Reading Room Restaurant at The Bar Harbor Inn

4.6
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1051 Reviews
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$31 to $50
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Contemporary American
- The Reading Room Restaurant is indoor dining. Reservations recommended.
(- Terrace Grille is a separate restaurant - outdoor dining. Does not take reservations.)

Refined pleasures await you in the Reading Room Restaurant. You will enjoy a dining experience where the delicious cuisine and attentive service are surpassed only by the breathtaking ocean view. (please note that we are unable to guarantee window tables).
Our menu includes fresh seafood, choice cuts of meat, daily specials and memorable desserts. Come join us and the nightly live entertainment of grand piano music which provides the perfect ambiance to the fine dining experience. Dinner is served nightly and the dress code is informal.

What 1051 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.6based on recent ratings
4.5
food
4.5
service
4.7
ambience
4.2
value
Noise · Quiet
91% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OT
Pittsburgh
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Everything thing was wonderful

LP
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had a lovely dinner at the reading room. The lazy lobster was delicious- best I’ve had. Makes me want to move to Maine.

M
New England
16 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 2food 2service 5ambience 4

It is a lovely dining room and has a great view. The wait staff is very attentive and wants your experience to be a happy one. The food is fine but nothing special and for the price it really should be special. The risotto was gummy and the mediterranean salsa did not enhance the salmon. My husband's dinner had 2 sauces neither added to the dish. The desserts were excellent -cheesecake and blueberry pie. We ate here a couple of years ago and had a better experience with the entrees.

F
Atlanta
3 reviews
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 3

Table light not lit until asked. Food mediocre and cold, and over priced. Service a bit cold.

RM
Seattle
2 reviews
Dined on October 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We were traveling and staying at Bar Harbor. The restaurant was recommended to us. Everything about the meal was good. The service was excellent and the prices reasonable.

P
Philadelphia
30 reviews
Dined on October 10, 2019
Overall 5food 2service 5ambience 2

Exceptional dining experience.

JL
Miami
15 reviews
Dined on October 9, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

This was our first time in Bar Harbor and we were staying in the Inn. We had dinner reservations for 8 pm on Wednesday Oct.9, our wedding night. We had to wait a bit, but not too long. Even though our dinner was interrupted by the fire alarm and us having to evacuate, we drank our wine quickly and headed outside until all was resolved. The staff and wait staff handled everything calmly ensuring everyone was safely outside. Once we were allowed back in, we soon got our dinner and delicious wedding cake with Colin playing Al Green’s “Let’s Stay Together,” the night couldn’t be anymore special and memorable. We loved the service and special treatment we got at the Reading Room. It was our wedding night and we asked a month ahead if we could get a marzipan cake. We couldn’t believe that they remembered and the baker, Dallas specially made a fall topping out of marzipan! We couldn’t have been more thrilled. We even asked the pianist, Colin that night if he could play our song by Al Green which he did. Overall, even with the slight interruption, everything was wonderful.

l
Omaha
8 reviews
Dined on October 9, 2019
Overall 2food 4service 2ambience 5

After receiving a text from the restaurant the evening prior to dinner and confirming with them, I still had to wait 30 minutes for my table. Just as I was finishing dinner, we had to evacuate due to a fire in the hotel. My husband and I stayed around to pay our bill. There was absolutely no communication from any of the restaurant staff to my husband or I during the evacuation or anytime there after. We returned to the dining room to pay our bill, a very empty dining room. We were not offered any sort of compensation including free drinks or offered free dessert. We stayed outside in the crisp fall weather for 20 minutes to do the right thing, I can’t believe I’m saying this but I regret staying to pay. Very disappointed in the lack of communication or appreciation from the restaurant staff. The food was okay, the service was decent, the restaurant was loud but the atmosphere with interesting and unique.

OT
Dallas
3 reviews
Dined on October 9, 2019
Overall 3food 5service 5ambience 3

Dinner was going great until the fire alarm went off and we had to evacuate. Luckily we finished our dinner first...but we didn’t get our checks. We feel bad for the wait staff who will lose out on their tips.

MJ
1 review
Dined on October 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had a lovely experience. The service by our waiter Joseph was excellent. The food was excellent. My husband enjoyed the lobster pie and I enjoyed the filet. The sunset views were spectacular. The piano player a nice romantic touch.

MB
Detroit
7 reviews
Dined on October 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

We ate here for dinner 3 out of 4 nights in Bar Harbor. One of our favorite venues. Very busy (and relatively loud) on Saturday vs the other nights. Still a great restaurant with a great menu.

OT
Birmingham
4 reviews
Dined on October 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We were celebrating our 45th wedding anniversary. This restaurant made the dinner a very special occasion for us. Thank you so much!

TB
Savannah
3 reviews
Dined on October 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food and great service. Robert did a great job helping the servers while they were busy

SD
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on October 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I just love the Reading Room! Enjoyed my 70th birthday dinner very much. My filet was cooked perfectly along with the lobster tail. The palette cleanser sorbet was a classy addition. Also, the staff handled every detail perfectly. My daughter and son in law had pre-arranged payment (with a phone call) of our meal along with a candlelit dessert, card and the playing of Happy Birthday by the pianist. Nothing was overlooked. What a birthday dinner!

MG
Chicago
17 reviews
Dined on October 4, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Beautiful view and ambiance. Efficient and friendly staff. Food good but pricey for the preparation.

KC
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on October 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Although Suzy our server was not aware, she helped us celebrate our 30 year anniversary. She was attentive and responsive. Our meals were superb and the atmosphere was perfect. The pianist was excellent too, making every aspect lovely.

MS
Central Coast
3 reviews
Dined on October 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

The location is perfect for views of flowers, grounds and harbor. The service was excellent and the food dinner was perfect. We really enjoyed it and look forward to returning next season. The warm fire place provided an great place to relax after a wonderful dinner.

CN
New England
18 reviews
Dined on October 2, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Wonderful service....Birthday celebration....liked the piano playing.....
A bit noisy

KC
New York Area
13 reviews
Dined on October 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Loved the piano. Steak cooked perfectly.. lobster amazing! Highly recommend.

C
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on October 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We were there to celebrate our 27th wedding anniversary. We had a lovely time. The food was delicious and the Reading Room was gorgeous. Service was great and the piano player even played a song for us for our anniversary. Thank you for a wonderful time.

g
New York Area
8 reviews
Dined on September 29, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Everything was outstanding. Especially impressed with the polish of our waitress.

DB
Louisville
4 reviews
Dined on September 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

First time at this restaurant.
Would go back again
Service was spot on
Great place when u want the evening to be special
Nice wine selection
Lobster bisque best ever had
Above all, save room for the Blueberry pie...WOW

OT
1 review
Dined on September 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Perfect spot for our anniversary dinner. Service was excellent and the food was a taste of Maine. Friendly servers and bartender.

JB
Denver
1 review
Dined on September 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Celebrating our anniversary on vacation

ME
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on September 24, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Loved Horace and piano player! Lazy lobster was the best idea ever. Blueberry pie and old fashion beyond compare!

DB
Charleston
7 reviews
Dined on September 22, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 3ambience 5

The restaurant was very nice and had beautiful views of Frenchman’s Bay. Soup and salad was very good. We ordered steak and Lobster Pot Pie. Steak was ordered medium and arrived well done. The waitress took both dishes back to keep Lobster Pot Pie warm while steak was corrected. The table adjacent to us was served, completed their meal and was leaving when our food arrived. There was no sense of urgency to prioritize our order to get our food back out to us. The wait was excessive and when our food arrived, the Lobster Pot Pie had become greasy while being kept warm while the steak was corrected. We did not have dessert here, but left and went to another restaurant for wonderful blueberry pie.

JA
Philadelphia
4 reviews
Dined on September 22, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We went there for dinner and then returned the next day for breakfast the next day. Everything was delicious!

PM
Tampa
23 reviews
Dined on September 22, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fabulous !!! This was our best meal in Maine. Our waitress was also really good extremely knowledgeable about the menu and made great suggestions. We will be back the next time we visit Bar Harbor for sure. Peggy

SD
Chicago
1 review
Dined on September 22, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We chose the Reading Room for an anniversary dinner, and couldn't have been happier. The service was impeccable, and the food was delicious. Special thanks to DJ for a lovely experience!

OT
Charlotte
3 reviews
Dined on September 20, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 5

Beautiful setting. Food was mediocre.

OT
Savannah
2 reviews
Dined on September 19, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Had the Lazy Lobster—divine!

SC
Atlanta
2 reviews
Dined on September 18, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 5ambience 4

This was a long awaited vacation. We ordered lobster, of course, and was disappointed in how chewy it was. At a restaurant of this caliber, I expected much better. Best part of dinner was the blueberry pie.

M
Charleston
24 reviews
Dined on September 18, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The evening was perfect! Service, atmosphere and FOOD was outstanding!!

DS
Charlotte
21 reviews
Dined on September 18, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 5

We chose the Reading Room based upon a glowing review in the New York Times. The restaurant and setting are indeed both beautiful. The food, however, was less than stellar. The scallop appetizer was good as was the bananas foster bread pudding dessert, but the roasted beet salad and lobster entree were both a big disappointment. The "roasted" beets did not appear to be, nor did they taste, roasted. They tasted canned and the salad in general lacked flavor. The entree, lobster out of the shell with mashed potatoes and haricots verts were visually unappealing and only slightly warm. The server offered to warm my meal, which didn't sound promising. When the plate was returned the beans were hot and the potatoes cold. The lobster deserved better. I will not be recommending The Reading Room to friends and suggest others look elsewhere when choosing a place to dine in Bar Harbor.

KR
Greensboro
1 review
Dined on September 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food was delicious and the service was excellent! We ate there all 3 nights and 1 breakfast. The view was spectacular of the harbor. Also, we really enjoyed the lovely piano music.

TC
New England
8 reviews
Dined on September 15, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 1ambience 3

My wife and I have been to the Reading Room on 2 other occasions and really enjoyed the meal and experience. The experience this past Sunday however was very disappointing. We got the sense they wrapping things up for the season. We had reservations at 7 pm and were seated promptly. However our waitress did not come over for several minutes. Our drink order took almost 20 minutes to arrive. By 7:40 we still had not ordered dinner. When the waitress did take our order my brother in law wanted to order appetizers. The waitress indicated that appetizers were ordered the dinners will take much longer. Never heard that before. She also indicated that if anyone one wanted the sea bass special that the order needed to be be placed immediately The restaurant was busy and the waitress was covering many tables .. however not once did she apologize for the very slow service. Very disappointing especially where we had built the restaurant up for our guests.

Reading Room Restaurant at The Bar Harbor Inn
Responded on September 19, 2019

I was so sorry when I read your review of your recent experience at the Reading Room. As you mentioned, your 2 other visits were enjoyable. I apologize if we let you down this time. I take a letter like this . I have talked with all of my staff who were working that night. If you are in the area again, I would like to invite you to be my guest for dinner so we can make it up to you and show you once again how lovely dinner in the Historic Reading Room Restaurant can and should be.

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KR
Greensboro
2 reviews
Dined on September 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Delicious food and great atomosphere! The scenery is gorgeous! Definitely get the lobster and blueberry pie, but everything is wonderful here.

KG
1 review
Dined on September 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Service was outstanding. We both made changes to the entrees listed in the menu. One change was significant. The waitstaff welcomed the request without hesitation. Fish was very fresh.

MI
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on September 12, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 4ambience 5

The setting of the Reading Room Restaurant is spectacular! Our table was not beside windows, but we had a magnificent view of the harbor nonetheless. The food was very good, as was service. For a special night in Bar Harbor, this is a wonderful choice.

NV
New England
3 reviews
Dined on September 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We were celebrating our 32nd wedding anniversary at the Reading Room on September 12th. Our table was right next to the windows, with a beautiful view of the harbor. Joseph was our waiter, and he was spectacular! He was a consummate professional, with attention to every detail. Our meals came quickly, but not rushed. The food was very, very good and the presentation was wonderful. Everything about the evening was memorable. We would recommend this restaurant for any special occasion or celebration.

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