The Library at the Public

4.3
823 reviews
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$30 and under
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American
Top Tags:
  • Pre/post Theatre
  • Quiet Conversation
  • Handcrafted Cocktails
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, Pay with OpenTable, 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.
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Special events & promotions
Please e-mail events@publictheater.org for information.
Additional
Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Chef's Table, Counter Seating, Full Bar, Late Night, Non-Smoking, Wheelchair Access, Wine

Private Dining

The Library at The Public Theater is located on the mezzanine level of the Public Theater and serves American cuisine. Our event program features custom, chef-designed menus and personalized service from a team of event planning professionals.

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What 823 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
4.0
food
4.5
service
4.5
ambience
3.7
value
Noise · Moderate
89% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
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BC
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

The Library is the perfect spot for a quick meal before a performance at the Public Theater. The food is excellent and the staff knows what diners are on a timetable to make a curtain.

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OT
New York Area
74 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

So convenient being at the same address. Friendly staff. Excellent food. A little pricey

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LA
Las Vegas
6 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The Library is like going home. Wonderful people, great menu, efficient service as we are usually attending theatre.

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M
New York Area
15 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

burgers are great. staff was wonderful. Especially good spot if you have tickets for the Public Theater.

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b
New York Area
78 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 3

We were very disappointed in our meal . The service was very slow and the food only fiar.

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RF
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on September 13, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 3

Though I would recommend the Library for the quality of its food, I would discourage those who don't like eating with other guests within 12 inches on each side. Because it's a restaurant housed in the Public Theatre, they seem to try and fit as many customers as possible. The food and service are outstanding, but very pricey.

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MT
New York Area
43 reviews
Dined on September 13, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

The Library is THE place to eat before a show at the Public. I still want the lobster rolls to be larger but they are delicious. The tacos are a great appetizer. New burrata dish is splendid. Unfortunately the touted fish and chips are mostly chips with very little fish! Nice atmosphere and personal service.

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OT
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on September 12, 2018
Overall 3food 2service 5ambience 5

Very expensive for what you get. Joe's Burger which was really a slider is $17.00. Had a vodka on the rocks $17.00, one ounce only.
Their core crowd are
theatre patron's. So off the Street customers does probably not happen.

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S
New York Area
5 reviews
Dined on August 18, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 4

At an early hour dinner was pleasantly quiet. The food was decent but not remarkable and certainly not worth the price. We don’t mind spending money on a great meal; this was not in that category.

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R
New York Area
17 reviews
Dined on August 18, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

The Library is a great standby for dining pre-theatre at The Public or any of the other theatres in the area. While the menu stays the same, the specials are engaging, and the food is always fresh and tasty. Can't beat the service.

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MC
New York Area
126 reviews
Dined on August 17, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

The room is really charming, and the food is quite good. The salads are enormous and something of an overkill, but the mussels are delicious and the trout is superbly crispy and served with a delicious ratatouille. The cocktails and wine pours are generous. All in all a great meal.

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CG
New Orleans
8 reviews
Dined on August 17, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

Terrific place to dine either before or after a show at The Public. Be sure to get your discount if you are a member.

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l
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on August 11, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 3

While the ambiance was halfhearted with half-filled bookshelves and the overall scene was amicably quiet, it never reaching over 60% capacity despite our waiter seeming emotionally overworked throughout. Unable to clear plates or bring water at his own behest, we had to push and prod the entire Saturday night dinner service long. While tucked away and partly adorable, this place lacked authentic charm and solid service. Decent and well-flavored food and strong drinks brought back a bit of depth but overall, just an average experience.

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LG
New York Area
20 reviews
Dined on August 8, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 4

In think the food was ok. I had trout, which felt like had not been salted or very moderately so it was a little bland. Partner had a good steak with good french fries. Liked the service, very friendly. Ambiance is cool. Al over I think the total price for dinner inc. beet and wine was a lityle over priced for what it was.

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d
1 review
Dined on August 4, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Such a classy place. Really beautiful. And the food was delicious and fresh.

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F
New York Area
108 reviews
Dined on August 4, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our appetizers and entrees (steak and trout) were cooked perfectly and presented beautifully. Drinks were very good and service was fine. It’s great to have such a convenient restaurant available when we see a play at The Public.

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F
New York Area
43 reviews
Dined on August 1, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

As always, the service was great and they got us out in time to make our curtain. The burgers were delicious. The prices are a bit high but that is somewhat offset by the member discount.

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l
New York Area
143 reviews
Dined on July 31, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

An absolute must before a 7 pm curtain at the Public. And it's a good deal for members.

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DD
New York Area
29 reviews
Dined on July 29, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

I ate here twice on consecutive nights - the first time with the girlfriend and the other to celebrate a college graduation with friends. Both times I ordered from their restaurant week menu, and each course was very good and tasty. Beet salad, burger, and mussels were great. They also make an excellent Negroni and Side Car. We were lucky that there wasn't a show downstairs. The restaurant was only a 1/4 full, and we were able to take our time. The ambiance was cozy, and the only thing missing was a fireplace for a cold, winter night.

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G
New York Area
42 reviews
Dined on July 29, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Very good food. Pleasant low-key atmosphere. Perfect for when you are seeing a play at the Public Theater.

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m
New York Area
40 reviews
Dined on July 28, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Even if not going to a play at the public ideal , civilized dinner in the east village . Great for grown ups and wait staff super attentive and professional

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RC
New York Area
1 review
Dined on July 27, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 3

$18 for a coctail?And it was a “cheap” shot: not a full martini glass... and not prepared well. Too much sweet vermouth for a tequilla manhattan.. Rest. Week menu: needs some help: fish and chips was very good: califlower dish mediocre... rubarb crisp, very good.. problem is; none of it was compelling enough to draw me back for a return visit or to recommend it... sorry to say..

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b
New York Area
15 reviews
Dined on July 23, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 5ambience 5

The food was very good, particularly the shrimp tacos and French fries. Portions were good size (except dessert with the restaurant week meal. Service was also very good. Only drawback was the limited and disappointing wine by the glass options and the prices on the wine were quite high, even for mediocre offerings.

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k
New York Area
36 reviews
Dined on July 23, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

This was my first time at ‘tis stablishment. Our server was very attentive and accommodating. Restaurant week selections were perfect for us....2 different fish selections. Dessert was superb. I will be back.

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JR
New England
1 review
Dined on July 22, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

The Library always pleases: richly flavored food, inventive cocktails, very good wines, and excellent service.

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MS
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on July 21, 2018
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 4

Cocktail list was inventive, the pours were solid and the bartender crafted them well. Food was basic, but no complaints. Definitely a place for adults, basically a pre-theater dinner and then possibly after show drinks with a nice seating arrangements including couches near bar. The decor kept it quiet, reserved, enjoyable. See you again for sure soon.

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T
Detroit
11 reviews
Dined on July 20, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

I'm an outlnander from Michigsn -- came because I was seeing a play. But I loved the atmosphere -- almost like a neighborhood bistro. Got into some fun conversations at the bar with other playgoers. Will come again -- play or not.

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m
New York Area
13 reviews
Dined on July 20, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

A beautiful restaurant with great food and desserts. We have been there several times and have never been disappointed.

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DD
New York Area
1 review
Dined on July 19, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I loved it ! great restaurant and so convenient to dine at the theater !

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SF
New York Area
20 reviews
Dined on July 19, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 4

The Library never disappoints--the food is consistently good and the service is quite good. We are frequently at the Public Theatre and it's great to have a reliable place for dinner before the show.

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j
1 review
Dined on July 19, 2018
Overall 4food 3service 3ambience 4

medium rare burger came out rare, almost blue.
the salad had next to no dressing on it
the squid was excellent.

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UW
New York Area
6 reviews
Dined on July 18, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 4

The best thing about the Library is its location inside the Public Theatre, which makes it very convenient if you're going to a show. It's an attractive setting, wood-paneled with bookshelves to look like a library. The food was tasty, although my husband's steak was too salty (and he likes well-salted food) and not a lot of choices for the main course. Be warned, salad portion is enormous, as was the pasta I ordered as main course.

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R
New York Area
12 reviews
Dined on July 18, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 4

We went to a show . We were dissapointed in the fish tacos ,but the bartender as usual made a great drink . The burger was undercooked but the fries were also great as always. It was a hit or miss meal but we have had better here.

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e
New York Area
10 reviews
Dined on July 14, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

You have a friendly and fun staff. From the moment you walk into he Library, you feel comfortable and welcomed.

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2
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on July 14, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 5ambience 5

The portions are smallish. Bread should be served with salads, etc.

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A
New York Area
16 reviews
Dined on July 14, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 5

First time at The Library and have been wanting to go for a while. Decor was very cool. Went for a friend get-together but seems like it would be a good date spot too. Cocktails were amazing. Ordered the burrata and street corn. My friend ordered the tagliatelle ragu and everything was great! Will definitely be going back.

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MM
Chicago
53 reviews
Dined on July 13, 2018
Overall 4food 2service 4ambience 5

I have been here twice and the first time was exceptional which is why I returned. The second time was a bit of a disappointment. I chose something on the menu that I thought was inedible so returned it to the kitchen, asking for a plate of fries (quick prep since we had show tickets). I asked the price and was told that it was six dollars then ten minutes later I was told it was nine dollars at which point I said to cancel the order. At no time did the server ever acknowledge the problem with the food or offer to ameliorate the situation. When I return to the Public, I shall avoid the restaurant and go for the bar.

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NY
New York Area
48 reviews
Dined on July 13, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This was not my first time at the Library. First, if you have a play, they get you there on time! Service is friendly but definitely not smarmy. The food is delicious and not so typical. The roast trout and vegetables as fresh, hot and delicious. The salad was GIGANTIC, so even though my DH and I don't usually share food, we shared his enormous, delicious, lightly dressed salad. Nice drink menu, reasonable wines. The play we saw was pretty good too. This is THE place for dinner if you're seeing a show at the Public. As members, we enjoyed our 20% discount as well.

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

The food and service are very good. You are paying for the convenience of the location.

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MS
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on July 11, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Joshua E. was amazingly kind in taking in our allergy situation! My colleague is allergic to shrimp and he went above and beyond to make sure all the food was “safe”. Not all places do this so we are VERY appreciative of his kind (superhero) service! Thanks for a lovely evening!

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