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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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerOutdoor Dining
  • Diners' Choice WinnerScenic View
The Oar House reviews from OpenTable diners
63 reviews since July 3, 2014
Overall Rating4.1
  • Food4.1
    Service4.3
  • Ambiance4.1
    Noise LevelModerate
90% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
fit for foodies (26)neighborhood gem (22)scenic view (21)romantic (21)special occasion (21)great for outdoor dining (20)good for groups (17)notable wine list (11)great for lunch (9)late-night find (7)great for brunch (5)hot spot (5)kid-friendly (3)vibrant bar scene (3)Show More
  • 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
  • Great waterfront dining
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 9/7/2013
    We sat on the Oar House deck and had a lovely view of the harbor while we had out lunch. The service was fantastic and the serving sizes were large. I would definitely recommend the Oar House to anyone visiting Portsmouth!
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, scenic view, neighborhood gem, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Quiet Brunch
    TonyBennett
    Dined on 9/1/2013
    Went with a friend for a quite summer-time brunch. First off, the restaurant is absolutely beautiful, clean and the ambiance was exquisite. The food was excellent--portions are on the smaller side but we left full--just not stuffed. Service was great, our waitress was very laid back and charming. And the Oar House Bloody Mary...to die for! It was the best Mary I have ever had! Excited to go back for dinner!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for brunch, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great place to reunite with friends
    ahsbuddies
    Dined on 8/30/2013
    Had a reservation for 6 on a Friday night and we were greeted by a friendly parking attendant by the name of Greg, who not only parked our cars but assisted us in finding places of interest while we waited for our reservation time. We were all promptly seated and attended to at different intervals throughout the night by a friendly server. We had excellent drinks, appetizers and service. The food was fantastic all around. No one had any complaints! We were all able to converse without shouting to each other. Overall, I would recommend this restaurant to anyone wishing for a nice evening out in a nice seaport town.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, scenic view, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • love birds
    3jays
    Dined on 8/24/2013
    We recently celebrated our anniversary and chose the Ore house. Great food , great service , good ambiance. The bruchetta was devine. My steak was done to perfection.We sat near a window and people watched. The historic brick , stone, and beam building is worth dining there all by itself. Love that parking was provided. Would recommend to others.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, scenic view, late-night find, kid-friendly
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • First time eating at this
    bubbles
    Dined on 8/24/2013
    First time eating at this restaurant, both my wife and I were happy with our steaks. Appetizer was not a hit, but we wanted totry it. Waiter we both felt was not to friendly and also seemed put out when we were asking questions.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • First time back in 40 years.
    JohnVIP
    Dined on 8/23/2013
    First time back in 40 years. Great place with the dock for afternoon dinoing
    Special Features:
    scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great outdoors.
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 8/18/2013
    First time at the outside deck on the river at the Oarhouse. Great spot, food, wine tasting and service. Recommended to all for a nice evening along the Piscataqua river.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Not the Same
    Rudynh
    Dined on 8/16/2013
    We wrote a glowing review two weeks ago of one of our favorite restaurants, The Oar House. Friday was different. Nothing major, but, all that was wrong made the meal less than what we are used to at The Oar House. A Caesar Salad with out croutons and cheese is just lettuce with dressing. The desserts shown were decorated with fruit, but not the ones that were served, after a ten minute wait. Where the blame lies is not important, the meal was not up to its usual standards.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Old & New in one place
    joecburke
    Dined on 8/10/2013
    The Oar House is two restaurants in one. If you sit outside on the pier area its the new raw bar version with a great view of the harbor and the touristy noise to go with it. If you sit inside then you are treated to old fashioned (good thing) fine dining. The food is excellent. While the wine list is good, the wines by the glass are in need of an upgrade and expansion.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, scenic view, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Food was very mediocre
    Luv2dine
    Dined on 8/10/2013
    This is a great location for a restaurant and maybe the outdoor bar would have been better. The lobster bisque was very watery and I am used to a few pieces of lobster in a bowl, this had none. The artichoke and spinach dip was good, lots of chips which is always a plus. The entrees were just okay, nothing special. With all the great restaurants in the area I dont think we will be back.
    Special Features:
    scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Used to be better
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 8/3/2013
    I have eaten at the Oar House dozens of times and this visit was a disappointment. Even though we had a reservation for 6, they did not have a table ready for us and we had to stand around waiting while they decided where to pull tables together. We asked about several tables for 6 or 8 that were ready to go and unoccupied and we were told they had reservations. I said I had a reservation too. The hostess said that "locals" know you need to ask for specific tables and I told her I lived a block away. I don't normally go during the busy tourist season, so maybe I should restrict my visits to the winter when the service and food is better.
    Special Features:
    scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Good night out
    VermontersOnVacation
    Dined on 8/2/2013
    We sat by the water instead of inside. The service was fine but the food was great. We had two delisious salads and split the tuna. I would recommend the Tuna definitely. Service was fine but a little scattered and unattentive but it was a beautiful evening on the water watching the harbor.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Actually ate out on the open
    jakthirdVIP
    Dined on 7/29/2013
    Actually ate out on the open air dining area across from the restaurant. Menu is the same as the full restaurant. Oysters were very fresh and my steamed lobster was not over cooked. My girlfriend had the bouillabaisse and the seafood was cooked well and broth was flavorful.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Service
    stockstar66VIP
    Dined on 7/22/2013
    The food was pretty good - particularly the steak. The service was excellent - Carly knows how to take care of her guests. Thanks!
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Combination anniversary,birthday
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 7/22/2013
    Combination anniversary,birthday gathering.Food was fine,it's the location that sells the place.On the river in Portsmouth,can watch the boat action etc. Server very accommodating to our schedule.Will return,but it's really the view!
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, great for brunch, scenic view, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Mixed review - dinner at Oar House
    dogownerVIP
    Dined on 7/20/2013
    Our dinner at the Oar House was good but not great. The Oar House punch was very good. We started with the summer salad - excellent and large enough to share. Unfortunately our main courses were not as good. My husband had to return his haddock because it was overcooked. The waitress was very accommodating and apologetic and brought it back to the kitchen. The second one they delivered was much better. I had the seafood in pastry. It was good, but not as tasty as the many seafood meals I had in Maine earlier in the week. We were visiting from New York, so I don't know how this compares to other restaurants in Portsmouth.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great scenery, food is fair
    Rochacha
    Dined on 7/19/2013
    Literally on the water, Oar House has an enviable position. We loved being out on their dockside dining. To bad the food was less than expected. Caesar salad was good, with just a hint of anchovy. . Filet of beef was charred on the outside and the portobello was an afterthought thrown on top. Sirloin was cooked as ordered but was less than flavorful. Seared tuna was just good, but the aioli had little punch. Wait staff was attentive. Gardens on the hillside were lovely. May return if just for ambience. Would not be a stretch to do better with cuisine.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, kid-friendly
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • 7:30 Dinner on the Water was Great
    MikeFromNorthAndover1
    Dined on 7/17/2013
    Four of us shared the PEI mussels which were terrific, the Lobster Mac& Cheese, the special seafood casserole and the halibut all were fantastic. We went up the block to have cup of great ice cream afterwards... would definitely go again. Parking was free which helped on busy night.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • surprisingly very good!
    Cupracer
    Dined on 7/5/2013
    Very good food and our waiter whose name was John was among the best we have ever had. We dined in a brick and stone room that had a lot of character. All dishes were great but the tuna and haddock were outstanding. We eat out a lot and feel lucky to have stumbled upon the place. A bonus is the free parking with attendant.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Delicious!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2005VIP
    Dined on 7/4/2013
    My husband and I enjoyed a delicious dinner here in an old historic building on the waterfront. Wood beamed ceilings and relatively quiet. Karen was a wonderful server.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Disappointed
    pastaloverVIP
    Dined on 7/3/2013
    We had high hopes for the Oar House but no one was there when we arrived. One meal was good and the other not so good. We do not expect to return in the future.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Great Food, Attentive Wait Staff
    DrJJ
    Dined on 6/28/2013
    We celebrated our anniversary at Oar House Friday night. The waitress, Nancy, was extra friendly and made the dinner wonderful. Loved the steamed lobster and the lobster bisque. Had Argentinian Malbec from their nice wine list. Then , the owner came around greeting patrons. When he learned it was our anniversary, he had the waitress offer us complimentary desserts. She easily switched these to tea and cappuccino when we declined dessert. All in all, it was a great dinner. The following day, we had lunch at their outdoor, dockside restaurant, which was also noteworthy and featured the same menu, just outdoors. Don't miss this place!
    Special Features:
    romantic, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Always Good
    Rudynh
    Dined on 6/26/2013
    The Oar House has maintained it excellence year after year. The food is well prepared and service is first rate.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, great for brunch, scenic view, neighborhood gem, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • A Seaport Memory
    Betsy
    Dined on 6/25/2013
    Once a year my husband and I visit Portsmouth, NH. And that would not be without a reservation on the Harbor Cocktail Cruise, followed by dinner reservations at The Oar House. Superb wine list, five star menu and presentation and cozy, romantic atmoshpere, that takes you back in time.
    Special Features:
    notable wine list, romantic, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • This was my first time at
    Mimi
    Dined on 6/19/2013
    This was my first time at the Oar House, we took a client for lunch and it was great. I do feel the tables are rather close to each other so there is not much room to move around. But I would definately go there again.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, scenic view, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Extremely rude guest
    local
    Dined on 6/16/2013
    Although the hostess thanked us for enduring a woman who was loud and rude there was no compensation for it. No discount off the bill etc. not only that the hostess/restaurant staff proceeded to sit three more couples in this same dining room leading me to believe they really didn't care. With a bill of over three hundred dollars they should have. Very disappointing. We had our ten year old and fourteen year old with us and the other guest could have learned a lot from them.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Super Server Karen
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 6/15/2013
    Karen our server was spectacular, knew the menu well, and made great recommendations. we ate inside in the basement of an old warehouse, immaculate, the 8oz beef filet was done to perfection. The raspberry brûlée and the key lime pie topped off a perfect meal.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, scenic view, neighborhood gem, great for lunch, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Kid Friendly AND Romantic? Yes.
    surfermermaid
    Dined on 5/31/2013
    We dined with 6 adults, one child (age 8) and a 4 week old. Two Master's grads honored for their work. It was the perfect spot for a special dinner: Stellar view of the harbor, outdoor dining if desired is right on the pier. (we chose the indoor: it was 94 degrees and we had the baby) The waitress was over the top with our 8 year old, not only asking us if we were ok or needed anything: she chatted with him every time she came to the table. The food was perfect. I had a seared tuna steak, my husband had a steak: both cooked exactly as requested. I love it when food is served artistically, and each dish did not disappoint - every plate was a picture. My husband and I are going back, sans kids, as fast as we possibly can.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, scenic view, special occasion, kid-friendly
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Shipshape Great!
    Sensei01913
    Dined on 5/24/2013
    Quiet Friday night of Memorial Day weekend made for an extraordinary culinary event harborside in Portsmouth. The best service brought the absolutely best Haddock ever as well as an incredible dish of broiled shrimp, scallops, haddock, sherried lobster sauce and seasoned bread crumbs, a dish on the menu for over 35 years. It was wonderful.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, notable wine list, romantic, scenic view, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Fabulous
    Squamlvr
    Dined on 5/17/2013
    We dined here celebrating our son's graduation from college. The food was amazing! Service great. The only issue, which really wasn't a problem, is the ceilings upstairs are very low and my son and his friend are 6'3 and 6'5 and had to keep ducked, only while standing.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • great graduation dinner
    Jeff
    Dined on 5/17/2013
    Had a reservation for 7 which got switched to 10 at last minute. This is UNH graduation weekend. Restaurant changed the seating without problem. Room was full but still wonderful, friendly service. Food delivered at one time and everything was cooked perfectly and was hot. We had just about everything from steak to Mac/ cheese/ lobster to salmon etc. Having valet parking and own lot was key as Portsmouth was packed.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, romantic, hot spot, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Relaxing Mother's Day Brunch
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 5/12/2013
    Brunch menu was excellent, with various "specialty" choices alongside actual menu. Food was served hot and in reasonable time. Brought my 7mon old son; they were quick to provide highchair and were careful to keep sharp objects and hot plates out of his reach. Server (Paul) was friendly and attentive, if a little slow with drinks (however, was Mother's Day brunch and fairly busy). Will happily visit again.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.