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“Excellent Food, Exceptional Sercive” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Thistles Restaurant

Thistles Restaurant
175 Exchange St, Ste 26, Bangor, ME 04401-6537
+1 207-945-5480
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Ranked #13 of 143 Restaurants in Bangor
Certificate of Excellence 2014
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Special occasions, Romantic, Entertaining clients
Dining options: Dinner, Reservations
Description: For more than twelve years Thistles has been Bangor's premier international restaurant. Located on Downtown Exchange Street in the Queen City, our restaurant has always possesed a special ambience but the newly completed rejuvenation in gorgeous modern decor makes us an even more special place to enjoy fine dining. Owned and operated by The Rave family, Thistles provides one of the best dining experiences in town. At Thistles you will be introduced to a superb menu of cuisine that is truly global. Chef Alejandro's culinary talents include the ability to prepare gourmet ethnic dishes from around the world. Great recipes from Argentina, Colombia and other Latin American countries, Germany, Italy, Portugal and Spain are all part of his repertoire of culinary delights. What are you waiting for? An international dining treat awaits all at THISTLES!
Bangor, Maine
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Excellent Food, Exceptional Sercive”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 10, 2010

I went to Thistle's to celebrate a friend's birthday and had never been before. It was a Friday night, so there was a small jazz-like band playing. We loved the band, and thought that it brought alot of life to the restaurant. I had the crab cakes for an appetizer -delicious- and the Bavette Steak for my entree. The steak was so tender and delicious, more than I expected from a flank steak. We all had creme brulee for dessert, and it was the best creme brulee I've had in years!!

    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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120 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    70
    31
    10
    7
    2
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Bangor
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Over Rated”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed March 4, 2010

Okay for business dinner with no surprises. The food is plain and predictable, the service is okay. For the same money you can do better.

    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bangor
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
“First-class dining in a relaxing atmosphere”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 3, 2010

My family and I have been dining at Thistle's for special occasions for 17-18 years. It still is our favorite for the unmatched menu, which now includes fabulous Argentinean touches from the owners, the Rave family. After all this time, however, I still enjoy the apricot chicken the best... the wine list is ambitious and includes a number of South American wines to complement the Argentinean dishes.

They offer only what is fresh and local for vegetables, and the desserts are to die for. Their creme caramel is divine. Atmosphere is not pretentious and the service has been attentive every time we've been there under the Rave family management. This is a real don't-miss for dining in Bangor.

    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Unity, Maine
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Fantastic Food for a Great Dining Experience”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 18, 2010

My husband took me to Thistles for my birthday dinner. It was a really good find. I had yet to attach the adjective fantastic to any food we have had a restaurant since moving to Maine, but the food we had here was just that. Because it was my birthday, we went for the full deal and ordered appetizers to dessert and tea. We had not had empanadas before and found them to be flaky and flavorful and the chimichurri added a nice tang. The Rissoto Latino was wonderful. It had a delightful smoky flavor to it. We each had a cup of soup and shared a salad. The tomato basil soup was creamy with a light basil flavor. The onion soup was very hot, but tasty. The salad had a nice maple and balsamic vinegar dressing. We ordered the Malbec wine which we had not had before and it was good with a nice full body and warm taste to it. I ordered the Argentinian steak and my husband had the special which was duck with raspberry sauce. Both were cooked to perfection and delicious. For dessert we had an elegant creme brulee and cheesecake both creamy, not too sweet and delicious.

Our waiter was really attentive and informative. He was at the ready when we had finished each course. I was surprised to find later that there was a large dinner party going on in a private room. We were never once left high and dry by him as he helped with that and attended to his tables in the dining room.

The portions were adequate. We are in our 60's and do not eat huge portions. We shared the appetizers and salad and brought some of the appetizers home. I also brought half of the steak home since I do not each large amounts of meat .

The dinner was expensive, but since it was a special event we were prepared to pay for the experience. The restaurant has a sort of modern interior - maybe funky modern as someone else here has described it suits it well. It was calming though, not in your face. We felt that we had an intimate dining experience that we would recommend to anyone who can afford it. This is not a restaurant to take kids to. Nor do I recommend it for those on a budget (unless they have saved specially for it as we did).

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Chicago, Illinois
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“Good food, but wasn't that impressed”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 8, 2009

My wife and I ate here while driving up to St. John's, NB. We wanted to stop in Bangor and have a good meal, so we went online and noticed Thistles had some good reviews.

When we got there, we found the decor and setup to be very nice. It's not a huge place, but a nice setting. We were shown to a booth with a wonderful view of the parking lot (only view you get), but we didn't care. Thistles is moderately priced, but our big disappointment came on the serving sizes. Neither my wife nor I are huge eaters, but at a normal restaurant I can't finish all my food. Same goes for my wife. The paella I ordered was filling, but left me still wanting more. My wife's pasta serving was so small I also most wanted to ask where the rest of it was. The salad and appetizer we had before that were also small and didn't do much for our appetite.

Deserts were offered at around $8 for a thin slick of cake that was about 5 inches tall but only about an inch thick at the wide end. We skipped desert and found a local ice cream place instead. That ice cream place was much better.

Overall, the food was good as was the setting, but the prices were high given the small serving sizes. I gotta believe there are other places in Bangor that are better.

    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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