The Library Restaurant
401 State Street
Portsmouth, NH 03801Neighborhood:
SteakhousePrice: $31 to $50
The Library Restaurant
- 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: 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
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 photosSee all photos
Awards voted by OpenTable diners
- Diners' Choice WinnerBest Ambiance
- Diners' Choice WinnerNotable Wine List
- Diners' Choice WinnerRomantic
The Library Restaurant - Best Restaurants in Portsmouth ›
The Library Restaurant reviews from OpenTable diners
100 reviews since July 28, 2014
- Ambiance4.5Noise LevelModerate
special occasion (67)romantic (54)fit for foodies (31)neighborhood gem (29)notable wine list (29)good for groups (18)great for lunch (11)great for brunch (5)late-night find (5)vibrant bar scene (5)hot spot (5)scenic view (2)kid-friendly (1)great for outdoor dining (1)Show More
- We loved everything about the Library!EagleDined on 11/15/2014The service was great. Our waitress met all our needs. My husband and I shared the cowboy and it more than enough for the both of us. The ambiance in the room was beautiful. The books along the walls in the bookcases. All the old woodwork was kept as it was when it was built. I fell in love with the bar. I could imagine myself holding family gathering there. You will not be disappointed.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- We should have tried a steak...DerekDined on 11/14/2014We tried earlier in the day to make a reservation and the prior 7 choices were booked. We got seating for prime time here. That does say something in itself. The service was just ok and never was asked how everything was so we could voice the displeasure over the Lobster Pie. It was more like a chicken pot pie with little lobster. It was an awful value. The salmon was good and cooked to perfection but the dish was saltier than normal, especially the potatoes. We never tried the steak so that could have changed our ratings.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- amazing foodjroushVIPDined on 11/14/2014The food and service continue to be second to none.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- DiscovererDiscovererDined on 11/13/2014This restaurant is in an historic home that is wonderful. Along with the menu you are given a complete history of the home. My husband had a steak which he said was one of the best ever and I had Haddock topped with lobster that was so delicious. Very crowded with several large parties of all men, quieter after they left.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Monday night diningLadydiDined on 11/10/2014Not sure if it was because of Restaurant week or not, but, our appetizers and meals were bland. We ordered off regular menu. wedge salad dressing had no taste whatsoever, usually vibrant with gorganzola. New Orleans BBQ shrimp, sauce was weak, watery and not spicy at all. 8oz filet mignon was delicious and haddock stuffed with lobster plentiful. Normally all food would get a 5 star rating, but Monday they were lacking in flavor.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Very nice dinnerQueenofREDined on 11/8/2014We went during restaurant week so the restaurant was packed, but service and good were very good.Special Features:
- Service needs improvement- Food OkMaryDined on 11/8/2014The food was cooked to the appropriate temperature and seasoned well. Service improvement suggestions: Hostess- Don't ignore customers. If you are on the phone, acknowledge customers with a nod. Server- Never leave the table or pass without filling the wine glasses. If the bottle is empty, ask if the customer wants another bottle or something else. It is poor service to pour only the first round of wine and not pay attention to it the rest of the evening. When you set down the dinner plate, put the meat to face customer. If you don't know which side of the plate should face the customer, ask your chef! We were not given the opportunity to order coffee/after dinner drinks. The check was set down before we had a chance to taste our dessert.
- BuffDined on 11/8/2014I was having lunch with friends and their sandwiches were ok. My salad was good. The desserts were the best!Special Features:
- Great food. Not very romantic.JusthefactsDined on 11/7/2014Positives: 1) the food was excellent!; 2) wait-staff was very good; 3) prices are reasonable for the quality. Negatives: 1) arrived 15-miutes early for our 9:00pm reservation booked through OpenTable. We were not seated until after 9:30pm. It felt like we were a simple walk-in placed at the end of the wait list. 2) The noise level in the dining area was very loud. 3) The overhead lighting is extremely bright. Overall, not a very romantic setting for a wedding anniversary dinner. Seems like a much better fit for a group of couples looking for a lively dinner experience. I am not sure if this was an usually energetic Friday evening crowd or if this is the planned atmosphere of the restaurant.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- OpenTable Diner Since 2009Dined on 11/7/2014It was restaurant week, and we were seated two hours past our reservation. The food was good but hostess was rough and waiter was preoccupied,, felt kinda put off although we were there for a special occasion. I am not sure if I would go again?Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Needs workRonCDined on 11/7/2014Went to try here during Restaurant Week when places are on their best behavior and trying to impress you to come back when it is not Restaurant Week. Safe to say if this was their best I don't want to be there for a bad day. Limited room for a review so highlights.. Incorrect bar bill by $70. A reservation that ended up being 45 minutes late. Service that had to have averaged 15 minutes between visits. Meaning a drink order, then the drink served, then flagged down to get bread, before an order taken, never prompted about how things were, appetizer, entree, dessert. On top of that, the "fantastic pastries" turned out to be frozen probably from Sam's Club since the pastry was frozen. Too many other good places to eat to go here again.
- OpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 11/6/2014I'd never bee there before. The ambiance in General was wonderful. I loved the books, the wood, the mirrors, the lighting. Wonderful. The service was very disappointing. I ordered London broil. It came out very rare. When I asked to have it cooked more, the waitress snapped at me that that was their medium rare. Not cool. Then took forever to come and check on us.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- PhenomenalqtIIDined on 11/4/2014AWESOME FOOD, AWESOME LOCATION, AWESOME AMBIANCE. I come here every time I am in the area.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Lukewarm experienceGIgiVIPDined on 11/1/2014In a town filled with pubs, the Library dustinguishes itself with its elegance and beauty. You are mentally prepared for a fine dining experience. However, the Library disappoints. Service was slow even though the room was not full. All food was served lukewarm. No rolls were offered during our long wait for lunch. No bread basket! It is a gracious touch that was missing. Coffee and tea was served in glass cups; a terrible choice as they never hold heat! Tea consisted of lukewarm water with variety of teabags. For what is charged for tea, a pot of steaming water to steep teabag would be more appropriate. Wait staff never checking back to see if meals were hot until too late. A lukewarn experience, like the food.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great food but the Beer was flatSWASR55Dined on 10/27/2014we chose this location for the first time . It was my Wives birthday, The food was good but her fish was a little dry and not enough flavor came from the Lobster Meat in the Stuffing. The Swordfish was spot on , The Tenderloin was perfect and the Rack of Lamb was off the charts. You can see other than the birthday girls dinner it was a huge success and the Prices were reasonable for the quality of the food. It was a Monday night! as well. The wait staff was smiling and attentive. It is a must do on the Portsmouth experience!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- WonderfulkarenDined on 10/27/2014Meet with the girls for lunch and was very impressed. The server also was very helpful when one of us was having difficulty finding the location. Lovely decor!Special Features:
- OpenTable Diner Since 2012Dined on 10/26/2014excellent food and service...great tmosphere...a classic in PortsmouthSpecial Features:
- LetsEatOutDined on 10/25/2014Great spot for special occasions. Celebration was for a 78 yr birthday and the 4 steak-lovers we were in heaven! Ambiance was lively but conversations could still be heard.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Over pricedSeanDined on 10/25/2014The chicken dish I got would be OK at a diner. Certainly not worth the price I paid for it.Special Features:
- Great steaks- Amazing buildingDivinewineDined on 10/24/2014The Library Restaurant was a delight to dine in. The hangar steak special was delicious as were the petite filet and regular filet mignon. The bernaise gorgonzola sauce was very tasty as well. A nice variety of side dishes, nice selection of wines, and dessert was fantastic, as was the service. The history is what makes this place special. Be sure to read about the historical aspects on their website before you go so you can truly enjoy the atmosphere (as well as the food!). Will go again when visiting Portsmouth.Special Features:
- Never a disappointmentRabbitDined on 10/24/2014We came here on out wedding night and have been back a few times since and keep bringing friends. WE LOVE IT. We have been sampling the sides and they are all wonderful.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- good old fashioned steakhousemaudlinbearDined on 10/23/2014I came to the Library because I like to experience an ambience when I dine. I liked the overall idea of the restaurant being a library. I found that there weren't as many books as I had anticipated. It might have been because it was raining, but there was a slight moldy smell. I was expecting a musty old book smell, but it smelled more like wet musty old books. I'm all about the details & I didn't like how there seemed to be some really interesting old books on the shelves next to a trashy Danielle Steele-type romance novel like the books were from random yard sales. The food was delicious yet pricey. Great soup & steak. The service was very good & I liked receiving the check in a book. I would go again if my company was paying for it.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Major disappointmentOpenTable Diner Since 2010Dined on 10/20/2014The best thing about this place is the historic building. It was dusty and the service was lousy. The food is good, but for the price we paid should have been much better. Will never go again. Waited forever for our food and never got our second round of drinks. Our server blamed it on a slow bartender. May once have been a top notch place, but has gone downhill! Too bad.
- Library theme, excellent serviceOpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 10/12/2014Absolutely loved the library themed dining area. The service was excellent, and filet was cooked just right. Perfectly located for a stroll after dinner.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- ValentineMeatDined on 10/11/2014My gf and I sat at a table for two and thuroughly enjoyed ourselves. there was a lot of hustle and bustle going on throughout the dining room, which was a bit distracting, but it did not deter our enjoyment much. We both enjoyed our meals, my girlfriend particularly enjoyed the chicken soup special, and could tell it was home-made and authentic. our steaks and sides were fantastic. bottle of wine, apps, and very decadent dessert made the experience one we will remember.Special Features:
- howardDined on 10/11/2014Best onion soup around. Excellent service. Rib eye was tasty and cooked just right. Wines were a bit pricey. This place has very nice woodwork and the ceiling woodwork is intricate. Great place to go to once in a while. Expect to spend over $100.00 for two people for dinner. Not a big fan of the garlic bread in oil would rather have had good quality rolls with dinner.Special Features:
- Another great dinnerjayaudetDined on 10/8/2014Except for the service, our dinner at the Library Restaurant was excellent. Food was awesome. Service was a bit slow. My soup order was clearly forgotten and we were disappointed that most of our meal had to be eaten without a replenished drink. First time in many visits that we were unhappy with the service; we can only wish that it will be the last time.Special Features:
- OpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 10/5/2014I was disappointed after I arrived at 1:00pm to be told the restaurant was only serving brunch on sunday. I did not see it anywhere on the website that on Sundays they did not serve lunch. It actually states 7 days a week serving all menus etc. I requested a steak salad and was told the chef was too busy to make it. However on the brunch menu it did offer steak and salad on separate sections. My table was confused with the denial of the request. We ordered and waited one hour for our meal to be served. It was not worth the wait.
- Birthday dinnerBco75Dined on 10/4/2014Best steak ever first time eating a Japaness steak the Kobe was out of this world perfect for a 50th B-day thanks to the woman of my life it was heavenly...!!!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- CrunchCrunchDined on 10/4/2014Great food, a bit pricy, wonderful service. We have been to The Library about 10 times when we travel to Portsmouth, and the food is always worth the price!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- A must!SongbirdDined on 10/3/2014What a treat! The food was excellent! If you're in the Portsmouth area and looking for ambiance and great food this place is a must!Special Features:
- OpenTable Diner Since 2012Dined on 10/3/2014Nice Restaurant with funny facility, the name says it all............... Have never seen so large Shrimpe had in my Shrimp Cocktail, sensationall. Nice Service, thank you very much. Was in the beginning something very loud, noise there's a grpoup there was celebrated the birthday, we have therefore also maintain a bit louder (you had to wait, hehehe.) Be our next visit in New Castle sure to check back here.Special Features:
- Great concept- food & service lackOpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 10/3/2014The atmosphere was pretty good. Way too bright for me, especially at dinner. We were seated by the server station and could hear everything going on in the kitchen and everything that the servers were talking about, even the guests at their tables. Completely inappropriate. We had the Crab Cake app to start. It had a very unusual taste to it, however it was loaded with crab. The sauces that were served with it were terrible. Just a bad pairing. I had the Haddock with lobster stuffing. The fish was bland and the stuffing was even worse. My date had a filet, 8oz. This was alone $28. All sides were a la carte. At an additional $8 and $9 each... The service was slow and intermittent. It took over 20 minutes to get my glass of wine.Special Features:
- Just wonderful!Worth the money!OpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 10/3/2014I made a reservation on line after seeing the restaurant on the Portsmouth, NH sites. All the reviews looked good and we wanted to have a really good steak. It was all we expected, service was good, food was excellent and it was worth the wait. Found that there was a large party using the room to the side of us and they were very loud. Skipped dessert but will go back when in town again.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Elegant diningWillDined on 9/29/2014The Library is located in an historic building. It is elegantly furnished, with a library motif. Service is good, but not fawning, and the meals we had (New Zealand lamb chops and lobster pie) were excellent.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- The LibraryNightoutDined on 9/29/2014The atmosphere was outstanding only to be outshown by the food. For us it was a special occasion however we are already planning to return.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Only one choiceAnnieDined on 9/28/2014Because I was entering the hospital on Monday, my husband offered to take me to any restaurant of my choice in the Portsmouth area. Although I've eaten in many in and around Portsmouth, this was a no-brainer for me. I love The Library for it's ambiance, food and well preserved atmosphere. The place is a feast for the eyes as well as the palate, and I love a quiet restaurant. Where anybody got the idea that lots of loud noise was wonderful during a meal, needs his/her head examined. The Library is aptly named for it's quiet dignity.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Still a Family Favorite!!MaysieDined on 9/27/2014The Library does it right! Easy, comfortable environment. Pleasant, helpful staff. Excellent food! This time I had the 8 oz Filet & my husband had the rack of lamb. He was still talking about it the next day with our Family!!!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- great ambianceOpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 9/27/2014we loved your restaurant it was very nice with a great dining experience. the food was excellent and the service was great. a little pricey, but had a very nice experience non the less.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- very nice dinnerfrye159Dined on 9/18/2014Lovely atmosphere, great food, would definitely recommend! Rack of lamb was delicious as were the salads, sides and dessert. Very ccomodating staff...Special Features: