Sherman's Food Adventures: Rooftop Patio Dining at Joe Fortes

Rooftop Patio Dining at Joe Fortes

So after our good experience at Glowbal's outside patio along with their strict Covid protocols, we had to find another similar spot to dine.  Seeing how my parents were willing to dine out for the first time since mid-March, we had to choose a place that boasted not only good food, but outdoor dining.  We settled on an ol' favourite in Joe Fortes and their wonderful rooftop patio.  It seemed like everyone had the same idea as it was hard to secure a table!

We were able to sneak in a few happy hour items as we arrived just before 6:00pm.  Of course I had to get the Mini Lobster and Shrimp Rolls.  Nestled inside buttery toasted rolls, the seafood salad inside was dressed in just enough mayo for moisture and binding purposes without making it heavy.  Not overly seasoned, I could taste the shellfish.  Nice little treat before we got onto the main course!

Continuing on with the happy hour menu, we got the Jumbo Tempura Prawns.  So when they describe these as jumbo, they aren't exaggerating.  Just look it the size of them in relation to the lemon wedge!  Beyond the firmly crispy batter, the prawn inside was thick and meaty.  There was a firm snap texture while the natural aroma really came through.

Our final happy hour dish was the Truffle Parmesan Fries.  These were actually not as crispy as previous visits, but I'm pretty sure this was a one-off.  Despite this, they were still good with lots of potato texture.  Of course the aromatic saltiness of the parm as well as the truffle oil made the ketchup not very necessary.  I dipped it into the mayo that came with the prawns.

Now the real thing we were here for - the 2-Tier Seafood Tower!!!  This beauty sported oysters, clams, mussels, scallop ceviche, tuna tataki, cocktail prawns and lobster. We didn't get the happy hour version because we wanted the lobster, hence it set us back $78.00 per tier.  Worth every penny because other than Blue Water, this is one of the best seafood towers in town.  Things were fresh and prepared just right.

For my main, I decided to go for one of their features being the Halibut Cheeks in lemon butter with golden beets and diced zucchini and roasted potatoes. Oh what a treat!  The unmistakable texture of halibut cheeks with buttery and elastic strands were beautifully prepared.  Subtly-seasoned so I could enjoy the fresh taste of the fish.

Viv also had fish in the Steelhead Trout with lemon beurre blanc with the same accompaniments.  With beautiful grill marks, the fish was cooked expertly where it was flaky and moist.  Again, the seasoning wasn't overly aggressively where the dish let the protein do all the heavy-lifting.  Loved the golden beets as they were sweet with a subtle earthiness.

My daughter also went for something sea-dwelling in the Maple Salmon with tempura asparagus and gnocchi with creamed spinach.  This was another dinner feature and it was also quite good.  Once again, the salmon was cooked just right where the centre was barely done.  The maple glaze provided a delicious lacquer that was sweet and caramelized.  Gnocchi were pillowy soft while the asparagus was crispy.
It seemed like all of us were ordering fish since my dad had the Blackened Ling Cod with pico de gallo, roasted potatoes, golden beets and diced zucchini.  Sounding like a broken record (hey, these are popular again!), the fish was flaky and buttery.  With the blackening spices, there was more depth to the flavours than the other dishes.  Nice brightness and contrast provided by the pico de gallo.

Okay, my mom did not get any seafood and opted for the 7 oz Sirloin Steak prepared perfectly medium-rare (also evenly cooked on both sides).  It was pretty buttery for a sirloin steak as it usually can be a bit more chewy.  It was served with the same zucchini and golden beets.  Rather than roast potatoes, there was buttermilk mashed potatoes which were a bit more stiff than creamy.  However, we didn't mind that as it wasn't overly heavy.

Predictably, my son had the 12 oz New York Striploin also prepared medium-rare.  Since it was a better cut of meat, the texture was softer and more tender.  Instead of mashed potatoes, he got an order of Macaroni & Cheese as his carb.  Good choice as it was cheesy and creamy with al dente noodles.  Loved the crunch on top.  So after so many months of not eating out, it was good to make up some of the good meals we missed with a visit to Joe Fortes.  The bonus was their fabulous rooftop patio under the Summer sun.

The Good:
- Solid eats as usual
- Best seafood tower in town
- Beautiful rooftop patio

The Bad:

- Doesn't come cheap


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