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About Permanently Closed - Thirst Wine Bar & Bistro
This restaurant is permanently closed. Focusing on local cuisine, wine and spirits. Unwind on the Willamette and soak in views of the River Place Marina. All of our rooms feature floor to ceiling windows. During warm months our patio seats 125. We serve full entrees and smaller plates / appetizers for pairing and sharing. Scratch menu usues local ingredients. 90% of our menu is Gluten-free! We change our menu based on the season.
We scour the Pacific NW for new and interesting wines and change our wine menu frequently. We are very selective about what we serve at Thirst and only serve wines that best represent the wonderful wines of the Pacific NW. We have over 30 wines by the glass and 100+ we serve by the bottle.
Our private dining spaces can host all kinds of events. Business Meetings, Receptions, Parties, Finners, Wedding-related and family celebrations! Book your event today
Portland, OR 97201
Northwest, Contemporary American
Hours of Operation:
DINER: Tuesday - Thursday & Sunday: 3:00pm - 10:00pm, Friday - Saturday: 3:00pm - 11:00pm
HAPPY HOUR Tuesday - Saturday 3- 6 pm; All Day Sunday
BOTTLE SHOP: Wednesday - Saturday 2-7 pm
SW River Dr.
$30 and under
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
The Esplanade best people watching in the city!
Thirst can cater with at least 3 days notice.
There are many public parking spaces in the area. The most reasonable one is beneath The Strand Condominiums. Most are less than $6 after 5 pm
Street Car: will bring right down to the waterfront, get off at "RiverPlace".
Bus: The 35 will take you from down town to the SW waterfront. Get off at River Pkwy & River Dr (Stop ID: 13180)
Private Party Facilities:
Gorgeous private space overlooking the Willamette River.
Private Party Contact:
Leslie Palmer: (503) 295-2747
Banquet, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Chef's Table, Corkage Fee, Fireplace, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Happy Hour, Late Night, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Private Room, View, Wheelchair Access, Wine
Special Events & Promotions:
Thirsty Tuesday - $39 for TWO People. From Chef's Choice Menu - Appetizer for each, Entree for each, Dessert to Share! Can't beat that!
Awful experience on a Sunday night. Apparently this place doesn't know how to (a) staff properly and (b) provision their kitchen to provide the marquis items listed on their menu. This was my wife's choice for our second anniversary...and what a horrible choice. Arrived at 6:20 p.m. for our 6:30 reservation and were seated, but largely unattended for :!5 minutes. They were out of our appetizers of choice, substitutes arrived after a very long wait. Entrees arrived after a 1-hour 40-minute wait, and because they had run out of polenta, the meal was unsatisfactory. Sent it all back and asked to be cashed out. The servers were not on their game. Slow to attend to anyone. If this is the norm...and I hope to God for their sake it is NOT...this place has no business being in business.
My mom-in-law was coming to visit for the first time. I went online and reviewed the menu for Thirst to make sure I (vegan) would have food options. I also saw that they had Happy hour specials from 3-6p. Based on this info I made a reservation via Open table for 5:45p. We arrived and it took a couple minutes for the two waiters and ?manager? to break off a conversation and get us seated. It took several more minutes for our waiter to arrive and drop off menus at which point I asked about the Happy hour, only to be told that because of a special event occurring downtown, they didn't have happy hour (not consistent w/ web site). We said okay and looked at the menu which was different and smaller than their online menu. It also lacked the identifiers of what was vegan. After another wait, the server returned and I asked what food items were vegan. He didn't seem to know and said that their really wasn't anything on the menu. When I pointed out that the hummus and olive appetizers might be vegan and asked about the gazpacho he started to clue in. The rest of the dinner was similarly poor serviced. The food was decent but not great, and certainly not worth the "special event menu" pricing. The best part, by far, was the river view. My recommendation: Call and double check about happy hour and don't spend extra for dinner.
I had the Bistro Steak (from the March Dining Month menu). It was ok, but a bit tough and not especially good. In addition it had a pepper sauce which was not described in the menu. I have a low tolerance for pepper so that definitely diminished the pleasure.
The view of the marina was quite nice. The service was good.
Went for the Portland Dining Month menu hoping to have the smashed potatoes and the bread pudding dessert. Neither were available. The shrimp bisque had way too much salt as did seemingly everything else, even the cheesecake. I had the steak, pretty tough, partner had the salmon, over cooked. We both had roasted, er... blackened, brussel sprouts. The desserts, I had cheesecake, my partner had creme brûlée, supposedly with Grand Marnier, were quite average. Service was slow, even on a mid-weekday. Overall, we were disappointed.
They were "out" of multiple menu items, server stating he "forgot to buy them at the store"; food was average at best; worst creme brulee I've ever had - it was lumpy and 'mealy'; wine pours were very skimpy and very expensive - paid $20 for a small glass of cab, checked online and average bottle price at retail was only $28. Hard to believe this spot has lasted for 10 years. I would not recommend it. Sure the view on the riverfront is nice, but ...
I tried Thirst for Portland Monthly Dining and loved it! It was unexpectedly warm and sunny and everyone wanted to be on the riverfront, so it got crowded and Thirst was not prepared for that many people. Slowed down the service some, but the food was fantastic, the wine was well thought out, and the service was friendly and informed. I'd definitely go back!
Invite husband's new boss to join us in a social setting. Started with baked Brie, (a must at Thirst) and a great Cabernet. We had the ahi with a side of shrimp bisque and "world famous" Brussel sprout salad. They had the duck with risotto. We ended the night with the Krum brûlée. All were fantastic. Service was paced nicely without being slow. Can't wait to go back and we will soon. YUM!
I look forward to each March to check out new places & found this in the list of participating restaurants. Lovely location, good service. Food was bad (tough steak/dry duck confit/salty soup/weird textured crime brûlée). This is a supposed "wine bar" which surprised me: the wines we chose were actually nice, but over-priced, and there breadth of selection was small....
Won't go back or recommend.... There are too many good options in Portland!
Nice small restaurant / bar / event space. There are not many tables and only two by the window. There was an event going on when we were there and lots of people coming and going to the bar, which is in the same small room as the restaurant. There was only one table that did not have people walking directly past it regularly. We chose the Portland Dining Month special menu. The food was good. For starters we had a nice salad and a lovely shrimp bisque. For an entree I had duck--rich and tasty meat; skin that was very fatty, not crispy as I would have preferred. My husband had seared Ahi--it was excellent. The desserts were not particularly memorable and no decaf coffee is available. If there were no event going on and cozy tables available for dinner in that same space, the ambiance would be considerably better. The service was very good, but overshadowed by the unappealing ambiance that we experienced. This was our first visit to this restaurant and we will choose another of the many great Portland restaurants next time we go out for dinner.
I'll start with the positive. Our server was fantastic. He tried so hard with what he was given. We had reservations at 730 on the third night of dining month. Upon arrival, he informs us they are out of the pork as one the entree choices on the pre fixe menu. We place orders for 4 steaks and one risotto. He comes back to inform us that they ran out of steaks and only had 2 left. In trying to please everyone who wanted steak, the server came up with idea to serve family style so we could all have some. We then ordered 2 risotto and the pork (they had pork but had run out of truffle polenta so it was served with potatoes) we waited almost and hour for our dinner. There was only one other table eating in the entire restaurant. When it finally came out it was cold. Everything The steak was supposed to medium rare and was medium to well. Obviously couldn't send back as there were no more steaks. They weren't even enough Brussels sprouts for us to have 2 each. The pork was heavily drenched in barbecue sauce. The risotto was like mush with hardly any mushrooms. Just a disappointing experience overall. Definitely would not return to this restaurant.
The bistro was empty, yet the service was horrible. The waitress stumbled through the specials, would stand over us after we asked for a few minutes to review the menu, took away the menus after we asked to keep a few on the table and just made the whole experience very unpleasant. While they have a good wine selection, their food is mediocre, and sadly, we expected a lot more out of this place. To top off this unpleasant experience, the waitress had the audacity to argue with one of our friends about another restaurant that our friend worked at, stating false claims and continuing to argue and try and make our friend look bad. When our friend tried to defend her employer, the waitress stated that she was wrong and kept rolling her eyes at our friend.
We will not be returning nor advising friends to visit this establishment.
This was quite simply the best dining experience I've had in quite some time. The level of service was outstanding, the food excellent, the servers knowledgeable about both the food being served and the bar. This is a place I will most certainly seek out when I am again in town.
We had dinner at Thirst Fri. evening & since the weather was so nice, we had made a reservation asking for an outdoor table. One was reserved for us & we were quickly seated by friendly staff. We ordered several items including the shredded chicken sandwich which we were later told "was still being prepped" and not ready, so we switched to the pulled pork sandwich with carmelized onions added which was a great substitute. A very short time later (?15 minutes later), we heard our server tell the people at the next table that they had run out of the shredded chicken sandwiches- that didn't quite click at truthful as it would be hard to imagine that they had a run on the chicken that would cause them to run out so quickly with the number of people there! We shared a salad which the server said he would divide for us (he didn't-but that's neither here nor there) & the dip trio with thin sliced Grand Central bread. The artichoke dip & the crab dip were phenomenal! Our server brought extra bread when he noticed we were almost out & still had some of the delicious (!) dipping items left, but he never came back to refill our waters although it was a warm evening & I was only having water. We waited for 10-15 minutes, then called him over when he gave the couple next to us their bill. The food, the view of the river, & the people-watching here were outstanding! The service was only fair. Our server did tell us that he was doing several jobs that evening including bartending, & "liked to have a couple of tables for the extra money that tips brought him". We laughed after he left as so far the service hadn't been that great to expect a great tip! He was definitely a personable server & visited with us when he DID come around to check in on us. We also saw other Thirst staff (possibly from the wine area) sitting at a nearby table, & saw some of them help put up tables, but they didn't help with serving at the bistro. A little weird when our guy said he was so busy!
The wine was great and the food was very good but my fathers salmon was over cooked and we both had the green beans that were totally undercooked.
The dinning area is small but well decorated but sound travels. There was a huge bachelorette party that was extremely loud.
I've really enjoyed Thirst in the past. What could be better than good wine, a flight of cheese and tasty ahi by the river? Well, this time I was disappointed. We waited a long time by the host station before anyone bothered to talk to us, then we were pointed to our table without being provided menus or a wine list. Service remained scattershot throughout the evening. And as much as I love their ahi, this time the last piece was so tough as to be inedible: a poor last impression of the meal.
We frequently choose Thirst on sunny days because of the view over the river, the people watching, and the great wine list. We happened to get there during happy hour which was great because of the price. We always say (tongue in cheek) if our liquor bill exceeds our food bill it was a good meal! I had a caesar salad which was crispy-fresh and the dressing was wonderful. My husband enjoyed his baked brie, apples, and bread. We shared a hummus plate. The hummus was so tasty that we ate ALL of it. I ordered my favorite Idilico, a white wine I drink only in summer. My husband enjoyed a Syrah. We were there, sitting outside for a couple of hours. It was a wonderful evening!
We were so looking forward to trying a new restaurant for Portland Dining Month. A wine bar with a nice menu, on the water. Unfortunately, it was a disappointing dinner.
The brie in pastry was a really nice start, my husband had the crab dip on what tasted like stale, sliced baguette slices. Not the best dip I've tasted, but not too bad.
I'd ordered the salmon with wild rice and asparagus on the recommendation of our server. Definitely not the right choice. The plate was ice cold as was the wild rice. The salmon was so hard and dry I had to use a knife to cut, and the asparagus was overly salty. My husband ordered the steak, which looked wonderful and medium rare but was very tough and over salted. The plate was cold and alas, so were his potatoes.
For dessert, the crème brulee had a perfectly burnt top but was cold although very tasty. What was unusual were the cold craisins sprinkled on top. The craisins didn't add anything, and actually tasted terrible with the rich sweetness and creamy texture.
So, $29 each for dinner plus two $10 glasses of wine each, $100 plus tip and just not worth it. Our server seemed a little put out that we were there for dining month, even having explained how excited we were to try this new restaurant. Disappointing, won't be back.
Crab dip - amazing!
Brie puff pastry - amazing!
Salmon - amazing!
Steak - cut was decent but cooked perfectly
Creme brulee - very good and not too sweet
Chocolate brownie a la mode - ice cream was good but brownie was a bit too sweet. Also disappointed that the warm chocolate bread pudding that was on the menu was not available.
Great food and drinks, but the service could have been better. We had to wait a while after being seated before even getting menus and water, then the wait for the drinks was long enough that I almost went to ask for them at the bar because I could see from the table that they were ready.. It was not busy when we went and its a small place besides. I'll wait for great food, no problem and I don't expect the kind of attention for a discount that maybe they'd give a full-paying customer, but 10-15 min for drinks when there are only 2 other tables in the place and 1 is only waiting for a check is a bit ridiculous, especially when they were sitting on the bar within a few minutes after ordering them...they could at least have given us the beer.
We found Thirst Wine Bar and Bistro on Trip Advisor for our Valentine's Dinner on our short trip to Portland. We enjoyed excellent service, delicious food and a spectacular harbor and river view. Our server's suggestions regarding the menu and wine were perfect. We were lucky to be seated in their room for private events - the bushes in front of the harbor view are lower here. Wonderful, relaxing, peaceful dinner with a view. We will be back next time we are in Portland.
I had a 4pm reservation for drinks and appetizers on Valentine's Day and we were one of the only people there tho it clearly was booked for the night. Our server was kind and funny. We ordered two excellent flights of wine and a delicious trio of dips served with warm rustic bread. Upon request we got some extra bread and we're able to peacefully enjoy a romantic start to our evening as we people watched and witnessed the setting sun on the portland riverside.
The wine list at Thirst is notable. Our waiter was wonderful, absolutely friendly, and new a lot about wine. The food, however, is not notable - especially for a vegetarian. I wish this place offered more for vegetarians than a salad, a loaf of bread, and some cheese. There is a stuffed portobello, but not worth it for a light bite with your glass at happy hour.
Go for a glass of wine with the view (especially in the summer).
Thirst is located on the harbor and if you sit outside, you have a great view of the river. Our server was new and clearly needs someone to teach him how to wait tables. We waited and waited for our drinks and when he brought out a charcuterie plate, he forgot the bread. No problem, right? Well, he never came back out to check on us, so we had to go in and find him and ask for bread. We also have to find him to get our check. It wasn't busy inside the restaurant and another server had the bulk of the tables outside, so really no excuse except poor training. We would have had 2 drinks and more food, but with all that waiting, it wasn't worth it.
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