I've always been a fan of Joe Fortes for lunch because they are quick and they're good. The weekday Blue Plate specials (scroll towards the bottom) for $9.95 don't hurt either! But now, they've come up with something fun for after work too! From 4-6 daily and in their bar area only, it's their Happy Hour! And there are some great deals to be had! $5 glasses of wine (Jackson Triggs, I think), Buck a Shuck oysters and half price on all appies! There are a dozen items on the menu with a good mix of raw, cooked and carbs. I've been a few times and have tried quite a few.
Oysters are a must, and if they are only $1 each, how can you say no? The question should be, How many? So we started off with a dozen. Served with their seafood cocktail sauce and some horseradish, these arrived quickly and were nice and briny. Just a squirt of lemon, mix some tobasco into the cocktail sauce and slurp!
Another half price appy is their Jumbo Tiger Prawn Cocktail. You get three large prawns (three-biters for me) along with more cocktail sauce and a bit of endive. I wouldn't say these are so massive as to require a knife and fork but at half price, these are well worth it.
The last cold appy I tried was their Beef Carpaccio. Thinly shaved beef with a bit of roasted to buttery softness garlic, some grainy mustard and a few greens. There was some grana padano as well, but they were really thickly cut, just a touch too thick for my taste. And yes, some crispy capers sprinkled the dish too. Ask for the bread basket to eat this with and you'll be a happy camper.
The first "hot" dish we had were the Cheeseburger Sliders. And they were exactly as you would expect, mini patties topped with cheddar, a few thing slivers of pickles and a coleslaw like you would find in a fish taco. This helped to lighten up the dish, so it was appreciated. The bun was soft and very smooshable, a trait I require with sliders.
So you've seen the Prawn Cocktail earlier, so take a look at the cooked version, their Tempura Prawns. Again, you have three of them, but these are lightly battered and served with a slightly spicy mayo. The crunch from the batter was good, and not too oily. As you can see, the batter is fairly "non-oily", there's nothing on the paper lining the dis.
And if you were concerned that the batter was contributing to the size of the the tempura prawn, wonder no longer. Look at the size of the prawn. These babies are addictive!
Fulfilling the tradition of getting cold appies "made hot", we decided to try the Fried Oysters. Battered in something completely different than the Prawn Tempura, this batter was reminiscent of panko crumbs, or something just as airy. These oysters were so juicy on the inside, once you get past the phenomenal crunch of the crush outside. They were served on a bed of tartar sauce so some of the bottoms got a bit soggy, but nothing a simple request of "sauce on the side" wouldn't fix.
Taking into account the 50% off, none of the dishes see here are over $8, other than the oysters of course. Makes it easy to wash down with those $5 glasses of wine, doesn't it?