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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
  • "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
  • "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
  • "Excellent service, spacious dining room with warm atmosphere and historic appeal. Fresh, flavorful meal. Enjoyed a great lunch with friends."
    Dined on 5/23/2014
  • "Good food, good service, nice ambiance. I received two email notifications of my reservation, but I thought the call on the day to confirm I planned to be there for the reservation was overkill. I find it interesting that the menu was so similar to the one at O's in Lakeport, NH. "
    Dined on 5/20/2014
  • "Was told this was the place to go when in the area. While this historic place is beautiful from the carved panneling to the textured ceilings and bring surrounded by books it really isn't anything special. I will say the steaks were clean tasting and decent quality the sides, apps & dessert were just average. Being a foodie my husband and I were slightly dissapointed, especially given prices of items. I will say the service was very good/attentive. The ambience was nice too. Glad we tried it but would not rush back. "
    Dined on 5/16/2014
  • "We were there for a college grad dinner 5/16/14 (5 of us). Pros: Ambience, beautiful building, very good service.. Cons: Food and pricing. (bill was close to $400.00) 2 soups 5 dinners 1 bottle of wine (50.00) no other drinks. no desserts 4 coffees (one with Baileys) 1 steak served cold, the other prime looked like a large breakfast steak (about 1/2" in thickness) 2 roasted chicken dinners (sorry to say but I make a much better roasted chicken) 1 lamb- no complaints 3 sides were all good. For the cost I expected much better. "
    Dined on 5/16/2014
  • "Was the best choice to celebrate my wife recieving her Masters Degree earlier that afternoon. Dinner was the perfect ending of a special day. She continued to rave through the next day about dinner the previous night!"
    Dined on 5/15/2014
  • "I ordered the Ribeye entrée. It was as tough a piece of beef that I've had in a long time. Our guest and I would have been much happier with the other steak on the menu. It was prepared fine. The rest of the meal was fine, but the steak was a disappointment. The Library has always been our choice for special occasions. We will definitely be back."
    Dined on 5/12/2014
  • "This was my first time dining here. I took my aunt here for Mother's Day dinner. The food was excellent! I'm from Portsmouth to begin with. Back in the day when I lived here, this building was the Rockingham Hotel. The inside is pleasant to dine in. I enjoy a quiet place to dine and it was quiet despite the number of guests there. If you enjoy historical atmosphere's and exceptional food and service, I would suggest trying this place!"
    Dined on 5/11/2014
  • "My daughter, wife, and myself went to The Library for Mother's Day dinner. The service was outstanding. My wife and I had the surf n' turf which was really good. However, my daughter had the chicken which she ended up leaving on her plate. Lots of bones, skin, and oily flesh. The mashed potatoes and veggies served with the main dish were very good. Our waiter was phenomenal. The water glasses and my coffee cup were never left empty and the appetizer and main dishes were served on a timely basis."
    Dined on 5/11/2014
  • "The hot and dirty martini was awesome! The oysters were fantastic! The steal and vegetables were to die for! Was Herron a business trip. Will bring my wife when she travels with me next! Great restaurant !"
    Dined on 5/7/2014
  • "There is no doubt that this is the best restaurant in Portsmouth. Outstanding steak and awesome sides. Food and service can't be beat."
    Dined on 5/7/2014
  • "The food and service were very good but the ambience wasn't quite what we expected. Very noisy and seemed a little hectic. First time in Portsmouth where there seems to be several very good restaurants. Will try one of the others next time."
    Dined on 5/3/2014
  • "My husband and I dine at The Library often. It is one of our favorite restaurants! The food is consistently excellent as is the service. The atmosphere is elegant yet comfortable. "
    Dined on 5/2/2014
  • "We had high expectations for The Library and we were a liitle disappointed. It was not very busy and yet service was slow. My wife's steak was good, mine was under cooked, dry, and with little flavor. Perhaps the chef had an off night, but the service was slow for no apparent reason."
    Dined on 5/2/2014
  • "This was our third visit to the Library. Service is excellent, food is excellent, atmosphere outstanding. We have yet to be disappointed with any aspect of the Library. My wife has a shellfish allergy and they were very attentive to this problem. The Library is one of our most favorite restaurants. "
    Dined on 4/26/2014
  • "This restaurant was excellent. Plenty of food, excellent drinks, and outstanding service from the staff. No complaints."
    Dined on 4/24/2014
  • "We had a reservation. The hostess greeted us, but almost appeared to be stuck-up and disinterested. She sat us promptly. While the dining room was mostly empty when we came (and never really filled up) we were sat right next to another couple at a table just a couple feet away. Drink service was quick. The bread was amazing, very fresh, with garlic. We ordered food (Caesar salad, clam chowder, club cut sirloins, baked potato, a glass of wine). Our waitress asked if we wanted more bread. We said yes, but it was never brought. Then my husband never got his wine. We weren't charged, so we just moved on. Our waitress never asked how our food was (but she asked the table behind us twice). The chocolate cake for dessert was amazing!"
    Dined on 4/24/2014