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“Hip and casual with great food!”
Review of Thistle

Ranked #10 of 99 Restaurants in McMinnville
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: American
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine, Special occasions, Romantic
Dining options: Dinner, Reservations
Level 5 Contributor
58 reviews
29 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 64 helpful votes
“Hip and casual with great food!”
Reviewed November 20, 2013

Hip vibe, liked the decor. Youthful...Super fresh food, tasty and electic food combinations. If your looking for a "farm to table" experience, this would most certainly qualify. Our server was the owner and the service was superb! I give it 5 stars because I like that the owner does it her way with a few thought out selections rather then a lengthy menu of routine foods. I also thought it was cool that she was completely involved with the service aspect of her restaurant. We like getting surprised when we go out to eat and certainly appreciate when a chef and the owner obviously put so much thought and effort into a menu. We don't go to restaurants or review them to tell people how to run a restaurant or what to serve. We go because we figure they know what they are doing and have a creative niche they want to share. If we lived in the area we would visit often. We each ordered an appetizer and main course and felt like the portions were perfect. We thought the pricing was completely in line with what we ordered and found it a good value. We highly recommend this restaurant!

  • Visited November 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Forestalle
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
Level 5 Contributor
61 reviews
31 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Farm to Fork to Mouth!!!”
Reviewed November 12, 2013

Excellent food. Great combinations, bright & fresh tasting salad; perfectly prepared cod. Emily the owner was our server! She is working hard to provide a wonderful meal and it shows! Only 5 employees! I wish we lived close by to try all of the dishes. Reasonable price for quality food. Small place for any occasion. Go now!

Visited November 2013
Thank runningingoregon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
McMinnville, Oregon
Level 3 Contributor
18 reviews
17 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“I want to love you Thistle”
Reviewed November 9, 2013

I have now been in to visit a couple times and wanted to write this review. First off, do not get it twisted, the food here is good. There are just a few things that continue to hold this place back. For a fine dining restaurant, they are in line with price, but unreasonably sheepish on portion size. I understand that to source the best product, you have to pay for them. But the cuts of meat offered and style of their prep, do not justify the price. I absolutely cannot stand the chalkboard menu set up. Either you find yourself huddled in the corner to read it, or you are unfortunate enough to have a table in front, with every annoying yupster ( yuppie - hipster) standing over you, loudly discussing what they will be ordering for dinner. The wine list is thoughtful, but limited. The bartender is fantastic. The service is tolerable.

  • Visited November 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank TheLastStarFighter
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chapel Hill
Level 6 Contributor
266 reviews
153 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 204 helpful votes
“Expensive, pretentious, not innovative”
Reviewed November 6, 2013

We were really looking forward to our dinner at Thistle. I had called to see if the Chef's Whim could be vegetarian, and, since we were coming in mid-September when lots of fresh produce was available, it wouldn't seem like it would be that hard. However, we were told that wasn't possible, which was a disappointment.

We made a reservation anyway. When we showed up, we were told to look at the chalkboard, decide what we wanted, and then sit down. Our table in the next room was vaguely gestured at. (There were only three tables in the room and two were taken, so it wasn't hard for us to figure out.) The one vegetarian option wasn't something particularly interesting (it seems to always be some form of pasta, usually a gnocchi). The wait staff was somewhat pretentious and not particularly helpful about explaining how the dishes were prepared. The restaurant, a good concept with the different spaces, just ended up being very noisy.

We were asked if we wanted to start with bread, which we answered affirmatively. However, without a question or explanation (even though I had been asking about vegetarian options on the menu) we were brought a chunk of lard with the bread sitting in it. Definitely a miss there. Nor did the staff say what it was. My husband, who is a meat eater, confirmed it was lard. So if someone asks about vegetarian options when making a reservation, about vegetarian options when looking at the menu, you would think the staff would pick up on it enough not to put all the bread in animal fat. However, that seems to have been asking too much.

Green bean appetizer was good, although not entirely memorable. My husband remembers his 6 oysters as being delicious, but nothing else about his meal was memorable or innovative either. Wine list was amazingly short and not well curated; the one bright spot was the Albert Mann. We were hoping to have dessert, but they only offer one dessert a night, and it was not vegetarian. I can understand only having one, but then I should think it would be made such that those with the widest range of dietary restrictions could enjoy it - and would be vegetarian if one of your reservations for the night had already made that restriction clear. That was obviously not the case.

Dinner - even with only a 1/2 bottle of wine - was well over what we typically pay for comparable quality with more innovative cuisine. Overall, we got the feeling that the chef and waitstaff were not interested in our business and couldn't care if we enjoyed our meal or not. Overall, very disappointing experience. Can't recommend and would not go back.

  • Visited September 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank helsimon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cincinnati, Ohio
2 reviews
Reviewed October 29, 2013

Great, gourmet food in a tiny, casual, intimate setting. Our best dining experience in the McMinnville area. Also reasonably priced for the quality.

  • Visited October 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank brandont807
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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