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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Foodspotting photos
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerOutdoor Dining
The Oar House reviews from OpenTable diners
62 reviews since May 26, 2014
Overall Rating4.1
  • Food4.1
    Service4.2
  • Ambiance4.2
    Noise LevelModerate
84% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
great for outdoor dining (23)scenic view (21)neighborhood gem (20)fit for foodies (20)romantic (19)special occasion (18)good for groups (12)great for lunch (10)notable wine list (5)kid-friendly (5)late-night find (5)hot spot (4)great for brunch (4)vibrant bar scene (1)Show More
  • 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.
  • Great choice
    Mona
    Dined on 2/14/2014
    I never had the experience of visiting this restaurant before and found it very reasonably priced and a very friendly atmosphere and the food was fantastic. I had raved about this restaurant to my family the day. We will certainly return in the future. M
    Special Features:
    late-night find, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Wonderful meal off the beaten path.
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 2/14/2014
    Valentines day dinner...friendly service. Steaks were probably the best picked and cooked I have had in a number of years, however they were not seasoned to my taste.
    Special Features:
    late-night find, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Rewarding Winter Evening
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006
    Dined on 2/14/2014
    This was the perfect restaurant for a brutal winter night: warm and cozy, atmospheric, with excellent food and outstanding service. The spinach and artichoke dip, rich with cheese au gratin, was memorable. A chicken barbecue pizza and some simply prepared local haddock were almost as good. The choice of wines by the glass was limited, but met the need. The location, right on the harbor, is a big part of the appeal. In winter, there are no views to speak of, because only the historic building, across the street, is open. But what a satisfying building it is: brick and stone walls, heavy wooden beams, and a variety of spaces -- some intimate, some lofty. Valet parking while the spaces last.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • quiet Friday Night
    Skip
    Dined on 2/7/2014
    We arrived early hoping to be home for the openning ceremony of the Olympics. This was our first visit so we went with two different appetizers. (the best indicator of a restaurants quality/price points) The chicken and pork meatballs were wonderful and the sticky ribs were equally good. I then followed with shrimp and linguine and my wife had the oar hose specail seafood dish. Both were good although the shrimp dish had a bitter vegatable that I avoided. Service was excellent. ( thanks John) The palce was very quiet and hardly anyone was there . When we were leaving things had started to heat up. (again, we were early) Free parking steps from the door was a a welcome surprise in busy downtown Portsmouth!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Expensive
    mamacooks
    Dined on 2/2/2014
    The food was good and the service was excellent, I have been in the food business a good portion of my life and really enjoyed the food. The only thing was when I went on line to find a resturant for Lunch, they said that they were open on Sunday's and served the Lunch menu and when we got there they said the dinner menu was only available. That was disappointing . Other than that is was great
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Birthday Dinner
    David
    Dined on 2/1/2014
    Always great atmosphere...good food, very friendly, and accommodating. Our special request was met.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Amazing!!!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 1/25/2014
    I can not say enough good things about the Oar House. My husband and I go every year for our anniversary and they are constantly out doing themselves.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, scenic view, late-night find, great for lunch, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Stands the test of time
    Swellmel
    Dined on 1/25/2014
    As so many restaurants come and go in Portsmouth, the Oar House still delivers a great meal in a quiet atmosphere. This is a great place to enjoy a meal with friends when you want to be able to have a conversation without shouting over the "Lively" noise.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, romantic, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Experience
    DanT
    Dined on 12/31/2013
    The Oar House on New Years Eve was the best. We had a party of 5 and the atomosphere, food, and waitress was top notch. We were not rushed a bit, on an extremely busy night. We have been to the Oar House numerous times and have always had a good experience, but this was an incredible experience. I would recommend the Oar House to everyone as a great meal, great service, and great atmosphere.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, romantic, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Woman in the corner
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 12/31/2013
    We made a 6:00 pm reservation and we were brought up stairs and shown to the corner table next to the rail overlooking the bar below. The table to the left against the wall had a couple sitting at it with a woman sitting with her back to our table to be. The woman had her chair about 3 inches from the corner of our table. back leaving us to figure out how to sit down. The woman refused to acknowledge we were even there and made no attempt to pull her chair in. My wife quickly pulled our table away, squeezed in ithe corner then pulled the table back trapping herself in the corner. She know how I get and tried to make it so I would not get upset.. The hostess nor the waitress never asked this was ok of even comfortable.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Cosy lunch
    RebeccaVIP
    Dined on 12/31/2013
    We skipped up to Portsmouth for lunch on a recent very cold day. Parking is convenient, just steps from the door; inside, the low ceilings plus wood and stone work makes you feel like you've walked back in time to the old sea shanty days. Our waitress could not have been more friendly and accommodating. Food wasn't fancy, but delicious: fish in chips had a crisp panko crust but very moist and perfectly cooked haddock inside. Lobster roll used the "good" parts of the lobster, and was light on the mayo. Salads were fresh, and the duck quesadillas (special of the day) were perfectly balanced between cheese and meat, and were nicely crisp. A perfect retreat on a wintry day if you're in the NH seacoast area.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Cozy environment perfect for
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 12/28/2013
    Cozy environment perfect for a winter dinner. Excellent food.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Excellent choice
    Susan
    Dined on 12/6/2013
    Our party of 4 enjoyed a lovely dinner here after a long drive for our first night in Portsmouth on a weekend visit.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, special occasion, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Nice ambiance, great food
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 12/6/2013
    We celebrated my husbands birthday on a cold rainy night. the atmosphere was warm, the service friendly and the food and portions delicious.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, romantic, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Loved the "Leftovers"
    harvestmoon
    Dined on 11/28/2013
    We ate at the Oar House on Thanksgiving, since family was all away. The butternut squash bisque, harvest salad, turkey dinner and pumpkin cheesecake were all delicious. The highlight, though, was having "leftovers" to take home. That's the best part about doing your own cooking, right? The restaurant had a make-it-yourself turkey, stuffing, cranberry and gravy sandwich with everything neatly packaged with two slices of bread for $7. It was more than enough for two to share. Nice touch, Oar House!
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • The fod and service went downhill
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 11/28/2013
    The fod and service went downhill from last Thanksgiving
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • A Birthday Celebration
    Partyof6
    Dined on 11/24/2013
    The Oar House is one of our favorite places for a celebration. The atmosphere is Quaint and Quiet. Our Server was attentive and helpful. We tried some new menu selections. I especially liked the new green curry. As always our favorite apetizer is the scallops in bacon with maple syrup sauce. We were all satisfied with our entree selections chicken and fish. Not alot of vegetarian selection on the menu. Unique coctails and martinis to try... Finish off with the Famous Oar House Blend coffee from Carpe Diem and the creme brulee or chocolate mousse and your evening is complete! We'll be back!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Ten again!
    Rudynh
    Dined on 11/23/2013
    Once again The Oar House his a home run. The food, service and music were all tops.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, neighborhood gem, great for lunch, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Another great meal at the Oar House
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 11/23/2013
    I have never been disappointed with the food, service or ambience. Great spot for a casual night out or special occasion. Highly recommend.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Birthday weekend
    JoeDev
    Dined on 11/16/2013
    We could not have gone to a better place, the food was spot on, the waiter was attentive, great water views ambiance was nice. We went down stairs to the lounge after dinner listened to some live music to cap off a great night . I would go back again tomorrow. It was that good
    Special Features:
    scenic view, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Did not like kids screaming
    Lewis
    Dined on 11/10/2013
    Did not like kids screaming at 5pm on a Sunday. Not really memorable for food. It was good, would go back, but it was just another restaurant. WIth 100 restaurants in a small location, needs to be memorable. After dinner and walking around, The Oar House was empty compared with other restaurants we passed which were full!
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • And Oar NOT Either OAR
    SanguineEmpathyVIP
    Dined on 11/9/2013
    Extremely enjoyable dining experience. Menu is varied, well-priced for its niche in an upscale market, and dining ambiance is very nice. Waitstaff was friendly and helpful. Valet parking is available, which any traveler to Portsmouth knows, is quite appreciated ! I also applaud the Chef and kitchen staff for being able to accommodate my extensive food allergies, and being willing to think "outside" the menu so I was able to expand my culinary options. Food was excellent and all at the table enjoyed their meals. I highly recommend The Oar House for your next fine dining event.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, notable wine list, romantic, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Dining in Portsmouth, NH
    Cinderella
    Dined on 11/1/2013
    Loved the relaxed feel of the place. Piano player in the bar area , separate from the dining area, but you could hear it like background music. Still able to talk at the table. Service was wonderful. Food was great. Would definitely recommend this restaurant and will return here next time in the area.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great location great food
    George
    Dined on 10/19/2013
    Great location great food the service was even better with John as a server he was quick and easy to.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great plce for a big night out
    RayRay
    Dined on 10/18/2013
    This place is definitely pricey, but it's an old, quaint restaurant right on the water in Portsmouth. Nice place, good atmosphere, and we had really good service, especially for a party of 14. I would definitely recommend this place if you're looking for a big night out on the town.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Terrible food
    RossVIP
    Dined on 10/17/2013
    We were encouraged by the great wine list but nothing could salvage the horrendous food! Pork ribs were overlooked & over seasoned. Lobster roll was tasteless & most likely frozen! Their bread was yummy. Why didn't they use it with the lobster roll!!! Very disappointed!
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great options
    FBGroup
    Dined on 10/11/2013
    This was a great place to pick for a group as it had multiple options in the menu for everyone. All enjoyed their meals.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Outstanding! Haven't been
    Patty
    Dined on 10/5/2013
    Outstanding! Haven't been in years, that won't happen again!
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene, scenic view, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Did not stand up to reviews
    100413diner
    Dined on 10/4/2013
    It was recomended for outside dining. On arrival we were told it was not availlable. The martini's were terrible. Service was fast. Meal and dessert were good.
    Special Features:
    good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Lovely restaurant
    RRtaster
    Dined on 9/27/2013
    We have enjoyed coming to The Oar House for years on special occasions, and this last time was just as good as every time before. Baked haddock was beautifully cooked, generous portion, lovely and moist; pizza was eclectic and tasty, flourless chocolate cake delicious. Service was just right - prompt while never rushed.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Put on your list of places to enjoy
    suzi
    Dined on 9/27/2013
    The Oar House has been consistently excellent over the years, despite changing chef's. Their use of fresh foods/herbs/spices is appreciated. Service was respinsive and attentive, but not overbearing.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Mixed Results
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007VIP
    Dined on 9/25/2013
    I had not been to the Oar House in many years, but remembering they had a wonderful lobster bisque I started with that. The broth was silky and delicious and that is where the good news ends. There was virtually no lobster in the bisque, albeit a few morsels the size of a peppercorn. From there I had the shrimp Caesar salad, it was OK, but not flavorful and the shrimp were cokked to a rubbery state. The wine was $10/glass and that may have made the SLOW service bearable. However the wait time between ordering and getting our entrees was about 1:45 minutes>>for soup and salad. I was glad I oredered light because i won't be back anytimg soon.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • A Wonderful Dinner
    Rudynh
    Dined on 9/22/2013
    The Oar House makes it easy to be a good host. We took visitors from RI and PA to dinner and both thought the evening was outstanding. Having dinner in the lounge is special as was our waitress Sara. She always makes our evening special.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, scenic view, neighborhood gem, great for lunch, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Birthday Dinner
    Jane
    Dined on 9/21/2013
    Service was great (Sarah). Food was delicious--especially liked the spinach and artichoke dip. Seafood was outstanding as was the filet mignon. We enjoyed the cozy atmosphere and appreciated the building and it's history.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • An out of the way pearl
    NHOpenTableUser
    Dined on 9/21/2013
    We were looking for a good seafood spot with a good atmosphere. We tried the Oar House for the first time and really liked it. The only issue was a very loud party in the next room. The food was generous, delicious, and well prepared and the wine selection was good (but not terribly long). We will go back when looking for a casual night out.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great find
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007
    Dined on 9/19/2013
    Would highly recommend for adults. Food was excellent and service was also
    Special Features:
    notable wine list, romantic, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate