The Library Restaurant

4.5
1176 reviews
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$31 to $50
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Steakhouse

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About

Join us for traditional New England fare, while surrounded by architectural treasures of an era gone by. The Library is prestigious while reasonably priced, with something for everyone through all seasons. It is the perfect setting for a business luncheon or dinner. You can also enjoy lighter fare or a friendly cocktail in our lounge. Our dining and board rooms are always available for private functions.
Dining Style
Casual Elegant
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Cuisines
Steakhouse, Continental
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Hours of operation
Lunch: Monday - Saturday: 11:30am - 3:00pm; Dinner: Sunday - Thursday: 5:00pm - 9:30pm, Friday & Saturday: 5:00pm - 10:00pm; Brunch: Sunday: 11:30am - 3:00pm Menu served daily in The Lounge from 3:00-5:00 PM
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Phone number
(603) 431-5202
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Payment options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Casual Dress
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Private party facilities
We are delighted that you are interested in celebrating your special occasion at The Library Restaurant!
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Private party contact
Lauren Looser: (888) 637-0296
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Neighborhood
Additional
Banquet, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Fireplace, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking, Private Room, Wine
What 1176 People Are SayingWrite a review
Overall ratings and reviews
4.5based on recent ratings
4.6
food
4.4
service
4.6
ambience
4.2
value
Noise · Quiet
96% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
4
3
2
1
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OT
New England
1 review
Dined on August 25, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Best steak I’ve ever had!

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OT
New England
1 review
Dined on August 18, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Great meal! A tiny bit oversalted, but I don't have a salty palate. Great steak, scallops and potatoes! Service was wonderful as well.

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FH
1 review
Dined on August 16, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

The Library came highly recommended by my son who lives in NH. H and his wife have een there several times. We were visiting them over our wedding anniv rsary and I made a reservation for my wife and I. We arrived early and were seated immediately. The decor is phenominal and so relaxing and comfortable. We started with bowls of chowder which were excellent. I had the 12 oz filet and my wif a rack of lamb with a demi glaze. Both were cooked to perfection and delicious. Since the menu is a la carte we opted for the potatoes au gratin and creamed spinich. Again, both were absolutely delicious. It definately lived up to its reputation as one of the best steak houses in N h. Our server Ashley was great! We will defend nately return, with our son and wife next time

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KK
1 review
Dined on August 4, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 3

Service was OK. Waitress was rarely around. Steak was good though a bit over priced. We split 3 "sides for two" and had loads left over - good sized portions. My sauce was forgotten but we got charged for it - my own fault for not saying anything, but this shouldn't happen at this type of restaurant.

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PC
New England
1 review
Dined on August 4, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 3

The food was very good but our server rushed us and grabbed our plates as soon as we put our forks down. Also, the tables were much too close together so that it was difficult to sit down and then your chair was right up against the adjoining table and guest. We saw a couple of other guests leave the restaurant because the tables were too close together.

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RB
Jacksonville
5 reviews
Dined on August 4, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

Our first trip to Portsmouth, NH - great find for a nice quiet restaurant with very good food and service. The ambiance of being in an old library was excellent. Even brought your bill in a hardback book. Very nice and we would return - always one of our rating criteria.

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DC
1 review
Dined on July 31, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Had a fantastic meal...waitress was great...Bartender before dinner drinks and after for a night cap...Kim was awesome...great personality —friendly—-all around great place —

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LM
1 review
Dined on July 28, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

My husband and I enjoyed our dinner at the library restaurant. The only perplexing happenstance for us, occurred when the bar refused to serve us our Long Island Iced Tea. We order one of these occasionally when we go out to restaurants and didn't understand why they would not serve it. Unfortunately the server was unaware of the reason too! Everything else was wonderful! I would recommend this restaurant. The ambiance and steaks are beyond compare.

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DA
Philadelphia
19 reviews
Dined on July 28, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent steaks in a seafood town! Service was exceptional!

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DK
New England
3 reviews
Dined on July 25, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

If you are fussy about your steak, this is the place.

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L
Montreal
2 reviews
Dined on July 25, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My filet mignon was as exquisite as the best I have ever had, which was in County Clare, Ireland, famous for its tender beef.

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E
New England
5 reviews
Dined on July 21, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Love the place exclamation great ambience and great food.

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OT
New England
1 review
Dined on July 21, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had heard mixed reviews about the library, and we were hesitant to try it, but contrary to what we had heard it was amazing. The service was prompt despite showing up for our reservation 15 minutes early. The food was perfectly prepared and delicious to the last bite and our waiter Tom was attentive without hovering. For average Joe's like us I would definitely recommend if you're looking for a nice evening with a great ambiance. Definitely one of the best(if not the best) steaks in town.

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BD
1 review
Dined on July 20, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Not the place for a quick bite before the show, but for special occasions, or just to enjoy an excellent, quiet dinner, The Library can't be beat. Great food, great service, great atmosphere. Expect to spend more, but well worth it.

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CM
Miami
5 reviews
Dined on July 18, 2018
Overall 1food 1service 4ambience 2

Booked our anniversary dinner on a friend’s recommendation. Service was fine but everything else was a huge disappointment throughout the evening at this price point. Basically, very little attention to detail. Ordered drinks and my beer was warm; I sent it back. We ordered oysters and beef carpaccio for starters. Oysters were not cold enough; beef carpaccio tasted fine, but was served on a hot plate with cold bread. My wife ordered a filet which was very good. I ordered the $45 land and sea special with beef medallions and shrimp; at this price, my expectations were high. The shrimp were one size above popcorn shrimp and one of my beef medallions was spoiled meat. At this point, we just wanted to get out of this place, so we did not order dessert. We had ordered a nice bottle of wine, so our bill was over $250. The “surprised us” with a “free dessert” with a candle in it. We had to laugh when we realized that the “free dessert” was a glass with whipped cream from a can! Unbelievable!!! This place is old, dated, and clearly nobody is paying attention to the details.

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OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on July 17, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Anniversary

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g
New England
20 reviews
Dined on July 17, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Dining at The Library is always a very pleasant experience. The food is always delicious and presented beautifully. The staff are very attentive and go out of their way to make your evening perfect.

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PB
New England
1 review
Dined on July 14, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our server Jessica was just great. So attentive but not over your shoulder all the time. The food was delicious. The ambiance of the restaurant is just lovely and when they bring the bill, they put it into a library book. How unique!!!!! A lovely easy celebrating a birthday.

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WD
New England
1 review
Dined on July 14, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 5

It s a very unique venue located in a very ornate old library in downtown Portsmouth. Its not on the water which made it less touristy. Strangely quiet for a Friday night, mostly empty and service staff was limited. The main dining room is completely wood paneled with high ceilings so a full restaurant would be very noisy.

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W
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on July 11, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This is a must for us on every trip we make to the Portsmouth NH area. We come here 2 or 3 times per year, and we have never been disappointed. My wife always has seafood and I love the rack of lamb.

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l
Naples
13 reviews
Dined on July 8, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Elegant atmosphere, but you can dress casually. Food and service were perfect. Filet was very reasonably priced. My husband ordered 2 appetizers instead of an entree and it was plenty to eat. Loved the stained glass windows and carved wood ceiling. Also very happy with how quiet it was.

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MJ
New England
24 reviews
Dined on July 6, 2018
Overall 4food 3service 3ambience 3

Not bad however also not great.

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MT
New England
13 reviews
Dined on July 5, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

What a great find. Perfext fir a romantic dinner. Great ambiance and food.

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MO
New England
5 reviews
Dined on July 4, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 2

Food was OK, I think we suffered from holiday kitchen staff. The steak fries were obviously cooked at way too high a temperature with the Steak Dip sandwich. The servers were very friendly & attentive.

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OT
New England
1 review
Dined on July 3, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food with kind and attentive staff.

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OT
Philadelphia
3 reviews
Dined on July 3, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food was great, though rather pricey, and they forgot the birthday dessert I requested and they confirmed for my wife. Otherwise good experience.

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KB
1 review
Dined on July 2, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 4

Steaks were very good. Salmon and vegetable sides had zero seasoning. Vegetables were stunningly average and bland.

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OT
New England
1 review
Dined on June 29, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Are yearly visit for our anniversary
Excellent time

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AB
1 review
Dined on June 29, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We were there to celebrate our 61st Anniversary. Our lunch at The Library was beyond all we had hoped it would be. We chose to be seated in the dining room which turned out to be very private, quiet, intimate, and thoroughly enjoyable. The food was absolutely outstanding and the timeliness of the service was impeccable. Thank you for making our celebration an experience that we will never forget.

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MF
1 review
Dined on June 28, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 4

Getting drinks a little slow, food was excellent (mussels for App. & filet cooked perfectly for dinner), time between appetizer/salad & main meal a little fast (we were not in a hurry), overall service was"ok". We would go back for another try.

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C
Montreal
4 reviews
Dined on June 27, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

C’est notre restaurant préféré lorsque nous sommes sur la côte est.

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JM
New England
3 reviews
Dined on June 27, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great meal!

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S
Austin
8 reviews
Dined on June 25, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Outstanding service and incredibly good, perfectly cooked steaks...better than Ruth Chris

Delicious, but overpriced, oysters

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RV
1 review
Dined on June 23, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 2

Was quiet inside.. service was super slow and the food was fine but not great.

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OT
1 review
Dined on June 16, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

As usual great night started in the bar with dirty martini. Excellent. We both had filed mignon which was cooked perfectly. Terrific Anniversary dinner. We’ll be back.

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CJ
New England
85 reviews
Dined on June 16, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This is one of my favorite restaurants because the food is consistently delicious and the staff wonderful. Lauren the manager always greets us and makes us feel welcome every time. It's like family dinner! The filet is so tender that if you take some home it is still tender the next day. The crab cake is the best I've ever had. Can't say enough positive things about the Library

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RF
1 review
Dined on June 12, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My husband and I were celebrating 30 th wedding anniversary. SPECTACULAR wood on ceiling and wall. Looks like a library in a mansion. Best filet mignon I’ve had in years!

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K
1 review
Dined on June 10, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 4

Excellent meal. Service was slow but friendly. Ladies' room was subpar for the type of restaurant. They happily accommodated a request for a birthday dessert (candle). Many wines by the glass -- red zone was nice.

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KR
1 review
Dined on June 4, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

A wonderful evening with delicious food, excellent wine in a charming atmosphere! A very pleasant and memorable evening !

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RH
Tampa
1 review
Dined on June 3, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I thought it was one of the best restaurants that I have gone to in a very long time.

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