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“The Emperor Has No Clothes...”
Review of Thistle

Ranked #10 of 99 Restaurants in McMinnville
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: American
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine, Romantic, Special occasions
Dining options: Dinner, Reservations
Portland, Oregon
1 review
“The Emperor Has No Clothes...”
Reviewed May 8, 2013

...that's what reading reviews reminds me of. After all I spent a lot of money on a meal that everyone else says should have been good. It was not...let's be honest. When you start with the comment that you had better order a lot or you'll leave hungry (my translation) that is a red flag right off. My entree was not seasoned and especially small....bland in a word. The salad had no dressing, one hazelnut in the bottom of the bowl and a couple of small bits of cheese. Basically a bowl of greens.

For all the "local" goods talk it was interesting that the beer and wine list was anything but. Having said all that, the bread was good. I had to eat a lot of it.

  • Visited May 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank George T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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201 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Portland, Oregon
Level 4 Contributor
38 reviews
27 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Unexpectedly terrific!”
Reviewed May 7, 2013

Stopped in with my wife on a whim while tasting in the valley. Limited chalkboard menu: just 4 entrees and 4 appetizers. Food was excellent, simple and perfectly prepared. Very unpretentious and appealing. Outstanding bartender made us Aviations off the top of his head followed by a fluffy, brightyellow little omelet stuffed with creamy local chevre and fresh asparagus. House rillettes were very good on crusty bread.

Briaised Carnitas style pork shoulder sliced thin and a very nice salmon dish. White Rose Pinot by the glass! finished with a salted caramel panna cotta. Just a really good, simple and enjoyable meal. Highly recommend it!

  • Visited April 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Eric L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gambier, Ohio, United States
Level 5 Contributor
89 reviews
54 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“A must!”
Reviewed April 16, 2013

I would drive cross country to eat here, and we did. A wonderful evening. Great food and wine. I do not understand the negative reviews. Out tab with wine was $ 100. We loved it. Quirky but beguiling. If you are in the area or withing the USA visit this gem. We can't wait to return.

  • Visited January 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Grusmann
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hampton Hill, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
175 reviews
139 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 91 helpful votes
“Love it or hate it: we loved it.....”
Reviewed March 23, 2013

Quirky, dedicated, expert, truly local, truly delicious ...... this place is wonderful, and yet reading other reviews there is a total split in appreciation. The food is delicious and served in reasonably sized portions which makes sense to a European like me but seems to anger some American reviewers. Emily and Patrick are intuitive hosts who work brilliantly together with the rest of the staff. The oysters were excellent as was the squash soup, steak tartare was one of the best ever and the pork loin and slow cooked shoulder totally on the money. Cocktails with Patrick are a pre-dinner must and Emily curates a wonderfully eclectic wine-list that matches the big food flavours brilliantly. Put it on your bucket list.....

  • Visited March 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1 Thank Spadge55
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Marietta, Georgia
Level 3 Contributor
17 reviews
12 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Over priced and over seasoned”
Reviewed March 5, 2013 via mobile

We had high expectations for this farm to table restaurant based on magazine write ups. The chalkboard menu offered 5 appetizer/salads and 4 main dishes. These were listed as gnocchi, duck, steak, and a fish I do not recall. No info is given on how they are prepared and our waitress seemed surprised to have to explain. She also suggested that we each order an appetizer as their main dishes were small. Seriously? Prices were $8-12 for appetizers and $21-26 for the main dishes and if you agree to bread before the meal, tack on $2 for the bread plate. All of this could be overlooked if the quality of the food lived up to the hype, it didn't. The gnocchi was over powered with some type of mushroom and another spice we could not identify. The duck was very tough and included cabbage and a version of grits that was extremely over salted. Way too many dining options in McMinnville to recommend Thistle.

1 Thank travman101
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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