Reading Room Restaurant at The Bar Harbor Inn
Reading Room Restaurant at The Bar Harbor Inn

Reading Room Restaurant at The Bar Harbor Inn

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.barharborinn.com/
  • Phone: 2072883351x
  • Hours of Operation:
    Breakfast: Daily: 7:00am - 10:30am (April - October); Dinner: Nightly: 5:30pm - 9:30pm (April - November)
  • Payment Options: AMEX,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Contemporary American
  • Executive Chef: Lou Kiefer
  • Dress Code: Smart Casual
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Entertainment, Farm to Table, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Private Room, View, Wheelchair Access, Wine
  • Entertainment: Live piano nightly from 6-10 p.m.
  • Special Events: For special events please contact Nicole Wallace, Group Sales, at 207-288-3351 ext. 317. Thank you!

Getting there

  • Parking: Private Lot
  • Parking Details: valet parking available
A word from Reading Room Restaurant at The Bar Harbor Inn
Refined pleasures await you in the Reading Room Restaurant. You will enjoy a dining experience where the delicious cuisine and attentive service are surpassed only by the breathtaking ocean view. Our menu includes fresh seafood, choice cuts of meat, daily specials and memorable desserts.

Please note that we are unable to guarantee window tables You can request a window and we will do our very best! Come join us and the nightly live entertainment of grand piano music which provides the perfect ambiance to the fine dining experience. Dinner is served nightly and the dress code is informal.

Please also note that this reservation is for the Reading Room. Our outdoor restaurant, the Terrace Grill, is a separate restaurant and does not accept reservations..
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerScenic View
Reading Room Restaurant at The Bar Harbor Inn reviews from OpenTable diners
109 reviews since May 19, 2014
Overall Rating4.1
  • Food4.1
    Service4
  • Ambiance4.3
    Noise LevelModerate
82% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
scenic view (97)special occasion (70)romantic (61)fit for foodies (25)notable wine list (18)neighborhood gem (9)good for groups (9)great for outdoor dining (8)great for lunch (6)great for brunch (5)hot spot (2)vibrant bar scene (1)late-night find (1)kid-friendly (1)Show More
  • prefect ending to our visit
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 9/9/2014
    This evening and dinner was the perfect ending to our 50th wedding anniversary celebration trip to Bar Harbor Maine. We certainly would love to come back again and visit the same restaurant.
    Special Features:
    romantic, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Host did a very poor job
    Greens
    Dined on 9/7/2014
    The host looked at us as if we had three heads when we approached him for our 7pm dinner reservations. He then made us wait 15 min in the lounge while we waited for the table to be cleaned while precious light was being lost to take in the views. We watched while he spent a good 20 min chatting up a couple that he knew. I guess if you're not local then you won't get any kind of service or acknowledgement. We waited too long for our main course to be served and then waited with dirty dishes in front of us for far too long. When they were finally cleared and the waiter came over to give us the dessert menu, we declined and asked for our bill. The evening was spoiled for us. We were at that table from start to finish for 2 hours. Unforgivable.
    Special Features:
    scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Mediocre Food, Poor Service
    WynneWoodyVIP
    Dined on 9/4/2014
    First the food: I ordered the seared tuna rare and it came out medium well. My wife ordered lamb chops which were not bad, but nothing to excited about. Next the service: I'll start by saying that we ate lunch and breakfast in the Reading Room and the grill, and the service was very good. This criticism of the service is only directed at the dinner we had in the Reading Room. Our reservation was for 7:30, so not exactly a late night venture. Our waitperson seemed too rushed to be polite. She spent most of our meal bussing and prepping tables. And it wasn't just us she was ignoring. She had at least three tables in our area and would ignore all three for long stretches, while she completed her end-of-shift chores. Very unprofessional.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • JamarC
    foodlover
    Dined on 9/3/2014
    Piano player was good, adding to the ambiance. Mostly tables for two, a few families. Almost all tables have a view so it's not really necessary to ask for a window table ! Service was attentive but not rushed. Food was very good. Scallop appetizer and Filet Mignon. Carrots were pathetic but who cares, really ! Nice selection of wines by the glass. All in all, a very pleasant and satisfying dinner.
    Special Features:
    scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • HarvestVIP
    Dined on 9/3/2014
    This restaurant is more about a beautiful view than tasty victuals! The clam chowder was pedestrian and the duck was overdone. It's very expensive but not worth the money, we thought. We found other restaurants in Bar Harbor which served much better fare but didn't have the gorgeous view!
    Special Features:
    romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Ok but not more
    Paxam
    Dined on 8/31/2014
    Food was good, but our water did not seemed to care to provide a 5 stars service.
    Special Features:
    scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Can't beat the view
    AuntieCAG
    Dined on 8/31/2014
    Overlooking Frenchman's Bay, the view is quite wonderful and special as dinner carried us from daylight through dusk and was quite magical as the lights outside came on reflecting everything that is so great about Bar Harbor. The food was good and presented nicely. At times the piano music seemed to be trying to drown out the conversation.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • top flight food, ambience,& service
    BarbyVIP
    Dined on 8/30/2014
    Had a great meal on a busy Saturday night. Seated next to a window overlooking the harbor. Generally a quiet spot even with the lovely show tunes artfully performed by a piano player. The caprese small bite sent gratis from the kitchen was a wonderful start to the eating. After the tasty simple salad and clam chowder, another gift was the sorbet. The lobster entree and fish of the day were both delicious, as was the blueberry pie with ice cream. Service was friendly, down to earth, and also impeccable. Would love to come back again..
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • LOVELY
    CherVIP
    Dined on 8/27/2014
    So nice to find a high-end restaurant in Bar Harbor and enjoy a leisurely, fine dining evening. Everything was very nice and up to expectations.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, romantic, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Good food
    4stars
    Dined on 8/25/2014
    Billed by the grand hotel as jacket and kackees. I saw a lot of shorts and open collar shirts The goranzola salad was out of this world. Skip the Cesare. The halibut was amazing. The vegetable wellington looked appealing. Wines and ports are good chojces
    Special Features:
    scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2007
    Dined on 8/24/2014
    Great food and wonderful ambiance. Service was a little slow at times, but that's no reason not to come.
    Special Features:
    romantic, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great setting, poor service
    JayBee
    Dined on 8/24/2014
    Wonderful view and interesting menu... but spoiled by casual, unprofessioanl service. Pity.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, romantic, special occasion, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • No sign, no service, big prices!
    PC2014
    Dined on 8/24/2014
    No signage to lead you to the Reading Room---I guess you have to know! Service was horrible---waitress wasn't friendly or attentive. When the bill came, my $15 add-on lobster was $1500 resulting in a $1700 bill. You would think they would catch that before giving me a heart attack. Plainly stated: the service doesn't match the overpriced menu.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Excellent service and drinks
    honeymoon2BarHarbor
    Dined on 8/24/2014
    The service was amazing and the blueberry martini was extremely delicious, however I was hoping for more flavorful food.
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Not bad but don't be confused
    Tinsel22
    Dined on 8/24/2014
    The table cloths don't signify 'special' so don't overdress. The piano player felt like he'd be better suited to an assisted living facility. I would try some festive classical rather than Muzak. The entrees were better than we thought they would be. The paella--actually very good. We were surprised given the atmosphere. The staff was a bit weird. We witnessed a combination of obsequious, in possession of too few teeth, imported from a developing nation in order to make you feel like a plantation owner, and just plain approachable (the good part). There was some forgetfulness by our waitress, but she was very accommodating and told us our wine selection was good, which it truly was. The fact that she said the $86 version was better? Ish.
    Special Features:
    scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Beautiful view, terrible food.
    slavaVIP
    Dined on 8/24/2014
    The view is great, but the food is so poor and the prices so high that it just isn't worth it. If you want the view, have a drink in the lounge, then head off to one of the myriad Bar Harbor eateries for much better food at much lower prices. This place is a prototypical grand dame living off its past glory. Will not return.
    Special Features:
    scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • not to miss
    Ashton
    Dined on 8/23/2014
    The reading room at the Bar Harbor Inn is a classic for any Bar Harbor visit. We has drinks on the terrace (they made me a blueberry mojito which was not on the menu bur excellent), then dinner with a window view of the harbor at sunset. Of course, we both had lobster (what's not to love!).
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, scenic view, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Jagalene
    Dined on 8/22/2014
    Excellent would definitely return! Lobster so tender melted in your mouth! Came 20 minutes before reservation time and was seated immediately .
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion, scenic view, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Paying for the view
    Trishminty
    Dined on 8/22/2014
    This is a beautiful restaurant. Gorgeous views. Absolutely the best view of bar harbor for dinning. Piano playing in the background. Very romantic. The food was so-so. I would think for the price the food should be outstanding. Nothing wrong with it but nothing actually quite right either. The waitress we had was tough and didn't seem to belong in that atmosphere, she was friendly but put us off with her stories. It's a beautiful, quiet, relaxing atmosphere-the wait staff should reflect that also.
    Special Features:
    romantic, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Romantic & beautiful view
    Wolfhead9
    Dined on 8/22/2014
    What a fabulous dinner! Excellent staff...very nice bar tender gave us tips of food & wine before dinner. Note: we intentionally arrived early & hung out at the very lovely lounge before our reservation. We were promtly seated at our table at time of res
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, scenic view, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Hotel Dining
    DCFoodie
    Dined on 8/21/2014
    Our group of nine enjoyed our dinners mostly because we had the company of each other. The service was slow and the food was good but not at a level that matched the price. None of the nine of us had a dish that we would view as even slightly memorable. We found the restaurant to be stuffy -- what we would expect to find at an inn that caters primarily to senior citizens. Other places in Bar Harbor provide superior meals and superior service at comparable prices.
    Special Features:
    scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Bad dining experience
    unpretentiousfoodies
    Dined on 8/21/2014
    I made this reservation for the adults in our group, thinking it would be a special night out. It turned out to be a horrible dinner, and I never complain about a meal. We began with pomegranate martinis, you didn't taste the vodka, just a very sour mixer. Two of our five meals were incorrect, and the wine that we ordered to pair with the surf and turf (based on the chef's selection) was terrible. Please, get your act together. It was an expensive meal, and very, very amateur.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Only for the view...
    RHP1955
    Dined on 8/15/2014
    We had a great view, but seated next to the "bussing" station on one side was disturbing and noisy. The wait staff is hardly discreet, at a restaurant, touted to be one of Bar Harbor's gems. Our waitress was helpful when it came to guiding us about her favorite sights and things to do, but not so much about the food on the menu. The restaurant commands high prices (for the view) but the food that is strictly ok for the price. Our boys enjoyed their "very small portions" of soups and appetizers. My tiny house salad was no better than we get at our local diner. Also, the male host is truly wooden, and as my 12-year old said, "put on fake smiles. He must find it really hard to like people". Go to the Terrace Grill below instead.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, kid-friendly, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Lovely Evening at the Reading Room
    dineoutqueen
    Dined on 8/13/2014
    My husband and I had a wonderful dinner at the Reading Room. The service was first class, and the food was delicious. Background music was provided by a very talented pianist. I would suggest reservations.The atmosphere is elegant but relaxed.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great view
    laeaterrrrVIP
    Dined on 8/12/2014
    This restaurant is a bit more country club than anything else in town. It has a wonderful view of the harbor and the food is pretty good.
    Special Features:
    scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Superb halibut, all fresh
    Kjm500VIP
    Dined on 8/8/2014
    Beautiful view Food was superb, with attentive wait staff. Cannot wait to go back Excellent live piano music
    Special Features:
    romantic, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • A lovely surprise
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009VIP
    Dined on 8/7/2014
    Based on our first dinner here, we went back two more times!! The setting is beautiful, beautiful ocean view. The food is quite good; stick with the lobster and do not miss the clam chowder. We had two different servers; one was solid, the other one fantastic. The short wine list has excellent selections and very attractive prices. I will definitely go back.
    Special Features:
    romantic, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Tina
    TinajaneVIP
    Dined on 8/5/2014
    Reading Room was highly touted as being a five star restaurant. Our first time in a Maine we ordered lobster out of the shell. The meal was room temperature, lobster just so so and potatoes were cold. My husband requested drawn butter with his lobster which took 10 minutes in coming. Our server decided to talk to another table before going directly to the kitchen to accomadate his request. Would not ho back. Oh yes, the view was wonderful.
    Special Features:
    scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Great food
    Kristen
    Dined on 8/4/2014
    My husband and I went here for our first wedding anniversary. While the food was pricey, everything was absolutely delicious. I would highly recommend this restaurant to anyone.
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Lovely
    FitzVIP
    Dined on 8/3/2014
    We felt like we transported back in time. A piano was playing, the views of the harbor were spectacular, and the evening was so enjoyable.
    Special Features:
    scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Best View on the Island! Romance+
    ckDining
    Dined on 8/1/2014
    I have loved this place since I was a child. Then I came only dressed to the nines for a special occasion. Now the romance and views are part of my "must-do list" as I return to Maine each summer and fall. The views of the harbor and adjacent islands are fabulous! Dinner for romance or to celebrate life is not to be missed!
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Nothing special without the view
    foodforus
    Dined on 7/30/2014
    Requested a window table, but none was available when we arrived. Since the fog had rolled in by then, there was no view anyway. Not the restaurant's fault of course. Shared the brie appetizer which was very good. The salads were fine, but no house made dressings or special presentations, which might be appropriate in this price range. The vegetable wellington was good, but the lobster tail in the steak and lobster combo was very chewy and put me off Maine lobster for the remainder of the vacation. The server was pleasant but not particularly attentive. Again, this would be appropriate in a moderate chain or family type restaurant, but not in such an expensive place. Found tastier options/better value at West St. Grill/Paddy's.
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The view is just the beginning.
    lov2eat
    Dined on 7/28/2014
    The Reading Room in the Bar Harbor Inn has long been a well known go-to place for visitors to and residents of Bar Harbor. MY wife and I had out first chance to dine there on July 28, 2014. The view of Frenchman's Bay was spectacular from our table by a window. Outdoor dining was a possibility, as well, but we chose inside due to the drizzle. The view was so spectacular that we wondered if the food would be able to keep up. It more than held its own. The menu was inventive, the service was impeccable, the wine was excellent. We were not rushed and were treated to a wonderful dinner and evening. To top it off, casual dress is fine with them, making it easy for travelers who take advantage of the outdoors in Downeast Maine.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, scenic view, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Reading Room Restaurant
    Cindy
    Dined on 7/28/2014
    Go here for the view. Reserve your table by the window for a spectacular view of Bar Harbor's Islands. The food was good...not fantastic, but who cares when the view is so wonderful. Our server was very friendly and very professional.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, scenic view, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Excellent!
    Lilly
    Dined on 7/24/2014
    This was by far our best meal in Bar Harbor. The food was exceptionally good. I am a lobster lover and this was as good as it gets. The service was great, great ambiance, great view and loved the piano player. I will definitely go back whenever I am in Bar Harbor. Loved it. Thanks for the memories.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, scenic view, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Nice setting - uninspired food
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008VIP
    Dined on 7/22/2014
    Very nice setting looking over the harbor, and very friendly attentive staff. But the food was mostly over cooked and bland. We ended up having the Cioppino, the Lobster Pie, and the Lobster without shell. The lobster was over-cooked and tough in all three cases, and the sauces were mostly bland. Made me think of a place my Grandmother would have loved. Nothing horrible, it just didn't live up to expectations.
    Special Features:
    scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Perfect diversion
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 7/22/2014
    This was a great get away from the tourist area of Bar Harbor. The food was refreshing and fantastic. We celebrated our 25th weddin anniversary here. The Teading Room Restaurant lived up to the occasion!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Bar Harbor experience
    Kevinc
    Dined on 7/19/2014
    First class restaurant with a stunning view of the harbor. The service was great and the food was excellent. We had a very memorable meal with a bottle of wine. The wine prices were all affordable espcecially for such a nice restaurant.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Not as good as appearances suggest
    TheCommonMan
    Dined on 7/19/2014
    The experience overall was less upscale than what I expected. The food was good, just not very good or great. Our server was adequate, but obviously apathetic. Plus some overprivileged jerk goes into the lady's room to argue with his wife over their crying baby while my wife was in there.
    Special Features:
    scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Nice view but poor service
    Soozak
    Dined on 7/18/2014
    The view is lovely especially at sunset. Unfortunately, our waiter mess
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate