Monday, March 22, 2010

Vancouver eats: Joe Fortes

Another steakhouse...I just cannot get enough of steaks when in North America...for the poverty of good steaks in Singapore, I overcompensated...this time, with a bunch of colleagues to Joe Fortes...a venerable institution in Vancouver...the steaks are a contrast to the ones served in Gotham. Gotham, contrary to the unusual name, is more conventional North American...bare meat, done very well, no adornments. The Joe Fortes steaks are done with all the embellishments...jus, whipped potato, the works.



Also in contrast to the upscale, stiff decor and interiors of Gotham, Joe Fortes was more like a US sports bar...noisy, crowded, a party swinging all the time...complete with a live pianist banging out jazz favourites stationed at the staircase.



I ordered almost the same as I did two evenings ago...started with crab cakes:



Same but different...made from fresh crab meat, the patty was fried to a crisp exterior...the insides remained nice and juicy...and in contrast to Gotham's offering, the cakes sit on a pool of sauce of brandy remoulade. Remoulade is a French style sauce much like tartar.

The steak was a 16 oz Canada Prime Ribeye, dry aged. Served Chicago medium.



As served, it looked charred...one of my dining companions, who is English and had his steak well done...remarked that my steak looked much like his. Au contraire! Mine is actually pink and medium inside:



Again, embellished to the hilt, the steak sat on a bed of potatoes, carrots, pumpkin and whipped potato. With a jus sauce. I added two Alaskan Crab legs for a surf component. The crab was truly superb. Already pre-cut so that the juicy, plump meat eases out of the shell easily, the crab, dipped into a small bowl of clarified butter was really, really tasty. The steak was excellent as well...the crusty, slightly charred exterior houses the very nice, tender, meat. As usual, I did not touch the cabernet jus, though the vegetable bed was quite tasty.

Nice steaks and seafood...but for my tastes, Gotham is better...at least this side of the American continent from Peter Luger's.


Joe Fortes
777 Thurlow Street
Vancouver BC
Tel 1-604 669 1940
http://www.joefortes.ca



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