Reading Room Restaurant at The Bar Harbor Inn

4.4
833 reviews
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$30 and under
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Contemporary American

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About

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. Our menu includes fresh seafood, choice cuts of meat, daily specials and memorable desserts.

Please note that we are unable to guarantee window tables You can request a window and we will do our very best! 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.

Please also note that this reservation is for the Reading Room. Our outdoor restaurant, the Terrace Grill, is a separate restaurant and does not accept reservations..
Dining Style
Casual Elegant
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Cuisines
Contemporary American
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Hours of operation
Breakfast: Daily: 7:00am - 10:30am (April - October); Dinner: Nightly: 5:30pm - 9:30pm (April - November)
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Phone number
(207) 288-3351
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Payment options
AMEX, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Smart Casual
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Executive chef
Lou Kiefer
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Neighborhood
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Parking details
valet parking available
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Entertainment
Live piano nightly from 6-10 p.m.
Additional
Banquet, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Entertainment, Farm to Table, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Non-Smoking, Private Room, View, Wheelchair Access, Wine
What 833 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.4based on recent ratings
4.3
food
4.5
service
4.6
ambience
4.0
value
Noise · Moderate
88% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
4
3
2
1
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Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on November 10, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Everything was very good and the service was wonderful!!

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N
1 review
Dined on November 8, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had a wonderful dinner and an excellent server who was very helpful and knowledgeable!

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DM
New England
1 review
Dined on October 27, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Though we have stayed before at BHI this was our first dining experience and for sure will not be our last. 5 stars all around and that is not the wine speaking because dinner was two nights ago! Returning for lobster bisque.

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DK
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on October 26, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

My husband and I got married in Bar Harbor and we’re celebrating our “mini moon” and while the hotel we were staying at failed to make our week special (not BHI), the team at The Reading Room really went above and beyond to make our evening special. The entire staff knew we were celebrating our wedding and were all kind enough to acknowledge and congratulate. Our waiter was kind, professional and attentive. The atmosphere felt special, folks a bit more dressed up then casual, lovely piano playing and fireplace. Overall, the food was good - not over the top amazing but good! Of all the restaurants in BH this was the perfect place to celebrate our big day.

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d
New England
61 reviews
Dined on October 23, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I’ve visited the Reading Room every time I am in Bar Harbor. I’ve never been disappointed. On this visit I had the best filet mignon I have ever tasted. It was supremely tender and cooked to perfection. My guest had the halibut and he raves about it. Service was friendly and attentive and of course the piano player made for a perfect evening.

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N
Los Angeles
127 reviews
Dined on October 23, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

What a surprise. The lobby of the Inn looks dated and drab, but the restaurant is Day. The decor was charming and the view was amazing. Our waitress and bus guy were very friendly and helped us make outstanding choices.

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SR
1 review
Dined on October 20, 2018
Overall 2food 3service 1ambience 4

Service was very slow at the lounge while we waited for our table that we had a reservation for. It took about 10 minutes before the bartender acknowledged us. Once at the table the server was not very pleasant and short with us. She forgot to ring in a glass of wine my husband ordered to have with his meal. Because of all of these things we decided against dessert. I work in the industry and understand things can get hectic when busy but this was just awful service all around.

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C
New England
12 reviews
Dined on October 20, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We absolutely loved it! The food was delicious and the service was outstanding. We are from the Boston area and just wish it was closer to home.

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DS
Cleveland
2 reviews
Dined on October 20, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

We were visiting the area from Cleveland and had a wonderful dinner. The piano player was a very nice touch, it adds a level of class. I requested our wedding song and he played it well, and came over to the table to chat. Tables very nicely set, the servers dressed appropriately. Mary Ellen was our server, very busy she was, but took good care of us, and had a great personality. She is a true original from the local area. My husband had the lamb chops, and I had the salmon, but the crowning glory of the night was the blueberry pie. See picture attached. I also like the sorbet served before the main course, a nice classy touch.

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DS
E. Tennessee
8 reviews
Dined on October 19, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great dining experience. Menu offered excellent variety with daily specials featuring local seafood. Service was professional and ambiance very pleasant. Salads and entrees were fresh and innovative. Only disappointment was that we had no room for dessert and they looked really yummy.

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B
San Francisco
24 reviews
Dined on October 18, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The Reading Room is the restaurant in the Bar Harbor Inn where we were staying. We booked the reservation mostly for convenience since it was at the end of a travel day. Much to our pleasure and surprise, this was an outstanding restaurant.
Every aspect of the dining experience was five star.
We both had the lobster pie which was the best lobster we had ever eaten. They have a very nice wine selection. If in season, get the blueberry pie. I am not a blueberry pie fan yet this was an absolutely wonderful dessert.

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CT
1 review
Dined on October 17, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The location, food, and service were great. Great views and food.

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MR
1 review
Dined on October 17, 2018
Overall 2food 1service 1ambience 2

I recently got married in B.H. Decided to make reservations at a fancy place. Big mistake. The service was not good at all. Our waitress barely checked on us. It took about 15 between each check in. I made reservations months ago and we were seated at a table right next to the kitchen door. We got to hear a lovely assortment of swear words. The food, definitely not something to write home about. We ate at lots of restaurants and this was our least favorite but somehow most expensive. The food was blah. I would recommend side street cafe!

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SD
1 review
Dined on October 16, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We visit the Bar Harbor Inn every year, and always look forward to dining in the Reading Room Reataurant. Once again, we are very pleased with the food, the service, and the ambiance,

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MG
1 review
Dined on October 15, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Dinner was delicious as always and the service flawless. Always worth the drive from Southwest Harbor. Breakfast in the reading room must be the best kept secret in Bar Harbor. Light years better than any complimentary hotel buffet. Cathy Walton, Food Service Manager, runs a good ship.

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CJ
Milwaukee
2 reviews
Dined on October 14, 2018
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 5

Lovely ambience.....Husband's fish was good. Lobster bake was ok but honestly I wouldn't recommend it. Waiter was very good and we enjoyed the piano music. Nice view! Considering overall food quality thought food was pricey.

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N
Las Vegas
10 reviews
Dined on October 12, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fabulous meal location very pretty view of the harbor .

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L
Miami
9 reviews
Dined on October 12, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Joseph and his team were terrific. Another wonderful meal at the reading room!

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OT
New England
2 reviews
Dined on October 12, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Overall experience was very good. Staff was friendly and very accommodating. Food was very good, and prepared as we requested.

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OT
Philadelphia
85 reviews
Dined on October 10, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent food and service.

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JJ
Milwaukee
2 reviews
Dined on October 10, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 1ambience 5

Staff was friendly, but the service was incredibly slow.

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a
Atlanta
93 reviews
Dined on October 10, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our evening at the Reading Room was wonderful. Our server Sabrina was a delight. The meal items chosen were all quite good : filet and lobster, cracked whole lobster, salads and dessert. Sabrina found out it was my wife's birthday and had the piano player play Happy Birthday, also allowing us to order the sorbet served between courses (delish!) as our dessert. The ambiance of the restaurant (reminds you of the dining room in Titanic) is quite charming with a beautiful view of the harbor.

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G
New England
15 reviews
Dined on October 9, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 4

Food was a C plus
Service was a B minus

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VC
Dallas
37 reviews
Dined on October 8, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I think I had the best meal of my life here. I got the lobster that was shelled, and my husband got the pistachio-crusted halibut. Both were excellent. The service was very attentive, the view was spectacular, and my only regret is that I don't live in Bar Harbor so that I could go to this restaurant at every opportunity!

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SF
New York Area
6 reviews
Dined on October 6, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Great night from start to finish. From apps to desert we loved it all. Some reviews said it was very expensive but we disagree. Most entrees were very reasonable.

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OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on October 6, 2018
Overall 2food 1service 5ambience 3

Food was terrible, clam special had sand, fish was over cooked but our waitress was wonderful.

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a
New England
15 reviews
Dined on October 6, 2018
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

Awful from start to finish..

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OT
New England
60 reviews
Dined on October 6, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 4

We have dined at the Reading Room in the past and have enjoyed it very much. Our recent experience dining there was a bit of a disappointment. Appetizer was cold, service was nothing to rave about and entrees were less than exceptional. Cioppino was a smaller portion than expected. Salmon was good and a nice size portion. We will probably try it again for the view and ambience but hopefully next time will be better.

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PB
1 review
Dined on October 6, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 1ambience 4

Food was good but nothing spectacular. Service was poor. Waitress was terrible

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OT
Las Vegas
12 reviews
Dined on October 5, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Very nice table overlooking Bar Harbor. Beautiful!
Great service. Very friendly.
Waiter/chef willing to modify a standard entree which showed flexibility for customers.
My filet was good. My wife loved her Lobster Pie!

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b
New England
30 reviews
Dined on October 5, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Setting was fabulous. Food and selection could not have been better. Fresh, local and flavorful.

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KT
San Francisco
17 reviews
Dined on October 4, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

It was comfortably polished, but not exceptional. The service was excellent.

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B
1 review
Dined on October 3, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Delightful meal with a fantastic water view and professional friendly wait staff.

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OF
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on October 3, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Beautiful views, lovely live piano music, excellent food, and an air of bygone days in New England

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OT
Minneapolis
1 review
Dined on October 2, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great cocktails. Service was attentive but not overbearing. Piano player was FANTASTIC.

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JH
1 review
Dined on October 1, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 3

We enjoyed 2 dinners and food great. Very busy restaurant but the staff handled it well.

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A
Baltimore
5 reviews
Dined on October 1, 2018
Overall 5food 3service 5ambience 5

Overall experience was fine. Ambiance was very good. Service was very good. The food was only average.

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OT
Atlanta
1 review
Dined on October 1, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fabulous. Halibut and lamb were delicious.

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SC
New York Area
5 reviews
Dined on September 29, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

Appetizers (oysters, burrata) and desserts (blueberry pie) were very good, entrees were only okay. No variety with the sides, everyone got asparagus regardless of what you ordered. Over priced for average food. Wine list was average as well for a fine dining establishment.

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m
San Francisco
66 reviews
Dined on September 29, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Often the place with the best view does not also have the best food. The Reading Room is a wonderful exception -- excellent cocktails, knowledgeable and gracious service, three kinds of bread (cheese and cornmeal paper-thin crackers, a country loaf, and molasses bread designed to make me overeat), thoughtful wine pairings, all with a stunning view of the harbor. Sunset is splendid, but other times are equally impressive. We ordered salad, lobster dishes, and a blueberry dessert. And when the bill came, it compared favorably with our favorite special-occasion place at home. We couldn't have been happier.

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