Very nice ambience and a beautiful, historical building
We were 10 minutes late due to lack of parking. I called to let them know we were looking for parking and when we finally arrived our reservation had been cancelled. We ended up at a table near the door and felt that we were in the middle of a highway, very uncomfortable and could not enjoy the dinner, I almost walked out. Very disappointed since the reservation was made two weeks ahead of time.
I absolutely love it here. If you are looking for great food and service look no further. I live two hours away and I make the drive every year (usually for an anniversary dinner) to have a nice steak with plenty of good apps and sides to choose from. Would highly recommend.
We thoroughly enjoyed our first time at the Library. The food was New York steak house quality. Our only negative comment and concern was the young and inexperienced wait staff and hostess. The quality of the good outweighed the inexperience and unprofessional staff. An experienced maître d’ with wine knowledge checking on the tables would be a welcomed addition to such a historically vibrant space.
We will certainly return!
We've never had anything less than a very good meal at The Library (after 30 or more visits). Most have been fabulous. The staff, the ambiance and especially the menu selections are always top notch. They prepare your food the way you would like, whether it's a dietary requirement or just your personal preference. While we expect the food to be prepared perfectly, it still amazes us at how they can maintain their consistency over the years! There are several very good restaurants in the area but we find ourselves always going back to The Library for all of our "special occasion" dinners. Sometimes we'll go just because we want to have an excellent meal. I don't see this approach changing anytime soon! Known as a steakhouse, it easily rivals some of the better known steakhouses in the country. Try it. You won't be disappointed!
Unfortunately the wait staff is very unprofessional here. Congregating at the end of the bar and talking loudly about their inappropriate weekend escapades, distracting and disrupting our special Valentines meal. The food was definitely not worth the expensive prices. The meals arrived cold. My husband’s steak was quite under cooked, my haddock and lobster stuffing was overcooked and rubbery. There were multiple bones in the haddock and chunks of shell in the lobster. The rice that accompanied my meal was lumpy and bland and the roasted carrots were burned.
This is the first time I have ever posted a negative review about a restaurant, I did leave a message on Facebook for the restaurant and no one even bothered to reply, never mind apologize.
My husband and I had dinner at The Library Restaurant recently to celebrate my birthday. We arrived early for our 7:30 reservation, but they seated us right away. We had a nice table in front of the fireplace in a quiet area. The restaurant was very busy on a Saturday night. Our server, Anna was wonderful! She was friendly, very knowledgeable and efficient. We both had steaks that were cooked perfectly! We agreed that it was the best meal we have had in a while. I would highly recommend it!!
Second time here for a special occasion. Service was fast, food was beyond excellent! Staff was friendly and helpful with menu knowledge when we had questions. I love the Library and make it a point to come whenever I’m in Portsmouth!
I loved the sauteed vegetables option! The taste of the meals, you could tell the prep was done at the restaurant and not store bought or processed. The food presentation was outstanding and we felt spoiled.
We had a lovely dinner! Beautiful space. Sat by the fireplace. Great wine list. Loved the bang bang shrimp. Cesaer salad was fine but not amazing. Steak was phenomenal. Highly recommend the decadent potatoes as gratin. Finished with a tasty chocolate layer cake.
Great food, can be pricy but it’s worth it.
I went here with my husband because he loves steak. I don’t, but the Vegetarian Pasta is amazing!
As always our experience at The Library was superb. The ambiance, the waitress, the service, but above all the food. We almost never vary in ordering as you have the best rack of lamb in Portsmouth. It is big enough for us to share and still have some left over. The asparagus was cooked to perfection, and we delighted in the oysters. We have a number of gift certificates from Portsmouth AlaCarte, however, we find ourselves returning to The Library more often than not. Don’t change a thing.
It was so wonderful. My steak was cooked to perfection, as were the side dishes. The desserts were incredible.
Food fair at best! Overpriced for mediocre food and service.
Great for any kind of occasion. Food is outstanding! Service is excellent, no rush, gives you time to relax and enjoy the meal with the person you are with.
Chicken portion was very small for the price. The baked potato wasn’t cooked long enough and tasted funny. The meals very over priced!!
We made a reservation for 3 for Saturday night at 7:30. They seem a bit short on help - 2 hostesses, but one bartender who was slammed while we waited about 20 mins for our table. The restaurant itself is beautiful with a library theme (bookcases everywhere). Our waiter was friendly, and the food was outstanding. The Bang Bang shrimp was spicy and perfectly cooked. My daughter and I shared a 12oz filet mignon, while my husband had the rib eye. Our filet arrived already split and on two plates - very helpful without being asked. We would return here.
Ribeye was over cooked. It was supposed to be MR and it was M to MW. I do not mind paying $40 for steak, yet not good value when overcooked. The other three steaks were all cooked to temp. I know I could have asked to have for a new steak. However, I did not want the others at the table to feel badly about eating while I waited for another steak. I ate some of it. Overall, the Library does a nice job and I will go back. No restaurant can execute 100% of the time.
Wonderful food. Had rack of lamb - 4 large ribs. Husband had baked stuff haddock. Shared creamed corn and Brussels sprouts/squash sides. They were excellent!
Server was knowledgeable, attentive, and very personable.
Old world ambiance....quiet amongst the books...very relaxing with good service and food!
Food was excellent service was excellent atmosphere was excellent
Dined there about a year ago and enjoyed it tremendously. This time was a fairly big failure. My wife and I took another couple for their Christmas gift (late gift; we were there for lunch last Friday, 1/26). Although it was relatively quiet at 12 noon on Friday, service was incredibly slow (and I'm not often that fussy) in the bar area where we sat. One of our guests' burgers was "cold," he said (we didn't send anything back, unfortunately), and they had not gotten in their daily delivery of avocado, so I couldn't have the item I'd wanted. Anyway, 3 problems that day, which I found very surprising.
Outstanding food and service. The wait staff were very helpful, fully professional in a positive way.
A great raw oyster and filet mignon feast for my birthday. Excellent everything!
Ambiance and service were excellent. Food was excellent, some steaks seemed a bit pricey since they were a la carte but the entrees included starch and veggie so were good value. Honestly though the meat was exceptional as was the swordfish so no real complaints on price-all worth it.
The Library never disappoints. Great food and the atmosphere is great.
We spent the weekend at the Portsmouth Harbor Inn & Spa and had dinner here Friday. The staff was friendly and we loved our waitress. She gave us helpful advice and answered our questions about the beautiful building. She was attentive but also gave us space to enjoy our meal. The ambience was wonderful: quiet music, low lighting, everything was clean and neat. We loved the stained glass windows and the carved wooden walls and ceilings. The food was INCREDIBLE, we ordered steaks and they were melt in your mouth, cooked exactly like we ordered. We shared a side order of Mac and cheese and that was also delicious. We can’t wait to take another trip to Portsmouth and go back to The Library Restaurant!
The Library is worth going to for the food and the ambiance. It is pricey, but the quality of the food is worth it. I went during a slow lunch period and the front end was disappointing. While the wait staff knew I was waiting for someone they did not check on me at all. My dining companion hadn't arrived and had to cancel after an hour of waiting. During that entire time they did not check to see if I wanted anything even once. After I had waited for far too long, I had to go find someone to take my order.
Maybe it was just that one day, or maybe that is why the lunch service was so devoid of patrons. Either way, with an improved attention to customers by the wait staff, this place would be a great find.
Lunch was disappointing, despite the food being good.
The restaurant charged extra to split plates for lunch and for the steak sauce. The steak was extremely overpriced for lunch and the cut.
The menus were plastic laminated; the ambience and service was not aligned with the high prices. I would be more than happy paying if the experience was better.