The Oar House

The Oar House

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.portsmouthoarhouse.com/
  • Phone: (603) 436-4025
  • 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
63 reviews since July 28, 2014
Overall Rating4.2
  • Food4.2
    Service4.3
  • Ambiance4.1
    Noise LevelModerate
92% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
fit for foodies (26)neighborhood gem (24)special occasion (24)romantic (20)good for groups (18)scenic view (15)notable wine list (12)great for outdoor dining (11)great for lunch (7)late-night find (5)vibrant bar scene (5)hot spot (4)great for brunch (3)kid-friendly (1)Show More
  • Amazing!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 11/22/2014
    Visited the Oar House for my boyfriends birthday, everything was perfect! Our meals were cooked perfectly and the server was excellent!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Dinner w friends
    Slindyw
    Dined on 11/15/2014
    Meeting w old friends, I would have liked a quieter table than in the bar area. They had live music and sometimes it was hard to hear conversation across the table. They said that there was no room to move us to. Next time I will request ahead of time. The service was excellent, waitress was fun and energetic! Food was also very good, loved the raw oysters!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Rocket1950
    Dined on 11/15/2014
    The food was very good, but we had not nearly finished our appetizers when the dinner came out. I started eating the main meal because I didn't want it to get cold. I would have enjoyed having more time and not feeling so rushed. I'm not blaming the server, it's the kitchen.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great time, aside from service
    Luv2dine
    Dined on 11/8/2014
    The waitress offered us bread while we were waiting,but never brought it to us.Once our waitress came over to check on us,my boyfriend had ordered another drink.We waited for the drink,but never got it. We figured it was busy so, she must of forgot. We then got our bill, & she had charged us for the drink that we never recieved. We waited about 20 mins before she came back over again. Once we finally told her,she didn't believe us. She kept on asking if we were sure,& insisted that she brought it up.She took it off,but never even apologized.We then waited another 20 mins for her to come pick up the bill again and just gave it back to us without saying have a good night. The food was great,but we were not impressed at all with our waitress.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Portsmouth Treasure
    thanks4cooking
    Dined on 11/8/2014
    Great spot for a casual dining experience in the heart of the historic waterfront.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, neighborhood gem, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Restaurant week menu was great
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 11/8/2014
    We looked at many different menus and found the Oar House to have a lovely menu with many options. Our food was delicious.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Place
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011VIP
    Dined on 11/8/2014
    This place is tucked away on a side street with limited valet parking, but once you get past that its well worth the effort. The atmosphere is warm and cozy. The interior décor is old wooden floors and beams. The walls have images and stories of old ships that were built in the nearby shipyard. Our server was efficient and friendly. For our entrées we had a spinach salad topped with a poached egg (very tasty), flank steak, sesame tuna, and warm gingerbread bread pudding with vanilla ice cream. The flank steak was a little "chewy" and the tuna was in a bowl with a spicy "broth". Overall still a very good meal. We would go back again.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • not child friendly
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 11/8/2014
    I would not recommend this restaurant for children. The only thing on the menu that was suitable was the mac and cheese side dish
    Special Features:
    good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Warm setting in charming restaurant
    AnOldHand
    Dined on 11/3/2014
    On a cold fall day we had a perfect lunch with soup and sandwich, although the menu offered many choices from 'down home' to 'top drawer'.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2006
    Dined on 10/17/2014
    Our group of nine had a wonderful time---great food, wine and service.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Mary
    Dined on 10/11/2014
    Food was very good and so was the service. Love the ambiance of the Oar House
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great food great service!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 10/11/2014
    Oar house is great for a special occasion. It's $$$$ pricey. But the food is great. Our service was outstanding. Our waiter was hysterical and really made our night. We felt like guests in his home.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Excellent all around
    Bigjohn
    Dined on 10/10/2014
    Ceres street, where this restaurant is located, has no street parking and no close by parking garage so the first pleasant surprise was the valet parking. The ambiance is very pleasant and the rooms are quiet so conversation is pleasant. The food was outstanding. two of us had the seafod and puff pastry. The seafood was cooked perfectly and included a small lobster tail, shrimp and scallops and the sauce was outstanding. Our waitress was also very good. All in all, an excellent evening and meal.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Excellent food and value
    FootballRef
    Dined on 10/10/2014
    We had a group of 10 and where put upstairs, lots of room and food was great, had a few specials on the menu, I had the seafood portofino and it was spectacular!! Many ha the lobster mac which they claimed was to die for
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Wonderful Anniversary Dinner
    Happy25th
    Dined on 9/27/2014
    We ate on the deck overlooking the harbor on an unusually warm late September evening - it was magical! Our meal was very good (the filet was outstanding, the seafood very good), the wine list more than adequate, and our server was outstanding. I lost one of my favorite bracelets that evening, and could not believe it was in the lost in found when I enquired the next day!!! An outstanding restaurant all around!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Wonderful
    Knova
    Dined on 9/26/2014
    Our server Karen was so much fun. We loved her! The food was incredible. We went there on a whim and we couldn't have picked a better place.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, late-night find, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Seaside Gem
    suppperVIP
    Dined on 9/26/2014
    Oar House is a Portsmouth institution. Located on the water in an historic wharf, it has inside, bar and outside dining. We ate in the bar on a busy Friday night. Our server was new but did a good job. The food was outstanding. We had boulibsaise and seafood stuffed in puff pastry. Wine list was extensive in all price points but the by the glass offerings was limited. The caprise salad was enough for 2 to share. Music on Friday &Saturday nights. Would definitely return.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Local Gem
    MariaVIP
    Dined on 9/17/2014
    On vacation and found this restaurant. Food and service was great. Atmosphere was really nice. In a historic building.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Disappointed
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 9/13/2014
    Had the baked stuffed lobster and was very disappointed. The seafood stuffing lack seafood and tasted weird not enjoyable at all. On the upside our waiter was awesome!
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Enjoyable Dinner Evening
    RickinNH
    Dined on 9/13/2014
    The food and the services were both excellent. We were disappointed to hear that our favorite appetizer, baked brie with crackers and fruit, was no longer available as it was a specialty of the former chef and not the current chef, but were very satisfied with the chowders that we ordered for appetizers. The meal we had was very well prepared and was served extremely hot, which was a welcome surprise.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, late-night find, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Nice spot
    mcw117
    Dined on 9/6/2014
    In the Portsmouth area to meet my son for lunch. Great location and great food. My son couldn't get enough of the bruschetta. He says it is the best he has ever had.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • 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.
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 33 ratings-only reviews submitted since July 28, 2014
    • Overall Rating4.4
    • Food4.3
    • Ambiance4.1
    • Service4.4
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The following 416 reviews are from the The Oar House reviews archive.
  • 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.