The Library is a paradox: it has a bustling bar scene but is so quiet and conducive to quiet chats - so rare in the city. Excellent service, too.
5/2/2013 4:00:00 PM
A Hidden Gem
The Library is convenient for theatre-goers attending shows at the Public, or elsewhere on the Lower East Side. The food is delicious, and the ambiance is enjoyable. It's one of my new favorite restaurants.
5/4/2013 4:00:00 PM
What a pleasant surprise to have such a nice meal before our show at the Public. The atmosphere is quiet and relaxed which was a nice change from so many places these days. The food was quite good although there menu is somewhat limited. The service was a bit slow and disorganized though.
5/10/2013 4:00:00 PM
You may need to ask for directions once inside The Public Theatre, but once you arrive, you are in a lovely, clubby restaurant with a vibrant bar scene. The calamari with shishito peppers and the shrimp tacos are consistently wonderful. The spring pea soup was delicious as were the very plump mussels. The only problem is that the bar is overwhelmed and drink service can take a little bit of time. They are very good at timing service if you have a curtain time.
5/13/2013 4:00:00 PM
Enjoyed drinks and appetizer before the theatre and really enjoyed the experience
5/16/2013 4:00:00 PM
Though this is inside The
Though this is inside The Public Theater and is packed per and post shows it is a great place in between as the food is great and service tops. With late hours for food and drinks it should be frequented often
5/20/2013 4:00:00 PM
Special occasion success
I had dinner with my family to celebrate a graduation and was impressed with staff's flexibility in scheduling and accommodating for wheelchair access. The ambiance was just lovely and the service was attentive and friendly. Great food and overall dining experience. Highly recommend.
5/21/2013 4:00:00 PM
A cozy, intimate feel predominates
A cozy, intimate feel predominates in this venue. Very romantic and enjoyable.
5/23/2013 4:00:00 PM
What a great find! The ambience is beautiful and the lighting is intimate. It is located upstairs at the Astor, the entrance is a bit sterile as you walk past the box office. But once you are upstairs you are transported into a warm cozy room. There were three of us and we shared a few dishes. We had: ricotta bruschetta, arugula salad, seafood salad, the ribs and the flat iron steak. The flat iron steak was so good that when we were asked what we wanted for dessert, we all agreed to get another steak to share! Everything was OUTSTANDING and we are tough critics. Andrew Carmellini and Michael Oliver score a home run here.
5/24/2013 12:00:00 AM
Pre- and post-theatre hangout
This is ideal if you're seeing a show at the Public, or frankly, anywhere in the East Village.
It's a modest, limited menu, well-priced and offers timely service. Its dark wood, low ceilinged, dimly lit interior is a faux-library setting. But I was surprised that a dinner of 2 appetizers and 2 sandwichy entrees, 2 glasses of wine cost $125 plus tip.
The show we saw cost only $15/ticket.
5/29/2013 12:00:00 AM
Best Calamari ever.....tender
Best Calamari ever.....tender and chipotle dipping sauce.....we kept for later to have with out fabulous pulled pork slider and great burger. Next time will try the more serious dishes. Beer selection was over the top. IPA was great.
6/16/2013 12:00:00 AM
Theater and Dinner Gem
Attended a performance at the Public Theater and then just walked up the stairs to an upscale, but not expensive, restaurant. It was SO convenient! I had made a reservation and we were seated immediately. Service was prompt and very attentive. My husband wears hearing aids and often cannot hear table conversation in crowded restaurants. While it was busy, he could hear our two other dinner guests. I will definitely eat at this restaurant again.
6/22/2013 12:00:00 AM
We shared a bunch of appetizers before a show at The Public and everything was delicious!
6/23/2013 12:00:00 AM
Attentive staff, particularly invested in ensuring we had a lovely date experience!
6/28/2013 4:00:00 PM
Nice find. Great for pre theater drinks. Drinks were inventive and tasted good.
6/28/2013 4:00:00 PM
Post theater perfect
Solid menu -- the usual suspects plus a few ambitious options -- and good wine selections. Perfect post theater. Very good choice if you're just in the neighborhood. Overall: a wonderful experience, moderately expensive.
6/28/2013 4:00:00 PM
Perfect pre-or-post Public
Hip but pretention-free, the Library has a casual chic that incorporates the Public's illustrious history with its downtown roots. Signature cocktails and comfort-food-based menu stay in the medium price sweet spot. Some of the best fries this side of the Seine. It's all tasty and fun -- although the burger buns need to be re-thought. Great big Wonder Bread-like mini-loaves instead of dark and juice-absorbing buns you might actually want to eat. It's a rare lapse at a place where so many of the details are exactly right.
7/6/2013 12:00:00 AM
Gem inside a gem
The Public Theater is officially a cultural center with the addition of an inviting eating/drinking spot above the lobby. With a great selection of small plates and cocktails and a luxurious bar, it's a no-brainer for after-theater snacking while you debate the show's merits. But be careful--you might be sitting next to the cast! Very good hamburger, spare ribs, and some veg options. Personally, I like the clubby "hideaway" feel, though you might find it a bit..."library-like."
7/7/2013 12:00:00 AM
The food is DELICIOUSSSSSS.
The food is DELICIOUSSSSSS. The first time I came here was on my birthday, and I was very happy with my choice. Decided to come back, this time for a date. I love the ambiance here. And the service is great.
7/13/2013 12:00:00 AM
Lovely restaurant, but too
Lovely restaurant, but too dark to even see what you're eating.
7/19/2013 12:00:00 AM
Intimate Library Experience
Loved the decor but could use a bit more light. We all had great burgers and opted for salads in place of fries. Only drawback was limited menu. We will return.
7/20/2013 12:00:00 AM
If you attend any performance at the Public Theater, this is a perfect dinner spot. Food was delicious, service efficient and friendly,ambiance calm, and you can't beat the location.,
7/24/2013 12:00:00 AM
Awesome meal after a fantastic show
We went to the Library after seeing the closing night of "Here Lies Love"!! What a great show, followed by a great meal! The beet salad and the hamburgers were standouts and were amazing! Would highly recommend coming to the Library for dinner - even if you aren't at the Public for a show!
7/28/2013 12:00:00 AM
We met up with friends before
We met up with friends before a show at Joe's Pub. Both Joe's Pub and the Library are located within the Public Theatre so it was very convienent for the night. However the place could stand on it's own and would be a good place to eat at any time. Excellent food and extremely attentive wait staff.
7/30/2013 12:00:00 AM
Cocktails come first at the Library
The Library provides better-than-average fare for a theater restaurant and cocktails that are very good by any measure. After several visits, we've found that the food is consistently well-prepared, and while the menu seems quite static, it hits a variety of themes within contemporary American cuisine. The Library is an easy-to-recommend spot for anyone needing a bite to eat before a show at The Public and for anyone craving a good Manhattan and fine ambiance.
8/2/2013 12:00:00 AM
The menu is organized as three "acts," basically hors d'oeuvres, a light main course, and a more hearty main course. As a vegetarian, I appreciated that here are several meatless dishes in each section, although I was going to the theater afterwards and opted for a two act experience. The amount of wine in one glass was unusually generous. After the play, my companion and I went back for dessert and an after-dinner drink. All together a very pleasant prelude and postlude to an evening at The Public.
8/7/2013 12:00:00 AM
At the Public
Good food, quiet ambience and good service for both pre and after theatre dining
8/21/2013 12:00:00 AM
Great Spot at the Public
Perfect pre-and post-performances at the Public. Food was very good and service was excellent. Although the Library was filled and there were several large groups near us, the sound levels were never too much. Good drinks and obviously convenient. Would return anytime we attend the Public.
9/24/2013 5:00:00 PM
Spent a wonderful evening at the Public. Amazing show, followed by dinner at The Library. Everything was wonderful. Delicious food. Amazing wine and great service. Highly recommend.
9/26/2013 12:00:00 AM
The Public's Library
The restaurant is truly excellent. Dine there even if you're not going to a show.
10/1/2013 12:00:00 AM
Perfect post show meal
We went after a show at the Public. Food was great and the restaurant was packed! it was nice not to feel like we were the last people eating dinner. Every dish was first rate, and good wine by the glass. We'll go back for sure
10/9/2013 5:00:00 PM
Perfect Public Theater restaurant
Solid carmellini restaurant
Great choice especially if you're going to The Public
10/10/2013 12:00:00 AM
Like an oasis, you are surprised to come upon this gorgeous room after walking through the bright sterile theater lobby. The Library is quiet and comfortable. The food is quirky and borrows from many different cultures. But it manages to be inventive rather than pretentious, and the quality was exceptional.
10/19/2013 12:00:00 AM
Great Place To Dine Before The Show
We had tickets for a performance at the Public and this turned out to be the perfect place for dinner. Nice atmosphere, unusual menu with delicious food, and a very charming and efficient waitress. Liked it very much.
10/20/2013 12:00:00 AM
libations at the Library
Have eaten there before. Nice setting food good overall. Nice wine list. The appetizers were very good. Lamb chops were tasty but too fatty for my taste. Dessert for delicious and easily large enough for two since we shared it.
10/25/2013 12:00:00 AM
food very good; wines seriously
food very good; wines seriously overpriced. Late night post-theater crowd, on our evening most were standing by the bar, creates a very noisy environment. Pre-theater supper crowd is quieter, and the staff does a great job of serving the food in time to enjoy and make the operning curtain.
10/27/2013 12:00:00 AM
Going to a play at the Public? Here's a no-brainer. The Library is so welcome for that purpose, and better than it needs to be for its captive audience. Menu isn't large but all that I've tasted is good, especially the burger and some of the sides. And the atmosphere is clubby and cozy. We'll be back--though probably only on show nights. The staff is a delight, btw.
11/1/2013 12:00:00 AM
Great atmosphere, good food
The Library at The Public was great! The decor is beautiful and ambiance welcoming. It's inside the old Astor Theater so it has an old time feel. The food was delicious - I especially recommend the branzino and the charred octopus. I went with wine but they also looked like they had some interesting cocktails on their menu. Will definitely stop by again!
11/1/2013 12:00:00 AM
pre-or-post-theater, great spot
Tucked away above the The Public Theater's many venues is a quiet spot for a bite. Menu is not very extensive, but they do the selections they do have quite well. Often the actors can be seen coming in for a meal post performance.
11/1/2013 5:00:00 PM
Perfect for post-theater
Lovely space, decent but not amazing food. Suspect it will continue to improve.
11/2/2013 5:00:00 PM
Perfect Pre-theater at the Public
It is so great to have this restaurant for pre-theater. The food and service is very good, and the atmosphere is vibrant. Going there
eliminates the rush from a restaurant elsewhere to the theater. Really appreciate having this option.
11/10/2013 4:00:00 PM
Dinner Theatre in New York
There's one reason to choose the Library and it's a good one: You've got tickets to the Public. It is closer than any other; the waitstaff understands you have a curtain, the food and drinks are consistently and surprisingly good and you won't break the bank. Pre-show dinner is a curious but necessary niche and otherwise perfectly fine restaurants easily get it wrong. You want a certain amount of flash and luxe--those tickets weren't cheap!--but this is probably not the time for adventurous dining. Comfort food and speedy service are what's needed, and there was a time, long ago, when Lady Astor's filled the bill. Now there's this. If you're seeing a show, why would you ever eat anywhere else? And if not, you won't go & won't miss it.
11/12/2013 4:00:00 PM
Food was excellent. I liked
Food was excellent. I liked being surrounded by books! The service was OK, but the noise level was way too high.
11/12/2013 4:00:00 PM
Just the best atmosphere ever.
Just the best atmosphere ever. Manages to feel vibrant while keeping the noise level reasonable. Nice range of menu options, too.
11/13/2013 4:00:00 PM
new neighborhood gem
The Library within The Public Theater is a new option for those in desperate need of an adult place to go for dinner or a drink. Nestled in the refurbished Public Theater, it's quiet, tables are spaced generously, the noise level is non-existent, the ambiance and decor are comforting, and the service is attentive and cheerful. The food and wine is very good and not exorbitantly priced.
11/15/2013 4:00:00 PM
perfect for the occasion
It was terrific to be able to get a good meal, served by an efficient and friendly staff, without rushing yet getting to the curtain on time.
11/16/2013 4:00:00 PM
you can't read at the library
wonderful for theater dining...so convenient and congenial. cozy & trendy at the same time
11/17/2013 4:00:00 PM
Loved the library, great after-show
We had a great after-show dinner at the library. The room was full of energy and fun, food amazing and a great helpful waitstaff!
11/21/2013 4:00:00 PM
Great pre-theater spot
If you're going to the Public, this is a terrific spot, and not just because of the ease of it all. Our food was quite good (don't pass up the pickle plate), and I really enjoyed the ambience and decor. Had heard complaints of noisiness but it was not an issue at all. Very interesting cocktail list too.
11/29/2013 4:00:00 PM
Delicious and convenient
We arrived late and were so pleased the restaurant had held out table. The service was excellent and they got us out in less than hour, in time for the show. Food was delicious too!
12/5/2013 4:00:00 PM