Nearby points of interest

  1. Distance: 0.08mi
  2. Distance: 0.08mi
  3. Distance: 0.10mi
  4. Distance: 0.11mi
  1. Distance: 0.08mi
  2. Distance: 0.08mi
  3. Distance: 0.10mi
  4. Distance: 0.11mi

Nearby points of interest

  1. Distance: 0.08mi
  2. Distance: 0.08mi
  3. Distance: 0.10mi
  4. Distance: 0.11mi
  1. Distance: 0.08mi
  2. Distance: 0.08mi
  3. Distance: 0.10mi
  4. Distance: 0.11mi

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.

401 State Street
Portsmouth, NH 03801
View Larger Map

Dining Style:
Casual Elegant

Cuisines:
Steakhouse, Continental

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

Dress Code:
Casual Dress

Price Range:
$31 to $50

Payment Options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

Phone Number:
(603) 431-5202

Website:
http://www.libraryrestaurant.com/

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

Additional:
Banquet, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Fireplace, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking, Private Room, Wine

The Library Restaurant Ratings and Reviews

5
4
3
2
1

4.4

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.4

service

4.3

ambience

4.6

value

4.0

Noise

Quiet

87% would recommend it to a friend

Special Occasion (46)
Romantic (39)
Good for Anniversaries (36)
See All
Good for a Date (35)
Cozy (30)
Pre/post Theatre (26)
Good for Birthdays (24)
Worth the Drive (23)
Quiet Conversation (21)
Business Meals (19)
Bar Seating (18)
Authentic (16)
Good for Groups (15)
Neighborhood Gem (15)
Notable Wine List (15)
Fit for Foodies (13)
Sunday Lunch (12)
Casual (11)
Creative Cuisine (11)
Fun (7)
Local Ingredients (6)
Great for Lunch (6)
Vibrant Bar Scene (6)
Handcrafted Cocktails (6)
Great for Brunch (5)
Comfort Food (5)
Gluten Free Options (4)
Paleo Friendly (4)
Healthy (3)
Seasonal (3)
People Watching (2)
Scenic View (2)
Hot Spot (1)
Late-night Find (1)
Organic (1)
Tasting Menu (1)
Good Vegetarian Options (1)
Sort by
S
1081 reviews
Loading Reviews ...

vip
 (New York Area)·Dined 3 days ago

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!

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service3
value5

 
 (New York Area)·Dined 5 days ago

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!

Tags: Quiet Conversation, Special Occasion, Authentic, Good for a Date, Bar Seating, Good for Groups, Cozy, Casual, Pre/post Theatre, Good for Birthdays, Worth the Drive, Fit for Foodies, Romantic, Good for Anniversaries, Comfort Food
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (New England)·Dined 6 days ago

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.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food1
ambience1
service1
value1

 
 (New England)·Dined on February 11, 2018

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!!

Tags: Good for a Date, Special Occasion, Good for Groups, Good for Birthdays, Romantic, Authentic, Quiet Conversation, Good for Anniversaries
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5
value4

 
·Dined on February 10, 2018

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!

Tags: Good for Groups, Neighborhood Gem, Quiet Conversation, Cozy, Good for a Date
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on February 10, 2018

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.

Tags: Organic, Casual, Healthy, Good Vegetarian Options, Cozy, Special Occasion, Comfort Food, Local Ingredients, Authentic, Worth the Drive, Gluten Free Options, Creative Cuisine, Neighborhood Gem
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (New England)·Dined on February 3, 2018

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.

Tags: Good for Groups, Romantic
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service4
value4

 
 (New England)·Dined on February 3, 2018

Great food, can be pricy but it’s worth it.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (New England)·Dined on February 3, 2018

I went here with my husband because he loves steak. I don’t, but the Vegetarian Pasta is amazing!

Tags: Good for Anniversaries
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5
value5

 
·Dined on January 31, 2018

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.

Tags: Quiet Conversation, Cozy, Authentic, Fit for Foodies
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (New England)·Dined on January 28, 2018

Food fair at best! Overpriced for mediocre food and service.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food2
ambience3
service2
value1

 
 (New England)·Dined on January 28, 2018

It was so wonderful. My steak was cooked to perfection, as were the side dishes. The desserts were incredible.

Tags: Good for Anniversaries, Special Occasion, Romantic, Worth the Drive, Business Meals
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

vip
 (New England)·Dined on January 28, 2018

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.

Tags: Bar Seating, Great for Brunch, Authentic, Business Meals, Special Occasion, Sunday Lunch, Good for a Date, Cozy, Good for Anniversaries, Good for Birthdays, Pre/post Theatre, Romantic
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (New England)·Dined on January 28, 2018

Chicken portion was very small for the price. The baked potato wasn’t cooked long enough and tasted funny. The meals very over priced!!

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food3
ambience4
service5
value3

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on January 27, 2018

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.

Tags: Special Occasion, Worth the Drive, Comfort Food, Romantic
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service4
value4

 
·Dined on January 27, 2018

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.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food3
ambience5
service5
value3

 
 (Charleston)·Dined on January 27, 2018

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.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (New England)·Dined on January 27, 2018

Old world ambiance....quiet amongst the books...very relaxing with good service and food!

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service4
value4

 
 (New England)·Dined on January 26, 2018

Food was excellent service was excellent atmosphere was excellent

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (New England)·Dined on January 26, 2018

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.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food3
ambience3
service2
value2

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on January 24, 2018

Outstanding food and service. The wait staff were very helpful, fully professional in a positive way.

Tags: Special Occasion
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (New England)·Dined on January 22, 2018

A great raw oyster and filet mignon feast for my birthday. Excellent everything!

Tags: Good for Birthdays
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (New England)·Dined on January 21, 2018

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.

Tags: Special Occasion, Good for Anniversaries
1 person found this review helpful.
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (New England)·Dined on January 19, 2018

The Library never disappoints. Great food and the atmosphere is great.

Tags: Good for Groups, Special Occasion, Cozy, Good for Anniversaries, Pre/post Theatre, Romantic, Good for a Date, Quiet Conversation, Bar Seating, Worth the Drive, Good for Birthdays
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (New England)·Dined on January 19, 2018

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!

Tags: Good for a Date, Handcrafted Cocktails, Sunday Lunch, Bar Seating, Paleo Friendly, Pre/post Theatre, Good for Groups, Business Meals, Fit for Foodies, Good for Birthdays, Comfort Food, Quiet Conversation, Worth the Drive, Notable Wine List, Authentic, Cozy, Healthy, Special Occasion, Creative Cuisine, Fun, Neighborhood Gem, Romantic
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (New England)·Dined on January 19, 2018

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.

Tags: Quiet Conversation
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience5
service2
value2

vip
 (New England)·Dined on January 18, 2018

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.

Tags: Paleo Friendly
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience3
service4
value2

vip
 (New England)·Dined on January 17, 2018

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!

Tags: Business Meals, Good for Groups, Good for Anniversaries, Romantic, Quiet Conversation, Pre/post Theatre
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

vip
 (New England)·Dined on January 13, 2018

Wonderful service, wonderful food. Very consistent.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (New England)·Dined on January 13, 2018

We had a great experience at the Library! Everything was very good and our server Elise was very friendly and knowledgeable about the food and the history of the restaurant.

Tags: Authentic
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (Charleston)·Dined on January 12, 2018

This was our first visit to The Library and we will definitely be back. Service was great and food was excellent. Loved the setting of the restaurant. If you're in Portsmouth and want great seafood or steak The Library is a must.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (New England)·Dined on January 11, 2018

CARYN was an excellent waitress! We lived the food and wine from Italy. It was well worth the two hour drive to get to Portsmouth and eat at The Library for the first time

Tags: Good for a Date, Sunday Lunch, Creative Cuisine, Cozy, Romantic
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (New England)·Dined on January 7, 2018

Had a wonderful dinner date with my girlfriend. Will return.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (New England)·Dined on January 1, 2018

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

Tags: Neighborhood Gem, Special Occasion, Worth the Drive, Good for Anniversaries, Cozy, Good for a Date, Good for Birthdays, Bar Seating
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food2
ambience4
service3
value3

 
 (New England)·Dined on December 31, 2017

NYE. Very busy but efficient. Staff is wonderful - welcoming and excellent service. The surroundings are beautiful. Food is always good here and they did not disappoint ! Highly recommend !

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on December 30, 2017

We go to the Library restaurant regularly. The food is excellent and the staff is friendly and attentive. We have NEVER been disappointed!

Tags: Paleo Friendly, Sunday Lunch, Fun, Romantic, Good for Birthdays, Quiet Conversation, Pre/post Theatre, Good for Groups, Special Occasion, Good for a Date, Good for Anniversaries
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (New England)·Dined on December 29, 2017

Food was average and overpriced for what we got. Ambiance was fantastic and service great, as well.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food3
ambience5
service4
value3

vip
 (New England)·Dined on December 29, 2017

It was a very cold day and the heat was not working well. The dining room was chilly and they were unable to brew coffee due to frozen pipes. Hope they work this out.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service4
value4

vip
 (New England)·Dined on December 28, 2017

I used to come here with my late father. Such a lovely room and it was wonderful being back with my sons.

Tags: Romantic
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (New England)·Dined on December 28, 2017

Most enjoyable from the wait staff to the savory food. Will come back again. I am from New York State . But it might be a wild.

Tags: Casual
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience3
service5
value4

Report this review as inappropriate?

If you believe this review should be removed from OpenTable, please let us know and someone will investigate.