About Thistle Lodge Restaurant

2255 West Gulf Drive
Sanibel, FL 33597
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Grand Views... Rave Reviews. At the Thistle Lodge Beachfront Restaurant, delicious cuisine is served in a historical heirloom setting overlooking the Gulf of Mexico. Swaying palms and gently breaking waves further set the scene for romance.

Dining Style:
Casual Elegant

Cuisines:
Fusion / Eclectic, Contemporary American

Hours of Operation:
Brunch: Sunday: 11:00am - 2:30pm; Lunch: Monday - Saturday: 11:30am - 2:30pm; Dinner: Sunday - Thursday: 5:00pm - 9:00pm, Friday - Saturday: 5:00pm - 10:00pm

Cross Street:
Casa Ybel Road

Dress Code:
Smart Casual

Price Range:
$31 to $50

Payment Options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

Phone Number:
(239) 472-9200

Website:
http://www.thistlelodge.com/

Entertainment:
Thistle Lodge provides live Jazz entertainment on Friday nights and Piano on Saturday nights. We also have Sunday Jazz during brunch.

Executive Chef:
John Wolff

Private Party Facilities:
Casa Ybel Resort, along with Thistle Lodge Beachfront Restaurant, has been hosting weddings and events for over 100 years. Overlooking the Gulf of Mexico, and situated on 23 acres of pristine private beach, Casa Ybel Resort is the perfect place to host your event!

Private Party Contact:
Jessica Pasek: 2394720693x1351

Additional:
Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Entertainment, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Personal wines welcome, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Takeout, View, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine

Restaurant Photos

  • Key Lime Cheesecake
  • Warm Granny Smith Apple Crisp
  • Lobster And Crab Stuffed Pompano
  • Sea Bass, Scallop And Prawn Trio
  • Bruleed Gorgonzola Steak And Lobster Tail
Key Lime Cheesecake
Warm Granny Smith Apple Crisp
Lobster And Crab Stuffed Pompano
Sea Bass, Scallop And Prawn Trio
Bruleed Gorgonzola Steak And Lobster Tail

Promotions

1,000-Point Tables

Promotions

1,000-Point Tables

See availability for 1000 point tables

Details
Mon - Thu 5:00PM - 6:30PM 7:45PM - 9:00PM

Thistle Lodge Restaurant Ratings and Reviews

5
4
3
2
1

4.5

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.5

service

4.5

ambience

4.6

value

4.1

noise

Moderate

93% would recommend it to a friend

Loved For

Romantic
Southwest Florida
Scenic View
Southwest Florida
Special Occasion
Southwest Florida
8 More
Best Overall
Ft. Myers
Best Food
Ft. Myers
Best Service
Ft. Myers
Best Ambiance
Ft. Myers
Best Value
Ft. Myers
Romantic
Ft. Myers
Special Occasion
Ft. Myers
Most Booked
Ft. Myers
Best Restaurants in Sanibel ›

scenic view (44)
special occasion (43)
romantic (41)
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fit for foodies (22)
notable wine list (14)
great for lunch (12)
great for outdoor dining (12)
great for brunch (9)
good for groups (9)
neighborhood gem (5)
late-night find (2)
vibrant bar scene (1)
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A "just ok dinner" not worth the price t ...

 
 (New England)
·Dined 6 days ago

A "just ok dinner" not worth the price tag. I ordered the special -- two lobster tails -- which were tasty but rather small. What was not small was the price tag for the entree -- $52, which the waitress failed to mention but highly recommended the dish while I was trying to make up my mind. I think it's reprehensible when they don't tell you the price. (You feel taken for a ride as the most expensive entrees on the menu are in the 30-40 range). The accompanying rice was tasteless and the broccoli overcooked and bland. The appetizer salad with gorgonzola, on the other hand, was nicely made and delicious. Creme brûlée for dessert was ok, nothing outstanding. View and ambiance is real nice and the staff friendly. However, the price paid vis-a-vis the food is not worth it.

Tags: special occasion, scenic view
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food2
ambience4
service4
value2

Excellent experience, sit back relax and ...

 
 (Miami)
·Dined on July 16, 2016

Excellent experience, sit back relax and enjoy the view and fresh seafood.

Tags: romantic, special occasion, scenic view, notable wine list
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

We had a wonderful dining experience as ...

 
 (Southwest FL)
·Dined on July 14, 2016

We had a wonderful dining experience as we were celebrating with friends. It is a tradition for us to celebrate three birthdays and two anniversaries with a special dinner. The Thistle Lodge was a perfect venue with excellent food and service.

Tags: fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, scenic view, notable wine list
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Beautiful meal with a fantastic view of ...

 
 (Southwest FL)
·Dined on July 9, 2016

Beautiful meal with a fantastic view of the beach. It was hot in the restaurant and we were told the ceiling fans would only make it worse? The temp inside was the only wrinkle on an otherwise flawless evening.

Tags: romantic, special occasion, scenic view
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food4
ambience5
service4
value4

Amazing first time experience!! Would de ...

 
 (Southwest FL)
·Dined on July 4, 2016

Amazing first time experience!! Would definitely recommend to anyone and would definitely go back!!!

Tags: special occasion, scenic view
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

We enjoyed the gorgeous, beautifully lan ...

 
 (Tampa)
·Dined on June 23, 2016

We enjoyed the gorgeous, beautifully landscaped view of the gulf.

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food4
ambience5
service5

We were spending Father's Day weekend in ...

 
 (Miami)
·Dined on June 19, 2016

We were spending Father's Day weekend in Captiva and I wanted a more upscale waterfront dining option than most of the island has to offer. This was exactly what I was looking for. My husband felt very special and the food was amazing. Everyone raved about their dishes, even the kids. The kids menu was also perfect. Not your typical Mac n cheese and hot dogs menu. My kids really enjoyed the cheese and crackers appetizer.

I had the macadamia encrusted magi mahi and my husband did the surf and turf. We didn't leave anything on our plates. Great wine selection too!

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food5
ambience5
service5

Great location overlooking the beach on ...

 
 (Southwest FL)
·Dined on June 19, 2016

Great location overlooking the beach on Sanibel. Decor was upscale for a beach resort. Very attentive waitstaff. Nice list for specialty cocktails and good wine list. Appetizers were very good in size and well prepared. Entrees were served promptly and were at temperature. Steak was cooked as requested. One of three lobster tails was over cooked. Desserts were very good and there was good variety. I definitely will return.

Tags: fit for foodies, special occasion, notable wine list
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food4
ambience5
service5
value4

The view is great and so is the food and ...

vip
 (Orlando)
·Dined on June 19, 2016

The view is great and so is the food and service! Best time to go is when the sun is out to enjoy the view.

Tags: great for brunch, great for outdoor dining, special occasion, great for lunch, scenic view
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

A birthday dinner

 
 (Tampa)
·Dined on June 7, 2016

Once again we were in Captiva for vacation to celebrate my husband's birthday. That means the Thistle Lodge for his celebration dinner. And as always, they were outstanding in service, ambiance, and, especially food. There was a card signed by all of the staff for my hubby and a brownie, ice cream, whipped cream and a candle for his complimentary birthday dessert. It was pretty wonderful. My oriental shortribs were a flavor like none other and my husband's pork "osso bucco" was just as flavorful. Both meats were "fall apart" tender. Natalie took great care of us. Thank you guys for being the highlight of our trip.

Tags: fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, notable wine list
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

Excellent, excellent food, service and a ...

vip
 (New York Area)
·Dined on June 6, 2016

Excellent, excellent food, service and ambiance! What better place to watch the beach and sunset while dining on some excellent food on the island! We particularly enjoyed the freshly made bread, warm and service sliced with the knife in the center of the loaf -- very creative!

Tags: great for brunch, fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, scenic view
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Quaint with an Ocean View

 
 (Indiana)
·Dined on May 28, 2016

My wife and I are always looking for a hidden gem when it comes to dining while visiting the Fort Myers area and we came upon this one after doing some research. Cute little island resort with plenty of history, a beautiful view and very surprisingly good food. Our waitress was more than helpful and attentive. We had a very enjoyable meal only to be outdone by the great desert choices!

Tags: romantic, special occasion, scenic view
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food4
ambience4
service4
value4

Sanibel Charm

 
 (Philadelphia)
·Dined on May 25, 2016

This is my 4th time vacationing in Sanibel. One of my favorites to dine is the Thistle Lodge. This is beach dining at its best. Our server, Dan, was very nice and remembered me from last year. The food is delicious and the drinks are wonderful. I truly love this place. Thanks to all for a memorable dinner.

Tags: fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, scenic view, notable wine list
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food4
ambience5
service4
value4

Simply lovely! Beautiful table view, exc ...

 
 (Tampa)
·Dined on May 24, 2016

Simply lovely! Beautiful table view, excellent server, and an amazing meal. There's a formidable wine list and save room for dessert.

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food5
ambience5
service5

It has been a few years since we ate at ...

 
 (New York Area)
·Dined on May 24, 2016

It has been a few years since we ate at Thistle and we chose it for our 46th wedding anniversary

I was very disappointed in the deterioration of service and the food was just so so

I have removed it from my favorite list

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food3
ambience3
service3

We had Caesar salads and an order of Oct ...

vip
 (Southwest FL)
·Dined on May 23, 2016

We had Caesar salads and an order of Octopus. The salads arrived drenched in dressing so that much of the salad was inedible and the octopus arrived charred and burnt instead of grilled and tender. Was so disappointed with the meal!

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food1
ambience5
service3
value1

Excellent meal. We have eaten at many re ...

 
 (Alabama)
·Dined on May 20, 2016

Excellent meal. We have eaten at many restaurants in Sanibel. This ranks at the top.

Tags: romantic, special occasion, scenic view
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Great black grouper and great service. T ...

 
 (Milwaukee)
·Dined on May 17, 2016

Great black grouper and great service. This is a must and is always great.

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food5
ambience5
service5

Just a Fair Restaurant

 
 (Chicago)
·Dined on May 14, 2016

Service was extremely slow, and the waiter never offered an explanation. We had to flag him down a few times before he paid any attention. We waited 45 minutes after placing our order - much too long.

The salmon and snapper (ordered by 2 of the group of 4) were good. The others had soft shell crabs. Mine were almost tasteless and cold to boot.

Tags: scenic view
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food3
ambience4
service2
value2

The food was delicious, seafood tower fo ...

 
 (New York Area)
·Dined on May 9, 2016

The food was delicious, seafood tower for 2 was perfect, the lobster bisque was the best I've ever had (and I'm from New England), great wine selection, keylime cheesecake was delightful. Best dinner on the island, set in a great atmosphere with live piano. Our waiter Chris was the best. I will be coming back the next time we visit!

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food5
ambience5
service5

Wow what a special Mother's day

 
 (Salt Lake City)
·Dined on May 8, 2016

We had a great meal, a fantastic Old Fashion made by Casey the bartender and a very romantic setting as we gazed out onto the Gulf of Mexico. We would definitely recommend the Ahai Tuna appetizer and the fresh fish special of the night.

Tags: romantic
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food4
ambience5
service5
value5

Thistle Lodge is quaint and reminds you ...

 
 (Southwest FL)
·Dined on May 3, 2016

Thistle Lodge is quaint and reminds you of the the past. While sitting and enjoying a wonderful meal and watching the waves roll in you can imagine all the grand ladies and gents strolling along the beach to take in some fresh air before enjoying their evening meal.

Tags: romantic, scenic view
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food5
ambience5
service4
value4

Thistle Be A Great Meal

vip
 (Chicago)
·Dined on April 30, 2016

Thistle Lodge is an ideal place for a special dinner or celebration. Beachfront, with a view (unless wedding tents are up) and so elegant inside. Outdoor dining also possible. The food is extraordinary, with seafood, meat, and veggie entrees, as well as a host of starters. My wife opted for a iceberg wedge with French dressing that was not as good as my lobster bisque. ON the opther hand, her scallop with lobster meal was outstanding, besting my overpriced nightly fish special, tripletail. Their private label wine is a bargain, and the experience is worth the expense. Service was terrific, and we got to chat with the pianist, who is an accomplished songwriter and professor! It's still 5-star, but once a year is appropriate.

Tags: great for brunch, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, scenic view, notable wine list
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Fine dining on Sanibel

 
 (Philadelphia)
·Dined on April 29, 2016

We were looking for a good restaurant to end our week on Sanibel and Thistle Lodge exceeded our expectations. From Richard our excellent server to the great food, we had a wonderful evening. The live background music was just right. Will definitely be coming back.

Tags: fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, scenic view
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

Beautiful view although ours was slightl ...

 
 (Southwest FL)
·Dined on April 29, 2016

Beautiful view although ours was slightly blocked. Service was excellent, mojito was perfect. Snapper was very salty (and I like salt), surf and turf was just ok. A lot happening on the plate and the sauce was rather bland. Cut of steak was mediocre.

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food3
ambience4
service5

Still wonderful

 
 (St. Louis)
·Dined on April 28, 2016

My friend and I have made The Thistle Lodge our 'last night swan song on Sanibel' dinner for the past 3 years. Under normal circumstances the view is absolutely to die for, especially if you go before but leading up to sunset. The manicured lawn, well groomed trees and tall lean shadows draw your eye right to a gorgeous view of the Gulf. You don't see the sunset directly, you catch the glow and all it's colorful play on the water, waves and the clouds that may hover above the horizon. Glorious! The well groomed grounds, quaint bar, player piano and wonderful outdoor eating patio add up to old plantation charm. My star rating reflects my third visit to Thistle Lodge. The whole entire lawn and view was blocked by a HUGE white tent that was set up for a next day's wedding. Those lucky guests will get that Gulf and sky view, not anyone dining in the restaurant. Saving grace was Rosie, a wonderful waitress and the food. In the past my friend and I had enjoyed the uniqueness of the Ahi Tuna Trio (amazing explosion of all kinds of exciting flavors all centered on perfect Ahi Tuna) for the appetizer. This year we both went for the Lobster Bisque. Hands down it was the creamiest and most wonderful preparation I've ever had. Note here, it was served in the widest brim bowl I've ever seen! That brim caught every drip that didn't make it to my mouth instead of on my dress or table. Main course, both of us chose the treasured Lobster & Lump Crab “Diver” Scallops. Presentation was great and the taste was grand...but, something was missing of which my friend (who gets this dish every year) discovered quickly. What makes the dish over the top exceptional is the Citrus Buerre Blanc sauce. Once alerted Rosie brought us a very small dish of the buttery sauce to add on our own portion. Our final good bye dinner on the island was less than the usual spectacular, but still wonderful! Thistle Lodge Wines are better than some high dollar wines and at a great price point.

Tags: great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, scenic view
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food4
ambience2
service4
value3

A lovely upscale spot

 
 (Jacksonville)
·Dined on April 25, 2016

Loved the lodge and it's quiet, upscale, yet very unpretentious atmosphere. Our waiter was very attentive and willing to accommodate or special requests. The menu has some outstanding selections we would have loved to try but alas, we had eaten such a large lunch that we had to go light on dinner. Had we known what the menu would have been like, we would have saved ourselves for a more scrumptious dinner! As it was, we each simply had a salad and had appetizers as our main course, but we were quite happy with that. The food was fabulous and we loved the peace and quiet.

Tags: fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, scenic view, neighborhood gem
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

outstanding

 
 (New York Area)
·Dined on April 20, 2016

food is consistently excellent, with wonderful specials

Tags: romantic, special occasion, scenic view
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food5
ambience4
service4
value4

Just Perfect!

 
 (New York Area)
·Dined on April 20, 2016

Thistle Lodge was our favorite of the several wonderful restaurants we sampled in Sanibel. The cocktails and food were exceptional, perfect attentive friendly but not intrusive service, beautiful surroundings and a nice view of the Gulf. The baby lamb chops were outstanding, and we really enjoyed the portobello Napoleon appetizer that we shared. All in all, it was a perfect evening. We ate inside, but the spacious outdoor patio looked quite inviting, too, maybe we'll try it next time.

Tags: fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, scenic view
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

Great experience again. Food was good. W ...

 
 (Detroit)
·Dined on April 17, 2016

Great experience again. Food was good. Would love more farm to table or organic choices but that's my preference. Everything was cooked perfectly and had great flavor. Lovely setting and ambiance. Service was great.

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food4
ambience5
service5

We celebrated our 38th wedding anniversa ...

 
 (Orlando)
·Dined on April 10, 2016

We celebrated our 38th wedding anniversary overlooking the Gulf while a wedding was taking place on the beach - great timing! A card signed by the staff was most thoughtful and our dinner was excellent.

Tags: good for groups, romantic, special occasion, scenic view
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

Nice venue work on food-service

vip
 (Southwest FL)
·Dined on April 3, 2016

Not very good on food or service. This could be a great spot however multiple visit show inconsistent service and food quality. It will take a lot before return.

Tags: romantic, scenic view
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food1
ambience4
service2
value2

Special occasion disappointment

 
 (Richmond)
·Dined on April 1, 2016

We booked this restaurant for a special occasion after having such great experiences in the past. Upon arrival we were extremely disappointed to find that our view of the beach (one of the most charming things about this restaurant) was completely obliterated by a large white banquet tent on the lawn. I would never have driven 45 minutes had I known that we would have NO view! Dinner was good but not as exceptional as we have experienced in the past--perhaps our feelings about it were also tempered by our disappointment in the view (or lack thereof). Overall, an expensive yet disappointing evening.

Tags: fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
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food4
ambience3
service4
value3

Romantic dinner with delicious seafood.

 
 (Southwest FL)
·Dined on March 27, 2016

We had the Grilled Octopus appetizer and it was cooked perfectly. My husband had the Filet and Lobster and the lobster melted in our mouths. I had the scallops topped with crab and lobster meat. I wish the lobster pieces were more prominent, but it was delicious. We had been there before for Valentines Day and our most recent meal was just as romantic as the first time. We will be back again soon.

Tags: fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

Amazing Salmon! Extraodinary Chef creations!

 
 (Orlando)
·Dined on March 26, 2016

This quaint dining lodge built in 1929 is a hidden gem! Overlooks the Gulf of Mexico with a nostalgic old Florida feel . It's just a special place with exceptional cuisine and an impressive wine list to match. I almost didn't want to share this review and keep this wonderful place for ourselves!

LD - Ft Myers, FL

Tags: fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, scenic view, notable wine list
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

Beautiful water view setting with grand ...

 
 (Chicago)
·Dined on March 22, 2016

Beautiful water view setting with grand piano music and wonderful lunch menu including lobster bisque and fresh fish selections. The service was absolutely perfect. Could not have found a better way to celebrate my father's 85th birthday.

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food5
ambience5
service5

Always good

 
 (Southwest FL)
·Dined on March 21, 2016

I love the Thistle Lodge because of it's historical significance on the island and it's always a place where you can talk and hear each other without shouting. Great spot for lunch and lovely for dinner. You can depend on the food being good and the service excellent.

Tags: romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, scenic view
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

They got one of our orders incorrect three times.

 
 (Southwest FL)
·Dined on March 20, 2016

One of our orders was wrong three times and our guest gave up and did not eat. We were not offered anything for the poor service. We asked that the meal be comped. They agreed to 1/2 and then changed their mind and gave us two free meals while stating they would not charge us for the omelette that we never received.

1 person found this review helpful.
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food2
ambience1
service1
value1

Traditional elegance

 
 (Chicago)
·Dined on March 20, 2016

Thistle Lodge has a "country club dining while viewing the water" feel. Dark paneled wood, white ceilings and black/white bistro chairs give it an elegance unusual for Sanibel where decor is often more casual and Florida pastels. There is a live piano some nights which adds to the supper club atmosphere. Food is good, and service is attentive. Lobster bisque excellent, Caesar served w a real anchovy filet, not the bony skinned standard. Similar restaurants: Il Cielo, Mad Hatter, Traditions. Thistle is located within a resort.

Tags: fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, scenic view
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food4
ambience4
service4
value4

Fantastic Evening

 
 (Southwest FL)
·Dined on March 17, 2016

We had not visited the Thistle Lodge before. We were meeting friends for dinner that we had not seen in over 10 years. Because we had so much to catch up on we did not focus heavily on the menu and went with the recommendations of Jake the bartender and Richard our waiter who were both great guys. This ended up being the right decision. All of our meals were absolutely amazing. I had the Blackened Yellow Tail Snapper and don't remember ever having as good a dish anywhere. My wife had the Herb Crusted Lamb Rack which also was exceptional. While we really enjoyed our meals I have to admit we were so caught up in conversation with our friends I don't think we got the full enjoyment so we will definitely be making plans to go back in the very near future so we can focus on the food and the great scenery. My only ask of the restaurant is to please lower the volume on your pre-programmed player piano. I'm sure the intent is to have this as background music but unfortunately it was more out front than behind.

Tags: fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, scenic view
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food5
ambience4
service5
value5

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