The Library at the Public

4.3
923 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

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What 923 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
4.5
service
4.5
ambience
3.8
value
Noise · Moderate
91% of people would recommend it to a friend
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RK
New York Area
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 4food 2service 5ambience 5

I love the Library; great ambiance, bartenders are fantastic (drinks + friendliness + attentive service). But this time the food was really mediocre — chickpeas in my fish dish were undercooked and sauce tasted a little burned; my friends’ dishes were o oh OK as well. Salad was huge, oily and bland. Unappetizing. Fries were spectacular as always.

We came at 8:00 in between the Public theater crowd leaving and the Joes Pub rush., so the kitchen should have been a little more attentive. Will totally come back, just hoping the food focus gets back to where it used to be.

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M
New York Area
16 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 3food 3service 5ambience 5

This is an ideal location for dinner or a drink, pre or post Public Theater shows. You get the vibe of a private club in the small room which includes a bar. The service is excellent. You can check your coat and pick it up after your show and the food and cocktails good without being spectacular. My one one problem is the "Seasonal Menu"... I've been a member of the Public for a while and have dined here several times... It seems the chef here considers New York City to be a one season town, because I can't remember the last time they changed the menu! I've gone right through the menu, it'd be nice to see a revamp sometime soon.

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W
New York Area
120 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Always one of the best burgers in town, cooked just right and delicious.

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j
New York Area
8 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Love going to the Library before a show at the Public. Food is superb and service is excellent. They get you out with time for the show, but I wish they opened at 5 instead of 5:30.

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YM
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent food, service and ambiance. Can't wait to go back.

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PC
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 3

Very handy when seeing a show at the Public but worth going even if you're not seeing a play--cozy setting, delicious food, good choices and friendly, attentive service.

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MC
New York Area
148 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

The food has recently improved, and this time the service was excellent. The trout was beautifully prepared, and the cocktails were excellent.

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KB
New York Area
65 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

Nice space, similar to a clubby room at a university alumni restaurant. Good food, adequate portions, occasionally off. Chicken, salads, fish, fries all excellent. Stay away from.the lobster rolls... ridiculously small portion.
Service is pleasant and will certainly be mindful of your show time.

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p
New York Area
66 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

The Library is a lovely spot to dine and the service staff is excellent. We had a good meal and loved our dessert.

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A
New York Area
19 reviews
Dined on March 8, 2019
Overall 1food 4service 1ambience 3

Came here for my birthday dinner. I had been once before and remembered good food and cocktails. The food again was good and the cocktails tasty (although very overpriced). The service, however, was abysmal!! Our waitress disappeared after the appetizers and we did not see her again the entire dinner! My fiancé ordered a second cocktail and it came as we were finishing our main course. We wanted to get dessert but decided against it because we didn’t know how long we would be sitting there. Despite the good food I will definitely not be going back!

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F
New York Area
52 reviews
Dined on March 8, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

Nice venue and convenient for a meal before seeing a show at the Public. Otherwise prices are a bit high and the portions somewhat small.

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i
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on March 8, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Good atmosphere. . Great food and service. You don't need to yell while still maintaining the privacy.

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J
New York Area
24 reviews
Dined on March 2, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

My wife snd I celebrated our anniversary with a show at Joe’s Pub and dinner at The Library at the Public. Both were terrific. The Library is a lovely restaurant and bar serving great cocktails and delicious food. We shared the tacos appetizer and had the burger and ribs for dinner with a side of Brussel sprouts. The burger is my wife’s favorite in NYC. Everything we excellent. Added bonuses: The Library offers a 10% discount for day of dining tickets for any show at the Public of Joe’s Pub and an additional 10% for members of the Public Theatre.

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n
New York Area
17 reviews
Dined on March 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent food is a quiet, intimate space.

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AP
New York Area
1 review
Dined on February 28, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 5ambience 5

Convenient for going to the Public. Food is just ok. In all fairness, several parties were going on, so perhaps the kitchen was distracted. Food was not hot. Large fall salad was missing shaved market veggies, just radishes with an indistinguishable dressing. Sent one dish back as one of the spices, clove, overwhelmed and it was cold. Considerate service.

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OT
New York Area
17 reviews
Dined on February 28, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 5

Usually we get the same things when we eat at The Library - mini lobster rolls and burgers. This time I tried fish & chips. Chips weren’t hot and the batter on the fish wasn’t crisp, it was gluey. My friend had the trout - had to ask for lemon wedges because it was so boring. No salt, pepper or other seasonings as far as she could tell. The apple crisp had lots of nuts on it - we remembered it with more crumbs and less nuts. It’s a convenient place to go but we will stick to the tried and true going forward.

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OT
Seattle
4 reviews
Dined on February 26, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Dinner before a show at Joe’s Pub. Lovely ambiance. Warm welcome and service. Good food. Bear in mind that at Joe’s Pub they have the same menu and a requirement for a 2-drink minimum or a food order, so save room!

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s
New York Area
11 reviews
Dined on February 26, 2019
Overall 3food 5service 2ambience 4

The service was poor-slow-we barely made our play! This has never happened to us before. I have dined there many times-our menus were taken from us before we had a chance to order-and we had to scramble to get into our seats.

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m
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on February 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The staff was very kind and courteous. Knowing that we were not going to that evening's show, they told us they would be more relaxed with our table, since there were other tables needing to rush out. We appreciated the heads up. The food and drinks were great. The ambiance was very old school, which I loved. The Library was a terrific find.

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B
New York Area
70 reviews
Dined on February 24, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 4ambience 4

A twenty dollar martini is outrageous. Menu is not varied enough and in general to highly priced. We won’t be back soon.

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r
New York Area
17 reviews
Dined on February 21, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Have the French fries!

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NF
Tampa
23 reviews
Dined on February 21, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 4

The library was the perfect place since we were attending a play there. The drinks were very expensive but the food was good.

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d
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on February 19, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 1

Dreary atmosphere. Name brand liquors such as Dewars Scotch and Grey Goose Vodka not available. Hamburgers were excellent altho the accompanying green salad was thrown together with a harsh dressing. With some effort with the decor and detail to food presentation could be a lot better.

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H
New York Area
33 reviews
Dined on February 19, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Before theater it’s just right

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OT
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on February 16, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 5ambience 4

Food was subpar and meat was undercooked. Nice restaurant in remote location but not worth the high prices.

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RH
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on February 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Public Theater performance

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OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 4

Did never got seated

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JE
New York Area
30 reviews
Dined on February 9, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

The Library is a great place to go, even if you are not seeing at a show at the Public. It is a cozy space with delicious food. Everything is nicely prepared and presented. I had a beet salad that was hearty and flavorful as well as fish that was served with a chick pea stew. For a cold evening, this was the perfect hearty meal. My guest enjoyed the caesar salad that was huge and a shrimp and pasta dish. Sadly there was no room for dessert! The waiter was attentive and friendly. We did have to ask for bread but I was glad we did as it was really fresh!

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M
1 review
Dined on February 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I love everything about The Library -- the food, the ambiance, the service. It's an excellent value in a beautiful room. I would recommend it to everyone.

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OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on February 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent!

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KP
New York Area
6 reviews
Dined on January 22, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I love that ambiance of this place, went on a Tuesday night during restaurant week, so it was pretty quiet but the food was delicious and the drinks were great too! I definitely recommend it!

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CF
New York Area
26 reviews
Dined on January 12, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 4

Good ambiance. Food is okay, but nothing amazing. Prices are high. $18 for small cocktail. Joe Papp would not be thrilled by the expensive menu, but good oasis if you’re seeing a show.

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h
New York Area
6 reviews
Dined on January 9, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 5

I love the atmosphere and everyone is so nice. I've been here many times. However, it's just too expensive, and the menu needs to be changed up. The lobster roll used to be a bit bigger and better. Now it's absurd.
Please fix.

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KH
New York Area
24 reviews
Dined on January 9, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 3

Crazy loud, but we only had an hour and our waitress took care to make sure we got our food quickly and got out in time for a show.

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s
San Francisco
14 reviews
Dined on January 9, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

Convenience at a price. It just isn't a good value.

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PA
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on January 6, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

I really liked the understated but classy experience.

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U
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on January 5, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 5

This is the Public Theater restaurant. The location is stylish and beautiful, the menu has nice variety and the drinks are above average.

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OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on December 30, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 3

The food did not come out as ordered. 2 x a return on a burger, 1st well done, 2nd raw! One and done!

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B
New York Area
1 review
Dined on December 22, 2018
Overall 2food 1service 5ambience 2

Menu gets to be repetitive and boring. Portions are tiny so sharing is ridiculous. Ambiance is pleasant and waiter was very nice.
Same identical menu every time.

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US
New York Area
70 reviews
Dined on December 21, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 5

Very straightforward menu, revised periodically to keep matters fresh and flavorful. We had two pasta dishes -- one with mushrooms, the other with shrimp & tomato -- both strikingly good.

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