The Library Restaurant
The Library Restaurant

The Library Restaurant

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.libraryrestaurant.com/
  • Phone: 6034315202
  • 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: Continental, Steakhouse
  • 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.
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Ambiance
  • Diners' Choice WinnerNotable Wine List
  • Diners' Choice WinnerRomantic
The Library Restaurant reviews from OpenTable diners
88 reviews since May 27, 2014
Overall Rating4.3
  • Food4.3
    Service4.3
  • Ambiance4.4
    Noise LevelModerate
88% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
special occasion (62)romantic (50)notable wine list (27)fit for foodies (26)neighborhood gem (24)good for groups (20)great for lunch (9)great for brunch (7)late-night find (5)hot spot (3)vibrant bar scene (2)kid-friendly (2)scenic view (2)great for outdoor dining (1)Show More
  • very nice dinner
    frye159
    Dined on 9/18/2014
    Lovely atmosphere, great food, would definitely recommend! Rack of lamb was delicious as were the salads, sides and dessert. Very ccomodating staff...
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Awesoe place for lunch or dinner!
    kiki
    Dined on 9/13/2014
    First time eating there, but definitely not the last. The food was very well prepared and was very tasty. The wait staff were professional and yet friendly. Serene atmosphere was appreciated by everyone in our party. Best in town for sure!
    Special Features:
    great for lunch, hot spot, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 9/6/2014
    Enjoyed the food and drink. We did have a waitress who was training another so the service was a little slow at times, but overall we enjoyed the experience.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Libraries are not just for readinng
    tunafinatic
    Dined on 9/6/2014
    Other than a slightly mommicked (NC SLANG FOR CONFUSED) receptionist the experience was fine. We had never eaten here before altho nesrby. Extravagant wine list: 9 out of 10 Soup: Sausage and Tuscan Bean. 8 out of 10 Salads: 9 out of 10 Filet hers: excellent, medium rare ordered medium rare received 9 out of 10 Ahi: on the button 10 out of 10 Overall: 8.99999 out of 10....OK 9 out of 10
    Special Features:
    late-night find, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Anniversary dinner
    JJ090614
    Dined on 9/6/2014
    We came here for our anniversary and were very happy with our experience. The service was great and the food was amazing.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, great for lunch, late-night find, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good but not great
    FrankieandPaulie
    Dined on 9/5/2014
    Given the venue and the location this should have been better than it was. I was expecting more, much more in terms of food quality....and it was not bad, its just that for the price and the room and the location it should have been much better.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Nice dinner
    SOT1
    Dined on 9/3/2014
    The staff was supurb meal was good. Choose the Ribeye over the Porterhouse.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Service, average food
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 8/24/2014
    The Wine list was amazing, our server was fantastic, the food was no better than average. Steak was VERY over cooked, bake stuffed haddock and Lobster were very dry, grilled Salmon was dry and flavorless. I would go again merely for the neat atmosphere and the wine list- but not for a meal.
    Special Features:
    notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Dependably great experience
    Wesley
    Dined on 8/23/2014
    The Library is our "go to" place for a reliably terrific dinner. The room is beautiful in an Old World way, filled with dark woodwork and books. The potstickers, tenderloins, au gratin potatoes, and sautéed mushrooms were perfect. We split a piece of bourbon pecan pie which was quite good -- not overly sweet so you could really taste the nuts. Lovely service from Hannah. Highly recommended.
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Another stellar dining experience
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007VIP
    Dined on 8/23/2014
    We always comment on the consistency at the Library but they even out did their usual. The steaks were cooked to perfection and our waiter didn't mind asking for Med / med rare which gave us perfectly pink and juicy steaks. All was 5 star.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Parking Issue
    Ricketts
    Dined on 8/22/2014
    Overall a pleasant experince...except for parking. Findind a parking space on a Friday night was so difficult we almost just gave up and drove off.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Always amazing....
    portsmouth28
    Dined on 8/22/2014
    We have always had wonderful meals at The Library. The steaks, the sides, and all the sauces are delicious. The Sunday breakfast/brunch is well worth the two hour drive (and the Bloody Mary's are great too)!
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • lovedinerII
    lovedinerII
    Dined on 8/22/2014
    Nice ambience, food okay, service very good ... pricey food fair and pedestrian dessert listing.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, late-night find, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Outstanding
    jkling5
    Dined on 8/21/2014
    We hit the Library at least once a year and have never been disappointed. The steaks are awesome and so is their other selections. The only problem is we are always too full for desert. If you like steak and seafood then the library is where to go.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Very good!
    Luv2dine
    Dined on 8/20/2014
    Excellent food with solid service...unique interior...was a bit noisy especially considering the style of restaurant but nothing overpowering. Would recommend.
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Another notable meal
    Eatsoutalot
    Dined on 8/16/2014
    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!
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2007VIP
    Dined on 8/15/2014
    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.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Too expensive for what yout get
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    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.
    Special Features:
    notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 8/14/2014
    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!
    Special Features:
    scenic view, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Food!
    JeffB
    Dined on 8/9/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • outstanding
    jroushVIP
    Dined on 8/9/2014
    The food was great and the lobster pot pie was amazing. Service was second to none.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, late-night find, scenic view, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Nice place to talk
    mseelig
    Dined on 8/8/2014
    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
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Always a good bet
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007VIP
    Dined on 8/2/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Eating in the Library
    majorettefoodieVIP
    Dined on 8/1/2014
    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!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, late-night find, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Perfect 10!
    NHVacation
    Dined on 7/31/2014
    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!
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • The Library
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007
    Dined on 7/29/2014
    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.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • Lick the plate clean!
    NancyH
    Dined on 7/27/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Best steak in Portsmouth
    beorn
    Dined on 7/25/2014
    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
    Special Features:
    good for groups, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Always A Great Place To Go
    Momof3
    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.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Wonderful last minute find
    Eatsoutalot
    Dined on 7/19/2014
    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!
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, fit for foodies, romantic, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Excellent
    FineFoodLovers
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Birthday Luncheon
    cook2gardener
    Dined on 7/7/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Did not meet expectation
    boatdiner
    Dined on 7/6/2014
    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.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Not what it's cracked up to be
    Saucey4321
    Dined on 7/5/2014
    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.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Excellent
    DanL
    Dined on 7/5/2014
    Everything was excellent from start to finish. I'll be back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Special Occasion
    ltbphotos
    Dined on 7/3/2014
    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!!
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Consistently Outstanding
    Dick
    Dined on 7/1/2014
    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 !!
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Fun4all
    Dined on 6/29/2014
    Convenient to get to, great food and service, loved the historic ambiance.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Excellent food drinks & reasonable
    basildaveVIP
    Dined on 6/28/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • excellant restaurant
    Tileman
    Dined on 6/27/2014
    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!
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.