, whereas the big suckers are more like ONE BIG MEATY NOTE.

i wish i could afford to eat there more often. i've eaten oysters a few more times since then. once at some place in downtown Calgary (can't remember the name) which apparently gets stuff flown in every day. however, this was around boxing day weekend, so we were eating older stock, but it was still really good...but more expensive than on the west coast to be sure. next, i ate them at The Boathouse in new west (wife's work party thing) and was disappointed...i guess i ordered wrong. i got these really miniscule oysters that were smaller than clams! what a tease! then most recently i had them at another work party at Lift. very nice. especially cuz half the table didn't like seafood and me and this other guy are gulping them down like crazy. and they had this nice wheat ale on tap...that was a good night :rolleyes:

but after eating oysters at all these places, i feel that they haven't measured up to my first experience at Joe Fortes...the shucking skill (ie. no bits of shell whatsoever), the presentation -- just great!

album of the moment: Kelley Polar - I Need You To Hold On While The Sky Is Falling - 2008
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