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“Big Disappointment”

Thistle Lodge Restaurant
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Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $31 - $50
Cuisines: Seafood
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Restaurant details
Good for: Special occasions, Romantic
Dining options: Breakfast, Lunch, Late Night, Dinner, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Cross street: Casa Ybel Road
Description: The award-winning menu at the Thistle Lodge includes a blend of Floridian, European, and Asian flavors designed to please even the most discriminating palates. The seafood is fresh and hand-cut right in our own kitchen. Steaks are flown in from the Midwest and dry aged to enhance their flavor and tenderness. Even the herbs, fruits, and vegetables we use in our cuisine are custom-grown. Whether you are planning a romantic evening for two, celebrating a special occasion or simply looking for the best beachfront dining in Sanibel Island, the Thistle Lodge offers an unrivaled culinary experience. Thistle Lodge is open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and offers both indoor and outdoor dining. The upper level of the restaurant is available for private events.
Reviewed December 9, 2007

Nothing good to report. The hostess was very indifferent, slow and not friendly at all. We were shown to an outside patio. The resort advertised waterfront dining. The only water we could see was the adjacent resort pool and kiddie pool. Not good for a nice quiet lunch. Ordered nachos from the lunch menu. They came covered with Cheez Whiz, not actual cheese. Very disappointing experience. There are many good restaurants on Sanibel but this isn't one of them.

4  Thank HowieGman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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753 - 757 of 770 reviews

Reviewed September 27, 2007

The Thistle Lodge restaurant at Casa Ybel was the only disappointment of our trip to Sanibel Island. The atmosphere created by hostess and server on the evening of 9/16/2007 was unfriendly bordering on rude. The beach view is great, nearly identical to the view from our condo at Pointe Santo, which we love. The food & it's presentation was good, but frankly over rated. If the service personnel dealing with customers was friendly, more courteous, and professional, it had at least the potential to be a pleasant experience. We walked into the restaurant feeling happy and anxious to try a new place. We walked out feeling somewhat insulted and as if we'd learned a big lesson....don't go back.
A couple of nights later, we went to the Jacaranda. There we experienced the best dinner service of our trip. Presentation, food, and atmosphere were great; all for about the same price (as the Thistle Lodge at Casa Ybel).

4  Thank ctstarshine
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 18, 2007

Wins the #1 spot for the worst dining experience we've had on the islands in the 4 years we've been vacationing here. The food was less than stellar for the price, and the service the same. The only thing good going for it is the building itself. What a "rip off"!!!!!!

3  Thank Gail M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 20, 2007

Our birthday party dinner for 14 on April 13th was a complete disaster.

After being seated we waited 15 minutes before the server even arrived then another 25 minutes before our initial order for bottled wine arrived! Meanwhile, no bread, no water, nothing. Finally several of our party got up and started looking for the manager. John, the manager, was overwhelmed & flummoxed, ultimately a coward, afraid to even approach our table the entire evening or to apologize in person for what took forever to place our dinner order or receive our food.

We hoped to redeem our special event by telling John that several members of the dinner party where in the food & beverage business, but no luck!

When entrees arrived, my dinner was lost/arrived very late and my partners dinner was overcooked/sent back.

After finishing eating, half of the dinner party got up and left the restaurant before plates could be bussed or before the server could come back & offer dessert and coffee. No one had dessert or coffee and no offer was made to the birthday lady for a birthday dessert.

As we paid our dinner bill, no one wanted to leave a gratuity--a first for our group ever!! No compensation was offered by John--ever! The hostess told one of our party never to return to the restaurant--that was a first & a shock, too!! No reason was offered for such a statement.

Our party arrived on time & never overindulged in wine or displayed discourteous behavior, except to complain about extremely poor service & badly served and overcoooked food.

How this restaurant stays in business is a complete mystery to me. So many elements of service & food went wrong, and the management is lame & incompetent to the highest degree.

Recommend you save yourself a lot of grief & never dine here. We told our experience to many, many people later & to several concierge in later hotels along the FL coast.

8  Thank gourmetdinerOCCA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 21, 2007

We should have known better than to go to a resort restaurant.

When we arrived, we waited several minutes for a hostess to show up, probably because there were two weddings at the resort that weekend. For the same reason, I imagine, we could hear loud thumping from time to time in the gazebo-style dining room. We never did figure out what it could be, as it seemed to be coming from the second floor.

Decor is what's supposed to be Victorian, but is really what passes for it by people who don't know any better: garish with a lot of curlicues and cutesiness.

They didn't have the first bottle of wine we ordered. I had what was billed as seafood scampi over pasta. Perhaps I didn't read carefully enough, but as far as I'm concerned, it really should have been called cioppino. Never in my life have I seen scampi prepared in tomato sauce, which this was. If I'd thought I was ordering cioppino, I wouldn't have been surprised by the tomato! It was okay, but no more; the seafood was somewhat overcooked. My husband had lamb, which was okay also.

It wasn't terrible, but it wasn't good either. For the money, you can do much better elsewhere. Ellington's, the Mad Hatter, RedFishBluFish, and La Dolce Vita all served us very good dinners.

4  Thank Bama77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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