Second and last Dine Out of the year! It was at Joe Fortes, so yes, I was excited.
I’ve never been to Joe Fortes, so I have nothing to compare it to. This entire review is based on my dine out experience, so keep that in mind!
To begin: I waited for Ruby in the entrance area, which was quiet and pleasant. When she arrived, we entered into the dining area through glass doors and all at once things got very loud. It’s been a long time since I’ve eaten in such a bustling, packed, uproarious restaurant. I’m sure people were eating food, but it felt like everyone in the restaurant was babbling away.
Which I didn’t find too annoying. Everything and everyone seemed equally loud, so we weren’t forced to deal with unwanted banter intruding on our ears, like those times when you’re on your morning bus and the people six seats away from you are speaking faux-jovially about the most painful, pedantic things. Like, “Oh my god, x, how’s it been? It’s been what, a semester? Haha!” “Oh my god, yes! I’m great! Honhonhon. What classes are you taking?” “Oh, this and that. Hyehehe. We should hang out!””OH. My. God! We should. We. Should.” [Enter: awkward pause.] “Well, what else is new? Change your major? Your minor?” Like your profs? Bad TAs? Favourite colour? Kill me nooooowww.
But Joe Fortes. Right.
It was all a loud chattery hum. And it got less loud once we sat down, which was nice.
Someone was excited to be on the blog.
Starter bread came first. We were a bit disappointed it wasn’t very warm, but it was decent bread and an effective tool for sopping up the delicious lobster oil and balsamic vinegar mix.
Soon our first courses arrived. We both decided on the “chilled seafood” option. An assortment of mussels, clams, jumbo prawns with tomato paste, squid, and smoked salmon. It was cold and fresh tasting–especially the prawns (so good!). Unfortunately, the mussels were very fresh tasting too… so fresh I could taste an off-putting, pungent splash of seawater as I ate them. According to Ruby, they’re supposed to be that way, although (if I remember correctly) she thought they were a bit too much as well. That being said, I’m not the biggest mussel fan to begin with.
While we waited for our entrées, we chatted and made light conversation with the friendly staff.
Ruby also dove, as she usually does, headfirst into her favourite topic of conversation: my intimate life. No holds barred, no question too personal to ask. Blunt as a baseball bat. I pride myself on coming out of that conversation alive.
Ruby ordered the New York steak. She asked for it medium rare, but ended up with a very rare steak. I stole some of her mashed potatoes, which were delicious, and she loved her kale salad.
I also took a bit of her steak. Nothing special, but a good size portion and tasty enough.
Last was up was dessert. I ordered the raspberry chocolate truffle tart, which was yuummy. I loved how the raspberry was sandwiched like a surprise between the chocolatey filling and crust. Chocolate and raspberry are a perfect pairing in my mind.
Ruby ordered the tiramisu, a mascarpone and espresso flavoured piece of heavy fluff. She was not enthralled by it. I took a bite, and it was okay, but not something I would finish in its entirety.
I’m happy I got to try Joe Fortes for the first time. They’re known more for their oysters, and neither of us ordered any, but it was a fun Dine Out experience. The portions were suitable and service was friendly and professional. It isn’t, however, something I’d repeat next year. My pasta was very good, but overall none of the dishes were anything to write home about. (But, ah, blogging about it is a different story.) I certainly liked my dessert, but it wasn’t anything fancy or top-notch.
So, set menu for $38? I had fun, because of the company. I liked the food, and it was a one time thing. Whether I’d recommend, though–especially if you’re going for their oysters, I might say don’t go. Oysters aren’t on the set menu, and if you’re looking to stick to a <$50 dinner budget, maybe it’s best to go another time. And, given your <$50 and the typical pricing at Joe Fortes, I might recommend that you only order oysters. But as far as Dine Out experiences have gone over the past two years, I find Joe Fortes was one of the better ones!