The Oar House

The Oar House

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.portsmouthoarhouse.com/
  • Phone: 6034364025x
  • Hours of Operation:
    Brunch: Sunday: 11:00am - 3:00pm; Lunch: Monday - Saturday: 11:30am - 3:00pm; Dinner: Monday - Thursday: 5:00pm - 9:00pm, Friday & Saturday: 5:00pm - 10:00pm, Sunday: 11:00am - 9:00pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX,Diners Club,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Seafood, American
  • Executive Chef: Ray Guerin
  • Dress Code: Smart Casual
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Entertainment, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Private Room, Weekend Brunch, Wine
  • Entertainment: We feature live piano music inside Thursdays thru Saturdays.

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Bow Street
  • Parking: Private Lot
  • Parking Details: We have a private lot that has valet parking on the weekends and in summer months.
A word from The Oar House
Located in the historic "Merchant's Row" building at the edge of Portsmouth's old harbor, The Oar House serves fine food in a setting filled with mementos of the city's long and proud maritime heritage.
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The Oar House reviews from OpenTable diners
58 reviews since May 5, 2014
Overall Rating4.1
  • Food4.1
    Service4.1
  • Ambiance4.2
    Noise LevelModerate
87% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
great for outdoor dining (24)scenic view (21)neighborhood gem (19)romantic (18)fit for foodies (17)special occasion (16)great for lunch (10)good for groups (10)notable wine list (6)kid-friendly (6)hot spot (4)late-night find (4)great for brunch (3)vibrant bar scene (1)Show More
  • Superb!
    great
    Dined on 8/30/2014
    EXCELLENT! Our server attended 15 people with ease. She was wonderful and did a fantastic job. We had people from 9 years old to 91 and she met every need. Would highly recommend!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2010VIP
    Dined on 8/26/2014
    ordered salads as appetizers, and they were huge and great. Guess I would like to know this beforehand. Haddock was very good; fried oysters were delicious; we were the only diners sitting inside.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • FAMILY GET TOGETHER
    foodiesgalore
    Dined on 8/24/2014
    We had reservations for a large party, surprisingly when we got there our table was not ready but that was not a problem since we were waiting on a few people. We were seated in a room by ourselves. The waiter came for our drink order and only a few of us ordered drinks but some said not NOW. When we finally ordered we were expecting the waiter to ask if anyone else wanted something to drink but he did not. Our meals did not come out all at once but at least within a reasonable time frame ( that has never happened to us before). Everyone was happy with our food, water glasses were often empty although he did refill a few of times,often the waiter will just leave a pitcher for us. We usually have a much better rapport with the waiter.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Expensive great food and view
    GreasedShadow
    Dined on 8/19/2014
    Food was notable and the river view seating is terrific but this was among the most expensive meals I ever had.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2006VIP
    Dined on 8/19/2014
    Lobster rolls were great. Patio table with river views on a perfect summer day.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Parking
    Date2
    Dined on 8/15/2014
    Valet parking was quick and convienent. The service was excellent and the food was quickly brought to us. I was running a bit late and the hostess was gracious enough to comply with a later time
    Special Features:
    romantic, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 8/9/2014
    Everything was great. We had a party of 7, and everyone was very pleased.
    Special Features:
    romantic, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • overpriced and water obsessed
    entu
    Dined on 8/1/2014
    The waiter was slow and dumb, he was more interested in pouring water in our glasses when we need no refill then bringing food and answer questions. Food is totally overpriced, tasted like fast food. No kids friendly cups. Interior was nice and a parking lot guy was very polite, though. Location is good, as well.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great Ambience
    Cici
    Dined on 8/1/2014
    We had a group of nine for dinner. Dinner was delicious and service was very attentive.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, scenic view, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Still First Rate
    Rudynh
    Dined on 7/27/2014
    The Oar House has been our favorite restaurant for many years. The food and service are first rate. Unlike many new restaurants, the noise level is such that you can hold a conversation. For a great evening you can't beat an evening at the Oar House.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, scenic view, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Nice Sunday brunch
    Timbo
    Dined on 7/27/2014
    My wife and I attended Sunday brunch a few weeks ago. We arrived on the earlier side (around 10:30) and the outdoor seating was empty aside from one table. We were seated at a table overlooking the water, and our waitress was prompt and attentive. The brunch menu is a little limited, but the quality of the food and service were both excellent (I had the eggs benedict, and my wife had the French toast). This is a great spot to bring out-of-town guests to capture the essence and beauty of Portsmouth, being right downtown on the water and providing one of the best views of the city. Plenty of things to do in the area before and after brunch as well. We definitely will be coming back in the future, and bringing guests.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, kid-friendly, fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, great for lunch, scenic view, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • A must in Portsmouth!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 7/18/2014
    Jaye provided fantastic service, the food was superb.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • 60th Birthday Dinner
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 7/12/2014
    Reservation made for the main restaurant. Waited for host to appear. Never did. Very disturbing! Went inside. Approached bartender busily chatting away with customer, did not notice me. More disturbing! Finally noticed! Called in for someone. Two people came. suggested I go to outside terrace. It was unsettling! Did not coincide with my expectations. I gave it a try. I would've preferred and been happier if I was greeted by a host and taken to dine inside the restaurant. After all, I was celebrating my 60th birthday! The two individuals that suggested my sitting elsewhere made me feel unwelcome. Too tired. I settled to stay at the terrace. I will have to reconsider making any future plans to dine there again.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, scenic view, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Food was as fantastic as the server
    Seafoodie603
    Dined on 7/5/2014
    Had a wonderful meal at the Oar house deck! We were not rushed and the meal was fantastic! Will defiantly be back!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Pricey but good
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 7/5/2014
    Our party of 6 received a wide variety of meals from this restaurant. Some of the plates were full of fresh seafood while others were very small. I thought the price was high, but if you average out everyone's experience it was pretty good.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Great outdoor dining!
    kaybeeVIP
    Dined on 7/5/2014
    This was my first time at The Oar House and it was just perfect! The weather was beautiful so we ate outside and were seated immediately. Everything was delicious. I ordered to Oar House seafood dish which had shrimp, haddock and scallops in a lobster sauce. My fiancé had the pork tenderloin that was topped with a grilled pineapple salsa. Both dishes were well presented and outstanding. I was on vacation at the time and don't live in the area, so I probably won't be back for a while but I wish I could! PS - they also have valet parking since finding a spot in the middle of summer is practically impossible - so that was a plus!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, scenic view, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Won't be going back
    jeffreyh
    Dined on 6/30/2014
    For the price point the menu selections were good but they screwed our order up and blamed it on training the kitchen staff.....no apologies, comps, nothing. Very unprofessional.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Doesn't know what it wants to be
    Portsmouth
    Dined on 6/19/2014
    I believe the menu on the deck is trying to appeal to the masses. The restaurant doesn't seem to have an identity. Three in our party had bad stomach aches within a few hours of our meal. My sandwich had no flavor. I was disappointed. I don't think I will be back.
    Special Features:
    hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Not your father's Oar House
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 6/14/2014
    Still the cool historic location with great service. Food is very high quality. I had the duck breast and it was cooked to perfection. As good as any I have had in France. Steak Au Poivre was amazing. Vegetarian green curry also one of my favorites.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • SusanVIP
    Dined on 6/13/2014
    We were so happy to find a nice restaurant that has excellent food and atmosphere but is also kid friendly. Often times, unless you are going to a pizza place or chain restaurant, you are treated like a nuisance for bringing children.The staff here made us all feel welcome and comfortable. The food is out of this world and the valet was wonderful as well!
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Nice outdoor spot!
    Birthday
    Dined on 6/10/2014
    We had the lobster and chicken salad sandwiches and they were very good.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, great for lunch, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Ambience & Appetite
    FourFriends
    Dined on 6/7/2014
    I recently enjoyed a nice meal with 3 friends at the Oar House on a Saturday night. The food was very good. The service was charming and attentive. Half way through our meal we enjoyed guitar music. The Oar House has an old world kind of ambience. I liked that it wasn't loud and that I could enjoy thoughtful conversations with my friends. The meals were a little pricey but the quality more than made up for it.
    Special Features:
    romantic, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Beautiful
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 5/11/2014
    We went for Mother's Day Dinner. Though we had requested out door seating, it wasn't available do to inadequate staffing. We were slightly disappointed by that since we picked it based on the outdoor seating to keep my 3 year old happy. My husband ended up taking him outside to look at the boats until our food arrived. Other than that everything was amazing! The staff was great and the food was absolutely delicious! Everyone left happy and full.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, fit for foodies, romantic, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Perfect Date Night Find!!
    TamieLVIP
    Dined on 5/10/2014
    The historical setting of this restaurant coupled with the intimacy of the setting made it a great place for date night. Everything we had was cooked to perfection and tastefully presented. I have to say the scallops wrapped in bacon could of been the only thing I ate and I would of been more than satisfied. Our service was exemplary with the wait staff checking to make sure that we had everything we needed. I would definitely be returning here in the future to try more of the menu!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, scenic view, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Debbie
    Dined on 5/5/2014
    European friends visit once a year and we have made it a tradition to go to The Oar House. We always have a wonderful visit, never feel rushed and when they left, they asked if we could repeat the experience again next year.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 33 ratings-only reviews submitted since May 5, 2014
    • Overall Rating4.1
    • Food3.9
    • Ambiance4.1
    • Service4
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The following 400 reviews are from the The Oar House reviews archive.
  • Expensive boring plates
    harvestmoon
    Dined on 5/4/2014
    As one of the oldest restaurants in Portsmouth, the Oar House is surviving by its name. A recent dinner there was unappetizing and expensive. My Caesar salad was very soggy. My steak-au-poivre,while cooked the way I like it, was too big and unappealing, served with bland potatoes au gratin. My dining partner's pork was overlooked and dried out. Glasses of wine were $10.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 5/3/2014
    Whenever I come to Portsmouth I like to eat here as it's off the beaten path a little bit. The food is always good
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Another Memorable Meal
    greekboy51
    Dined on 4/26/2014
    Each time we visit The Oar House we come away wondering why we don't do it more often The food is always great and the staff is always very attentive, but not overbearing. Can't wait to go back!
    Special Features:
    Great for Brunch, Fit For Foodies, Good for Groups, Romantic, special occasion, Neighborhood Gem, Notable Wine List
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Easter Brunch
    MMR66
    Dined on 4/20/2014
    Next time I return I'll be sure to leave home the two surly teenagers. And the intoxicated friend (that kept asking for fries - that were delicious BTW) who fell asleep at the table (ok, passed out) ... it's going to be a while until our next outing. Thank you to our gracious server!
    Special Features:
    Fit For Foodies, Good for Groups, special occasion, Neighborhood Gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Easter Brunch
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 4/20/2014
    My daughter and I enjoyed a lovely Easter brunch at The Oar House this past Sunday(4/20/143). I ordered Eggs Benedict with lobster instead of Canadian bacon. Excellent...lobster was plentiful and tender. The Hollandaise sauce truly homemade and outstanding. I love old spaces and the Oar House did not disappoint with exposed beams and brick and an added bonus of a well right in the dining room.
    Special Features:
    Great for Brunch, Good for Groups, Romantic, Scenic View, Neighborhood Gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • great lunch place on side street
    LennyVIP
    Dined on 4/19/2014
    went here for lunch and had a great hamburger....on side street opposite the tugboats.....lovely wood decor with beautiful boat pictures on wall.....great menu and very friendly and professional staff....waitress said dinner is very crowded so reserv ations are recommended....will return for dinner
    Special Features:
    Neighborhood Gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Great as usual
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 4/12/2014
    My parents came to visit and love going to the Oar House. It was great as usual, but I will admit the lobster was overcooked. I had some chunks in my meal, and all were a little chewy. Also, my dad had a half-lobster in his meal and he couldn't even crack the claw open. That was a little disappointing, but overall, everything else was still delicious.
    Special Features:
    Great for Outdoor Dining, Romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Wonderful evening
    mtnman
    Dined on 4/12/2014
    Took our daughter and her boyfriend out to dinner to celebrate her 22nd birthday. Had a wonderful meal served by a very friendly and attentive waiter. One small goof-up: my daughter and I ordered the same dish, but she cannot tolerate any degree of spiciness, and I prefer a bit more spicy heat. Don't know if the waiter mixed up the 2 plates, or if the kitchen staff told him wrong, but I got the non-spicy plate, and she got the hot spicy one. One taste revealed the mix up; we swapped plates, and everything was fine. We sat downstairs, which is a very pleasant room. But I prefer being upstairs, where there is a very nice view of the river. We are looking forward to returning soon.
    Special Features:
    romantic, scenic view, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Oar House
    Margo
    Dined on 4/5/2014
    We were there for restaurant week, and it was not good. I had the lamb raviolis to start and they were tasteless and the sauce was thin and bland. Then I had chicken savannah which was dry and served on a bed of grated carrots! The bread pudding was dense and dry. A disappointing meal.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • My wife and I ate there in
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 3/27/2014
    My wife and I ate there in late march. We had never been to Portsmouth NH before. The Oar House was one of two that we selected for our 2-night stay based on on-line reviews.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Celebrating with family
    njnh
    Dined on 3/22/2014
    Charming place. Food was excellent - the Bruschetta appetizer and Lobster Mac& Cheese were highlights, Calamari appetizer was lacking. The hostess was very accommodating with our seating preference. Service was OK - waitress seemed stressed out and let us know it. I would go back.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • BIRTHDAY PARTY
    Michael
    Dined on 3/22/2014
    SERVICE WAS GOOD WAITRESS VERY FRIENDLY AND HELPFUL. I WAS DISAPPOINTED WITH MY MAIN COURSE WHICH WAS A SEAFOOD BOUILLABAISE. CLAMS WERE OVERCOOKED AND I COULDNT EAT THEM MUSSELS WERE OK ONLY 2 LITTLE SHRIMP IN THE DISH PLUS THE LOBSTER AND SCALLOPS WHICH WERE OK. WARM PANZARELLA SALAD WAS GOOD . MY DAUGHTER AND HER FRIENDS HAD SALADS AND PIZZA WHICH THEY ENJOYED. HOWEVER I WENT THERE FOR THE SEAFOOD AND EXCEPT FOR THE FRESH OYSTERS AND CLAMS I DIDNT ENJOY MYSELF. MY WIFE HAD THE TUSCAN SHRIMP WHICH SHE SAID WAS GOOD. WE ALSO HAD SCALLOPS IN BACON AND BUSCHETTA APPETIZERS. THE SCALLOPS IN BACON WERE OK THE BRUSCHETTA I DIDNT TRY BUT IT WAS ON A SOFT BREAD RATHER THAN ON TOASTED BREAD IT WAS DIFFERENT. I DONT THINK I WILL BE BACK THERE.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Perfect Nightcap
    Dickie
    Dined on 3/16/2014
    We sat in the dining area to the right of the entrance. Beautiful granite block walls made up the 4 walls of our area. Ambience was outstanding. We selected the Oar House because of its diverse menu. Two of us had seafood and the two men went for the beef. All agreed, the meals were excellent. Desert was home made and finished off a great dining experience. Our server, Corey was superb. She assured we were cared for through out the meal. A perfect ending to an excellent performance at the Music Hall where Chris Botti swept us away for two magnificent hours. We will be back'!!!!!!
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Nautical Atmosphere
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 3/16/2014
    This restaurant is in an old building along the river. The ceilings are low, the walls are brick and there's no a straight line anywhere, bringing out the character and ambience of many years ago. The service and food were excellent.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for brunch, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Lovely Evening
    MariatiniVIP
    Dined on 3/15/2014
    This was our first trip back to the Oar House in many, many years, as we no longer live in the area. It was as nice as we remembered! Ambiance is lovely. Nice wine list. Service was great. We were seated upstairs, which is very cozy. Baked Stuffed Lobster was delicious, but there was a bit too much thyme in the stuffing for my tastes, personally. The Seafood Stew/Bouillabaise was great. We started with raw oysters and they were fresh and creamy and briny - yum! We didn't have room for dessert, but couldn't say no to Creme Brulee, and we are glad we didn't. Large enough to share and really tasty. We will definitely return next time we are in the area. Highly recommended!
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.