The Library at the Public

4.3
873 reviews
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$30 and under
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American
The Library at The Public is an Astor-era lounge tucked away in the mezzanine level of The Public Theater's new downtown home at Astor Place serving classic and inspired cocktails, wine, and Chef Andrew Carmellini's eclectic American menu sourcing local ingredients and New York influence.
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Private dining
Dining Style
Casual Dining
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Cuisines
American
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Hours of operation
5:30 PM to 12:00 AM Tuesday & Wednesday
Kitchen closes at 11:00 PM.

5:30 PM to 1:00 AM Thursday-Friday

5:00 PM to 1:00 AM Saturday
Late Night Menu Thursday - Saturday 11:00pm to 12:00 am

5:00 PM to 12:00 AM Sunday
Kitchen closes at 11:00 PM.
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Phone number
(212) 539-8777
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Payment options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Business Casual
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Executive chef
Andrew Carmellini
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Neighborhood
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Cross street
East 4th and Astor Place
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Public transit
The Library at The Public Theater is located at 425 Lafayette Street, between East 4th Street and Astor Place. By train take the N or the R to 8th Street, or the #6 to Astor Place.
Additional
Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Chef's Table, Counter Seating, Full Bar, Late Night, Non-Smoking, Wheelchair Access, Wine
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Private Dining

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Specials

New Year's Eve Special Menus & Offers

On New Year’s Eve, The Library at The Public will be serving a three-course prix fixe menu. The menu is $95 per person, excluding beverage, tax, and gratuity. Kaylyn Marie Scardefield will perform live music from 10pm into the new year!

Monday, December 31, 2018

What 873 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.3based on recent ratings
4.1
food
4.3
service
4.4
ambience
3.8
value
Noise · Moderate
89% of people would recommend it to a friend
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AE
New England
3 reviews
Dined on December 8, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

cozy restful place after or before theater at the Public.
Quite good food, not amazing but very very good.

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l
1 review
Dined on December 8, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Not only a super convenient restaurant for before/after Public theater venues, this is a great place to dine in that neck of the woods. Maitre d interesting as well as interested in guests. (Called to report 30 minute delay due to insane traffic) Menu creative, seasonal and delicious. (My husband and I had the Steak frites - prepared perfectly medium rare) Server nice disposition and courteous. Only complaint: although we each ordered a different wine by the glass, they tasted weirdly identical...) We will be back.

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DG
1 review
Dined on November 27, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Excellent service, good food, lovely ambiance made for a pleasant meal that got us to the theatre in plenty of time.

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g
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on November 27, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

When you enter, they ask you the time of your theater and time everything accordingly. Service was well-paced without being rushed. Menu was small but varied, and food was excellent.

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BH
1 review
Dined on November 24, 2018
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 4

Why would you eat anywhere else when you're seeing a play at the Public? Perfectly reasonable food, fun theatre crowd, better than average cocktail menu. Best of all you can sit down at 5pm, finish up 10 minutes before a 7pm curtain.

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OT
New York Area
5 reviews
Dined on November 23, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent in all ways!

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F
New York Area
45 reviews
Dined on November 21, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Service was attentive as always. Ideal for pre theater meal before going to any of the evening shows at the Public Theater.

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RO
New York Area
1 review
Dined on November 21, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 5

Good food good wine good service. Expensive. We were able to take our time and eat which was nice, but still a little pricey

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f
New York Area
9 reviews
Dined on November 21, 2018
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 5

Excellent pre-theater dining. Cashew salad highly recommended - enough for 2

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L
New York Area
10 reviews
Dined on November 18, 2018
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

We were celebrating with our friends thanksgiving as we do ever year. Wanted to try somewhere new. Made a reservation at the suggestion of someone else. Had someone from the restaurant call and confirm and I spoke with them. When we got there at 8:45, we walked into not 1, not 2, but 3 large parties taking place and taking over all but about six tables as you walk in with a large buffet of food in the middle of the restaurant. We were not happy, yet we tried to make the best of it. We waited for a while to have a waiter noice we were there, finally took a drink order, we asked how long it would take, we waited a while and still did not get the drinks and decided to leave after sitting there for 30 minutes. I did speak with the manager who was very apologetic. If the person that called to confirm the reservation told me there would be three parties taking place, we would have made a different decision and gone to the library another night. I’m so disappointed. It ruined part of our night and that could have been taken care of with respect for your customers.

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BN
New York Area
11 reviews
Dined on November 17, 2018
Overall 2food 3service 2ambience 1

The management has put too many tables in the space so that some diners are shoehorned into uncomfortable and small space- the prices are a little high for the quality of the food and the service is spotty

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MC
New York Area
134 reviews
Dined on November 15, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 4

Twice in a row have I had a disappointing meal that ended up spoiling the evening. How difficult is it to get food out in a reasonable time in a restaurant that announces that they will get you to your theatre on time. It really feel like there’s a big disconnect between the kitchen and your table. Food comes out initially quickly, then the long wait begins. You finally get the entree and then hope to have a quick coffee. Then coffee doesn’t come until you have to rush out to your show. It feels like there’s a premium on extracting as much money as possible from you for the least effort possible. Thank goodness the bar is skilled or there wouldn’t be anything to salvage of the evening.

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s
London
28 reviews
Dined on November 15, 2018
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 5

The restaurant has good food and has a wonderful ambiance. It is also great to be able to eat there if you are attending an event at the Public theater. My dinner this time was not very good, however I have had better meals there. My friend ordered the hamburger and was very happy. I ordered the caesar salad which was delicious and a chicken and cous cous entree, which was dry and tasteless. Next time I might order the burger!!! But the service is great and the restaurant has a really nice vibe.

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VA
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on November 11, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

This restaurant at The Public Theater is an excellent pre-performance dinner place, and would also probably be top notch for a business lunch. My son and I both had fish, which was cooked perfectly and came with tasty though small vegetable servings. An intriguing menu...check it out online.

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M
New York Area
61 reviews
Dined on November 11, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Terrific as usual

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

Did not know a private event prior to the reservation, they came by and asked if everything's fine for every 5-10 minutes for more than 10 times which means 'get out we have a private party, we don't care your date'. Not going again.

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OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on November 2, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

The host and waiter both asked if we were seeing a show. I told them both it was a surprise (for the guest I was with - who was standing right there) and they still proceeded in making me tell them the show (“so they could get us out on time”) thus ruining the surprise. I booked the time I booked b/c I can manage my own time and didn’t need the restaurant to make sure I got out on time. When I said it was a surprise that should have been the end of the discussion.

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

Food was pleasant albeit $35 for fish and chips is extremely ridiculous even for NYC standards. And someone’s dog was running around. The wait staff asked us if we wanted more to eat and drink about five times, so we just left. Will not be returning for after show eats.

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CB
London
2 reviews
Dined on November 1, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Great place for pre-theater dining. Wait staff is friendly and accommodating and food is very good.

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PG
New York Area
1 review
Dined on November 1, 2018
Overall 4food 2service 3ambience 5

Tasteless fries
Small not great hamburger
Great soft serve frozen custard

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W
New York Area
118 reviews
Dined on October 29, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

Both the burger and the ribs were delicious. Nice service and your manager did a good job of taking care of a problem.

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YP
1 review
Dined on October 27, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

I enjoyed the atmosphere at The Library at the Public greatly. My friends enjoyed their meals and drinks as well. I was not the biggest fan of the ceasar salad as it was just large pieces of lettuce and the dressing had a very strong anchoive flavor. But the hummus, fries and drinks were great.

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CG
New York Area
75 reviews
Dined on October 26, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 4

Convenient location for pre-theater. Servers are sensitive to curtain times.
Expensive and limited menu.

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AS
New York Area
15 reviews
Dined on October 25, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

A bit expensive, but the portions are very large. Food is quite good.

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R
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on October 25, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 4

Very nice ambiance and convenient before the theater. Food nothing to write home about and the service was very mediocre. Would only eat there when I am at the Public.

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PB
1 review
Dined on October 24, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I'm not a beef lover, but that flat iron steak was wonderful. it's the second time I've ordered it, and it was just as good the second time as the first time, which was outstanding. All-around great experience – again.

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HS
New York Area
1 review
Dined on October 23, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Perfect for pre theater dinner when visiting Public Theater. Beautiful room, service geared to shows starting, 20% off for Public members and 10% for any ticket holder. So comfortable to dine and then see a show.

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DI
Los Angeles
12 reviews
Dined on October 23, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Really convenient

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SC
New York Area
43 reviews
Dined on October 23, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 3

Unfortunately seated at small table with wooden chairs while other tables had comfy chairs. Had a reservation and know that someone with no reservation was better situated. Room was chilly, in past experiences I have been more comfortable.

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OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on October 22, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Perfection!

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SW
New York Area
1 review
Dined on October 21, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Loved this nyc hidden gem! Was there for Kendall Thomas singing Nat King Cole songs w/friends. After a Sunday matinee we headed upstairs to The Library for dinner! On the pricey side. But what a lovely surprise! Beautiful room, great menu and wine selection. Coffee ☕️ was good! Attentive, nice staff, service! As old Public Theater members, it was our first time! We’re coming back! Thank you!

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SS
New York Area
1 review
Dined on October 20, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 4

My food was undercooked - even after I specifically order my meat cooked well done. Our order was served incorrectly.

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A
New York Area
194 reviews
Dined on October 20, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

The room is quite charming, the service is good as was the food but sorry to say we found The Library very over priced for very little food. We would not likely return.

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OT
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on October 18, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 4ambience 4

Food was mediocre.

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VK
New York Area
1 review
Dined on October 18, 2018
Overall 2food 3service 2ambience 5

food was served in 10 minutes
portions were very small for the price

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TR
New York Area
33 reviews
Dined on October 16, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

What a great spot for terrific cocktails and food in a cozy atmosphere. Fantastic!

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j
New York Area
1 review
Dined on October 16, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

I neglected to mention my Public Theatre membership and get 20% off. Otherwise the food was very good, the service was friendly and timed nicely. I ate there because I was seeing a musical that evening. The noice level was warm because you could have a conversation.

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CO
New York Area
5 reviews
Dined on October 14, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 3

My only ding on the library is the menu isn't great. My pasta was a bit repetitive and boring. but i Love the atmosphere and we had a fun night.

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GO
New York Area
40 reviews
Dined on October 13, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

The calamari appetizer is enough to be shared by two. Nicely breaded and with a tangy/spicy topping which did not overwhelm the calamari.

The trout dish was very generous in its size. The accompanying beans were delicious. The trout with the skinned exterior was very tasty and hearty.

With the amount of food consumed, the dessert was the simple choice of chocolate/vanilla ice cream with pokey sticks. It had beads of chocolate that gave it a fun twist.

The service was very attentive and not intrusive. The hostess queried as to the performance being seen so the timing of the reservation and delivery of the food was spot on. The overall meal was not rushed with service or time.

If you are looking for a minimal cost, this will not be your choice. Nevertheless the overall room, staff and food was a lovely experience.

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B
New York Area
23 reviews
Dined on October 13, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Was surprisingly delicious, comfortable and the service was great. What's better than eating in the same building that you are seeing a show in? Not much.

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