Nearby points of interest
Nearby points of interest
About The Library Restaurant
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.
Portsmouth, NH 03801
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
$31 to $50
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
Private Party Facilities:
We are delighted that you are interested in celebrating your special occasion at The Library Restaurant!
Private Party Contact:
Lauren Looser: (888) 637-0296
Banquet, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Fireplace, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking, Private Room, Wine
The Library Restaurant Ratings and Reviews
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!!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
In my past dining experiences at the Library I would have it on my "B" list but we had a really great meal on this visit and we moved it to our "A" list. The atmosphere cannot be beat, the most beautiful restaurant in Portsmouth. We have always had good service and this time the food was excellent. It was a quiet night and that added to the pleasure as there was no noise to contend with.
We shared the New Orleans bbq shrimp for an app and I had swordfish not only prepared perfectly but the lime butter on top was perfect. My husband had a sirloin that was also prepared perfectly.
We will be back!
My wife and I went for New Year's Eve and had a reservation for 9:00 PM as it was the only one we could get in town. It was so cold outside (like 0) that people were taking their time eating. We never got called in for our reservation until about 10:20. The issue "I" had was I ordered a Delmonico (Rib Eye) steak and the waiter said this is the first one I've gotten a request for all night! Everyone is getting the Prime Rib! Before our meal had come, the staff was cleaning up and moving tables and was around 10:45 or so then our meal came. My wife got the prime rib and she loved it. I ordered mine Medium and it came out rare. My issue was this was the worst steak I've had in a very long time and certainly at a place as fine as this. The steak was so tough that I ate a few pieces and wasn't doing to get any better and certainly wasn't cook like they normally would. It was so late that requesting another would not have been good for anyone, I never do that! We took the steak home and never got eaten and my wife and I said Happy New Year in the car. Kind of a disappointing evening that was supposed to be special. I've eaten here before and it's never been like this so I chock it up to staff wanted the Hell out of there on NYE. I'll go back but
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