joe fortes roof top oasis awaits

Joe Fortes
777 Thurlow Street, Vancouver


From the street Joe Fortes looks like an old school Seafood and Chop House, venture in its dining room and it looks equally trapped in time. However, move up to its roof top patio and a whole different world awaits (Thank you Mr. Andrews for this suggestion). The roof top patio is a modern oasis in downtown equipped with oyster bar, back lit bar, comfy furniture, beautiful shrubbery, and fireplace. When we went on Canada day we didn’t even wait to be seated and got the couch area – woo hoo!! Now, not waiting on Canada day for any bar is a wonder to a girl from Ontario…but I’ll save that diatribe for another day, because being seated promptly and having great food and drinks on a patio was awesome. It was here I tried full on uncooked oysters. With the assistance of an oyster expert (aka the guy who saved Canada day…and awesome photographer) I tried the Kusshi from Cortes Island, and the Kumamota from Washington, both have a sweet finish although beyond that I’m not sure I’m knowledgeable enough to comment. Rumour has it these are the best…so if you’re looking to try oysters I’d give these a shot. They were gooood. Big debate remains for me on how much to bite/chew, but I didn’t mind the texture and I would say they are among my current top runners in seafood. Though the mussels at the Cannery are still taking the cake. The beer and wine selection here is good and reasonably priced, the mixed drinks seem a bit pricy, but hey it is a great bar so if you’re looking to impress you shouldn’t care the price. This is a casual lounging type place, not a rock your boots off to kick’in tunes kinda place, so you’ve got to be in the right mind set to enjoy.  I’ve always wanted to try a meal here, as I’ve heard it is good, so I’ll likely come back for dinner, and I think I’ll try and eat it on the patio if I can swing it. I’m giving Joe Fortes Roof top Bar a Very Good! And I’ll have to keep you posted on how it is for dinner.


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i’d hop provinces midweek again in a heartbeat to eat here!

The Cannery
2205 Commission Street, Vancouver

I’d heard things here and there about the Cannery, but I’m surprised no one had suggested this place to me before – because it is fabulous! The décor shouts ‘made in the 70’s1′, but is classic enough to stand the test of time. Located in an elite gated community, so to speak, in the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority(VFPA) district2. From the elevated dining room the view is spectacular. You can see my beloved Lions3, for which the Lions Gate Bridge is named, which you can also see. Views of the city scape, Stanley Park, North Vancouver…and the perfect view of the sunset complete the picture. Excellent impress your date venue, but also very good celebratory family atmosphere. The menu includes an extensive Fresh Sheet, and a good selection of regulars. It was here that I tried many foods for the first time…mussels, prawns, and scallops (in order of preference!). The mussels were amazing…rosemary, pine nuts, saltiness of the sea…mmmmmmm…and I’m told that even to a seafood experienced palate these are the best mussels around. They send a basket of bread to the table and fill a plate with Lobster oil and balsamic (yummy!) 4. My main was smoked bc black cod which melted in my mouth. I don’t really remember my sides, but who cares about sides when you’ve got mains like this. Skipped dessert, so I can’t report…if you know share a comment. Perhaps the most memorable part of our experience at The Cannery was our Rocky and Bullwinkle service duo (Server and Busboy). Our server was excellent, and made some very subtle and very funny jokes and our busboy defies explaination, but was really fun too.  If you want to try something special they also have a Fly and Dine program and do Sunday Brunches (including a special Father’s Day Brunch). Mmmm..yummy now I want to go have brunch there! So all in all, I’m giving The Cannery a Great! And for now (based on my limited experience), ranking it as my all-time favorite meal at a Vancouver restaurant – which is some feat!



1. The Cannery was established in 1971
2. The Cannery’s lease has not been renewed by the VFPA, and they will be moving to a new location in 2010 after the Olympics.
3. Frank Giustra, former investment banker and Vancouver resident, founded the Lions Gate Production company
4. The secret is out: The Cannery shares a selection of Lobster oil recipes here

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Happy birthday to you…happy birthday to you!

Lift Bar and Grill
333 Menchions Mews, Vancouver


You know what they say…”location, location, location”. In my restaurants with a view tour of Vancouver I was treated to an evening at Lift after some leisurely sea kayaking. The perfect stop to enjoy a glass of wine (or a pint depending on your fancy), have a bite of the sea, celebrate a milestone birthday, and take in the sights. I have long said (based on a lifetime of waterside experience) that often restaurants with a view compromise on food quality, and sometimes that compromise is worth it and other times it isn’t. When you think of some of Vancouver’s finest dining establishments you’ll realize they don’t have views – West, Fuel, Tojo’s, Bishops, Cioppinos (and more). However, I would put Lift in the worth the compromise category, and even say they managed to deliver on the food. I enjoyed my ” Slash n Burn Halibut’ with saffron rice, and the stilton cheesecake was a delight for the senses(if you like stilton, which I do!). I’m not convinced my host was as pleased with their meal, but was equally enamored with the view. The atmosphere is the hallmark of this restaurant with crisp linens, clean lines, and excellent cutlery and glassware. Modern, a bit edgy, strangely (must be a Vancouver phenomenon) has TV’s in the bar. But fortunately said TV posed no distraction for the evening’s conversation that barely went uninterrupted for hourswhich brings me to – the service, was attentive. The patio was closed when we were there, but I have it on good authority it is a great patio for drinks in the summer. All in all I’m giving Lift a Very Good, and I will definitely come back again.


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Ceasars…good for a hangover or to keep the celebration going!

Rodney’s Oyster House
1228 Hamilton Street


If you’re missing the east and wanting a bite of the sea with a Cape Cod flare this is your joint. Introduced to me by one of Vancouver’s foodies Rodney’s is now one of my favourites. Most recently I visited after a morning brunch and an afternoon on the boat. Rodney’s bridged the gap between the mornings post run celebration and dinner. I’ve got a bit of mixed experience here…I’ve ventured into the sea world here, but not fully dedicated to it. I’ve had a Ceasar (which is unbelievable with fresh grated horseradish) but can’t bring myself to eat the prawn that hangs off the edge of the glass. I haven’t tried the house specialty oysters, but I did manage to try the crab cakes. Still not sure how I feel about those. I love the white washed furniture and the bartenders are fun and friendly. I did have to wait awhile once for service, but they made up for it by comp’ing us drinks. So make sure you stop by Rodney’s and if you’ve tried the oysters let me know all about it!


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