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The Library Restaurant
The Library Restaurant

The Library Restaurant Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.libraryrestaurant.com
  • Phone: (603) 431-5202
  • Hours of Operation: Lunch: Monday - Saturday: 11:30am - 3:00pm; Dinner: Sunday - Thursday: 5:00pm - 9:30pm, Friday & Saturday: 5:00pm - 10:00pm; Brunch: Sunday: 11:30am - 3:00pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
  • Cuisine: Steakhouse, Continental
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Fireplace, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Private Room, Wine

Getting there

  • Parking: Street Parking
A word from The Library Restaurant
Join us for traditional New England fare, while surrounded by architectural treasures of an era gone by. The Library is prestigious while reasonably priced, with something for everyone through all seasons. It is the perfect setting for a business luncheon or dinner. You can also enjoy lighter fare or a friendly cocktail in our lounge. Our dining and board rooms are always available for private functions.Continued
Foodspotting photos
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Ambiance
  • Diners' Choice WinnerNotable Wine List
  • Diners' Choice WinnerRomantic
Diner Reviews
  • "Excellent food with solid service...unique interior...was a bit noisy especially considering the style of restaurant but nothing overpowering. Would recommend."
    Dined on 8/20/2014
  • "This is now our third time eating at The Library in the last month (1 dinner and 2 lunches), as we passed through Portsmouth to take our daughter to camp. This last time the waitress remembered us from our first visit and why we were passing through and asked how our daughter liked camp. The food is very good and there is something for everyone. One of our new favorites... Our daughter loves that see can pull a book off the shelf and read a little before her food comes!"
    Dined on 8/16/2014
  • "I was never more disappointed in a restaurant which had such high reviews. My wife and I both had steaks that were over cooked and had a strange texture which they wouldn't know since they didn't ask. Our table was in the center of the restaurant and the servers ran into one of our chairs at ten times each. It appeared that their main objective was to turn each table. We bought a bottle of wine which I poured. We couldn't leave fast enough."
    Dined on 8/15/2014
  • "No substitutions allowed on menu, even with food allergies. Food came so quickly that it had to be "pre-cooked" ahead of time. Sat us next to a open window which had a fly in it. Definitely too expensive for what you get. Really a shame, because the place is unique and we wish it would have been a keeper for us. Our waitress was very nice though. This was an anniversary dinner for us too, so that adds to the total disappointment. We won't be going again. You only get one chance for a first impression."
    Dined on 8/15/2014
  • "This was my first experience at The Library. Outstanding location and ambiance. If my travels bring me back to the Portsmouth area, I will definitely come again!"
    Dined on 8/14/2014
  • "As always, a perfect meal. The steaks are our favorite with the lobster mac and cheese. The Bang Bang shrimp are to die for! Whenever we want to go out for a nice, fancy meal, The Library is our choice."
    Dined on 8/9/2014
  • "The food was great and the lobster pot pie was amazing. Service was second to none."
    Dined on 8/9/2014
  • "The atmosphere was very nice and the service was very good as well. This place losses point because my dates Hadock was undercooked. When I got home talked to some friends who had the same issue on the same dish. Definitely will give it another shot but for the price things like that should be automatic"
    Dined on 8/8/2014
  • "We got our usual. Filet au poivre, crab cake app and au gratin potatoes. Steak was tasty but a bit tough this time and one was overdone a bit. Potatoes are to die for as was the crab cake. Wine was a little pricier than I remember (only 1 choice by the glass for Malbec or Reisling). Still a great value for money for an 8 oz filet. We will continue to spend Saturday nights here regularly."
    Dined on 8/2/2014
  • "The Library is a phenomenal spot for dinner. The architecture is amazing, the waitstaff is professional and perfectly paced and the food was over the moon great! I would eat here every night if I could - oh wait, maybe I can...the do have condos in the building!"
    Dined on 8/1/2014
  • "This was our first time at the Library, and we loved it! Our server was really nice and checked in often enough that we got what we needed but not so frequently that it was too much. Most entrées are listed "to order", which is a relief to those of us that may require modifications but don't want to be a burden or offend the chef. All around, great ambiance and delicious food. Definitely made our list of restaurants to go back for special occasions!"
    Dined on 7/31/2014
  • "While the place was impeccable and the staff was excellent - the food was not as good as I thought it would be. I had the Filet Mignon-it was tough and not cooked to my specifications. I definitely would not only not recommend this restaurant, but would not visit this restaurant again. Thank you."
    Dined on 7/29/2014
  • "Filets, Lamb, all veggies were fantastic. This was the best piece of swordfish I have ever eaten! A very special restaurant to celebrate my brother /sister-in-law, 45th Wedding Anniversary."
    Dined on 7/27/2014
  • "If you're in the mood for an outstanding Steakhouse experience on the Seacoast, you can't go wrong with The Library. High quality cuts of beef, brilliantly prepared. Sides are large and reasonably priced, salads very good. Wine list good sized with price points for all budgets. We will be back"
    Dined on 7/25/2014
  • "Have never had a bad meal here. My husband travels a lot for work and says his steak at The Library was the best ever. Even better than very high end steakhouses."
    Dined on 7/25/2014
  • "We were traveling and had planned to eat when we got to our final destination, but after issues with traffic and problems with rental car, we decided we would not be able to get there before everything closed. So we "Open Tabled" and found The Library and thought it sounded like a neat place, especially for our bookish 9 year old. The atmosphere was excellent, the wait staff was wonderful, and the food was incredible. Our daughter now wants to stop there whenever we are passing in the area. Thanks!"
    Dined on 7/19/2014
  • "We celebrated our 34th anniversary. The food and service was outstanding. The dividers with books in them makes your table feel private. The ambience is excellent. I wish this restaurant was local to our home."
    Dined on 7/19/2014
  • "Coming from Maine, The Library is one of our favorite destination restaurants because of the pleasing ambiance, delicious food and convenient location to meet up with our NH and MA relatives and friends. The haddock, shrimp scampi and grilled salmon were delicious. Loved the zucchini slaw. Very nice lemon cake and cheese cake but the peanut butter pie produced raves. Our server was appropriately sensitive to our wishes and very pleasant. A very enjoyable experience and we look forward to returning many times."
    Dined on 7/7/2014
  • "We went to the Library Restaurant to celebrate my daughters birthday. We have been before and enjoyed it very much. This time was quite different. The quality of the wait staff was deplorable. There was no sense of timing for appetizers, drinks, and main course. We ordered a bottle of wine and the waitress did not know how to serve it. I don't need to see the cork and I have never sent a bottle back but there is a minimal level of service when ordering a $50 bottle. The steaks were good but not great. Lastly, somebody decided not to use the A/C and instead rely on mother nature. Big mistake. It was 80+ deg out and while the breeze was pleasant, it did not cool the dining room sufficiently to enjoy our meal."
    Dined on 7/6/2014
  • "Steaks are not worth the price. Wife had port house and I had rib eye, not much flavor. I am from NY and these steaks are no better than Outback. Crab cake appetizer was actually pretty good that was the highlight to be honest. Much better restaurants in town and much cheaper as well."
    Dined on 7/5/2014
  • "Everything was excellent from start to finish. I'll be back."
    Dined on 7/5/2014
  • "This is a wonderful restaurant. Located in an old library, you are surrounded by bookshelves, packed with old books. The food was amazing and with good sized portions. Large wine list and the service was spectacular!!! Definitely NOT a place for kids. It has a quiet library atmosphere, which is great for quiet romantic conversation. It is a higher priced experience, but well worth the money. Definitely going back!!"
    Dined on 7/3/2014
  • "We dine at the Library on special occasions every year, and always have a wonderful time. Service is always excellent, food is prepared the way we like it, and always served HOT. We really need to go there more often !!"
    Dined on 7/1/2014
  • "Convenient to get to, great food and service, loved the historic ambiance."
    Dined on 6/29/2014
  • "We eat in the Portsmouth area all the time but have somehow managed to miss this restaurant until now. Thank God we finally ate here! My steak was excellent, perfectly cooked with the aupovie sauce off to the side. We had the seafood tower as an appetizer, all the components were very good with a nice selection of sauces. My wife's dish (haddock stuffed with lobster) was also excellent and the peanut butter pie for desert was fluffy and light but so tasty. Given the good drinks and extensive cocktail menu we will definitely be back."
    Dined on 6/28/2014
  • "I ate here on two previous business trips. I've been anxious to bring my wife here for dinner. We decided to take a trip to celebrate our 29th weeding anniversary and I brought here. She loved it!!!! We shared a wedge salad and a steak along with asparagus and pataoes au gratin. I had a hot and dirty martini and she had a glass of red wine. We cant wait to go back!"
    Dined on 6/27/2014
  • "Best steakhouse we have been to. The atmosphere,service and food were outstanding."
    Dined on 6/25/2014
  • "The food was average. If you think this is a good place to eat you have been misled. There were approximately 8 people in the restaurant and with the quality of service you would have thought it was crowded. To have such terrible service and have to wait forever to be served you would think the food would at least be good. The food was not good at all. We actually ate half and left. I would never eat here again or recommend it. Totally disappointed."
    Dined on 6/24/2014
  • "There are about 301 restaurants in the area and I recommend this be one of the 301 you must try. My girlfriend and I were greeted right away and brought to a table in the center of the room with the bookcases surrounding it makes for a unique seclusion of tables. The food was great we enjoyed brie with an amazing raspberry spread atop. For the main course I had a filet mignon which I believed to come with sides for the price which I requested two, asparagus and lobster mac and cheese, upon arrival I realized that they were a large portion and an extra cost. Her dish of lobster stuffed haddock was slightly dry but still delicious and came with a couple sides. In all we loved the restaurant and recommend you check this one out."
    Dined on 6/21/2014
  • "Always love this place. the food would have received a 5 star rating except all three of our steaks were a little overcooked. Usually medium comes out nice and pink throughout with a touch of red in the center. This time they were all brown with some pink in the center. Otherwise the crab cake appetizer and sides were all wonderful. We always love the au gratin potatoes."
    Dined on 6/21/2014
  • "The library has wonderful classic dinners- great steaks and rack of lamb as well as fish and seafood. Also on the menu are classic side dishes like creamed spinach, scalloped potatoes and the best baked sweet potato anywhere! The apps are also great - bam bam shrimp, crab cakes and shrimp cocktail are all fine choices! Salads are traditional and delicious. Don't forget to get the outrageous onion rings!!"
    Dined on 6/19/2014
  • "one of nicest restaurants north of Boston. well worth the drive. food excellent. service wonderful! the setting tasteful but not stuffy."
    Dined on 6/15/2014
  • "Haddock was bland. Everything else was 5 stars..........................................................."
    Dined on 6/14/2014
  • "Meilleur steak a l'est de l'amerique, un surlonge a couper a la fourchette et en prime une super sympathique serveuse parlant un Français impeccable et quel ambiance romantique et chaleureuse dans un decor fin siecle dernier. Avons vraiment tres hate d'y retourner l'an prochain."
    Dined on 6/11/2014
  • "The food and drinks were delicious, we will definitely return. "
    Dined on 6/7/2014
  • " The bread did not come out as promised, and then came practically with the bread. Meals were very late and the potatoes and veggies were cold. Food was tasty, but by the time we got it, we were frustrated. Did not make for a relaxing meal. "
    Dined on 5/31/2014
  • "Best food I have had in a long time! Would recommend this to anyone planning on visiting Portsmouth! "
    Dined on 5/31/2014
  • "We stopped in here for dinner one night on our way home after a fun day of outlet shopping in Maine. I happened to see this place on Yelp and OpenTable searches and decided to give it a whirl. The exterior of the place was grand so we had high expectations. However, the place was quiet inside and the hostess wasn't that friendly. When seated, it took a long time before our server actually stopped by. We all ordered steaks but that was also lacking in flavor and overall tenderness (filets shouldn't be hard to cut with a steak knife!). I don't know what the locals think of this place but we'll try another place next time."
    Dined on 5/26/2014
  • "Dinner was great, food and wine were exceptional, server had a severe case of butterfingers and dropped our take-home food on the table, my pant leg, foot and the floor. I asked that the dish for take-home be redone and was told it would be... It wasn't. Then when I presented my $100.00 Open Table dining check along with my credit card I was told they no longer honor OpenTable checks, even though I booked my reservation through OpenTable. So, diners beware, the open table check you hold may not be worth the paper it is printed on!"
    Dined on 5/24/2014
  • "My favorite restaurant. A lot of history; great food (Kobe burger) and service, great atmosphere."
    Dined on 5/23/2014