Joe Fortes got off to a rocky start for our lunch experience
Last week we went for lunch with some friends to Joe Fortes. We had not been there for lunch before but had walked by their sidewalk sign that advertised the three course lunch over and over so thought we would give it at try. Like at dinner time the restaurant was packed and we were glad that we had made a reservation. Unfortunately, our reservation for 1:00 did not mean much as we still had to wait for a table to come available. If there was a seat in the lounge available to have a drink and wait we would have been happy and the restaurant would have got more dollars out of us, however we had to wait in the lobby. We were first offered a high top table in the bar area at 1:10 but declined as we were planning to sit and enjoy a nice lunch and knew that we would be there awhile. After being offered that same table a few more times another table finally became available and we were seated at 1:25. So just a tip, go for lunch at or before noon because anyone with reservations at 1:00 or later will have to wait until the first lunch wave finishes, reservation or not.

Three course lunch option has a variety of choices
Despite the shaky start our lunch was terrific as expected. The service was great as was the food. We were served a Prawn Cocktail appetizer as a reward for our wait and we all chose to order the 3 course lunch special. Two of us chose the New England Clam Chowder which was thick and delicious with chucks of fish and just a bit of bacon (as it should be) while the other two ordered the Caesar salad which was described as average (Hy’s still reins supreme). Mixed greens were also a first course option. For the second course we were split three to one in favor of the Fresh Fish Linguine, with one of us ordering the 5oz Sirloin and none of us the Steelhead Salmon option. The linguine was served in a basil marinara sauce and was full of halibut, red snapper and salmon pieces. The dish was full of flavor and very messy. Don’t feel awkward using your napkin as a bib, it is the only was to stay clean. For dessert the options were Vanilla Crème Brulee and Vanilla Gelato with Chocolate sauce. We opted for two of each and judging by the empty dishes they were both very good.

Our overall experience was good despite the wait but this has happened to us at other downtown restaurants before. If you choose a late lunch reservation you seem to be at the mercy of the diners before you and at dinner it is the same. If a 6:30 seating does not leave by 8:15 we are left waiting for our 8:30 table. While we understand the economics of table turns, especially in this economy, shouldn’t the effort to make a reservation actually mean something?

Food – GOOD, Service – GOOD, Atmosphere – GOOD

Joe Fortes Seafood & Chop House on Urbanspoon