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The Oar House

4.2
687 reviews
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$31 to $50
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Seafood
Top Tags:
  • Special Occasion (593)
  • Romantic (516)
  • Neighborhood Gem (475)

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About

Located in the historic "Merchant's Row" building at the edge of Portsmouth's old harbor, The Oar House serves fine food in a setting filled with mementos of the city's long and proud maritime heritage.
Dining Style
Casual Elegant
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Cuisines
Seafood, American
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Hours of operation
Brunch: Sunday: 11:00am - 3:00pm; Dinner: Monday - Saturday: 3:00pm - 9:00pm, Sunday 11:00pm -8:00; Lunch: Monday - Saturday 11:30am - 3:00pm

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Phone number
(603) 436-4025
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Payment options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Smart Casual
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Executive chef
Ray Guerin
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Neighborhood
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Cross street
Bow Street
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Parking details
We have a private lot that has valet parking on the weekends and in summer months.
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Entertainment
We feature live piano music inside Friday and Saturday. In season, we feature live music on the deck during Sunday brunch.
Additional
Banquet, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Entertainment, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Private Room, View, Weekend Brunch, Wine
What 687 People Are SayingWrite a review
Overall ratings and reviews
4.2  based on all time ratings
4.2
food
4.3
service
4.2
ambience
3.9
value
Noise · Moderate
89% of people would recommend it to a friend
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bellwood (Charleston)
4.0  Dined on June 18, 2017

Went here for Father's Day brunch. Sat on the deck by the water which is a great spot. Waitress was nice but forgot our order twice and had to be politely reminded that we had ordered a drink from the bar that we hadn't yet received. Food was very good. Kids menu is a little pricey, $12 for individual kids pizza. Overall a decent experience.

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OpenTable Diner (San Francisco)
4.0  Dined on June 12, 2017

Staff was friendly, helpful and prompt. Ambience of the outdoor deck was terrific, as was the food.

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Stinkfaul (New England)
2.0  Dined on June 11, 2017

Nice location. We made the mistake of opting for the deck because of the warm weather and the proximity to the water. We were promptly seated and the wait staff was attentive.
Positives: friendly, informative waitress
Negatives: limited menu, not a good value, proximity of our table to the "live entertainment" made it difficult to converse

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Miaow (New England)
5.0  Dined on June 3, 2017

Though this restaurant is a little pricier than most in Portsmouth, we thought it was worth it. The food was excellent! I had the vegetable lasagna with Parmesan crusted chicken and will go back just for that dish. The dessert (coconut cake) was also fabulous. The only drawback is that the one window table, where we sat, looks out on ranks of trash cans from the restaurant across the street. That can't be helped, since the restaurant is at ground level. If you really want a view, try the upstairs bar at the Black Trumpet. We probably will revisit The Oar House in the winter for its cozy atmosphere.

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vipKateLovesSeafood (New England)
3.0  Dined on June 3, 2017

First hostess we saw was a bit rude, our waitress was very nice but my friend was served a sandwich on moldy bread and we were not offered a refund.

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vipEM56 (New York Area)
4.0  Dined on May 24, 2017

Always a bit of a concern to walk into a fairly empty restaurant. Granted it was a Wednesday night but other Portsmouth places were busy. So we were pleasantly surprised by both the birthday greeting, food and service (by Carla)! Enjoyed Salmon Crudo, oysters, pizza and "the best Bouillabaisse ever" to quote a lover of the dish. Will be back

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Jmstep (New England)
5.0  Dined on May 20, 2017

The staff at the Oar House were beyond accommodating with making our son's college graduation dinner special. Chad worked magic to accommodate our large party, and to move our reservation to a more palatable time. The service and the food were outstanding, and we were
so grateful that we could bring in our own special dessert. Thank you for the perfect end to a perfect day!

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StephanieS (New England)
5.0  Dined on May 20, 2017

Our family ate at the Oar House following my daughter's graduation from UNH in Durham. We sat outside on a gorgeous spring day and had a lovely afternoon. Fried calamari appetizer was awesome and a must try! Signature cocktails were great as was the main course dishes! We will keep this restaurant on our list to return to when we are back in New Hampshire.

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vipRobert (New England)
2.0  Dined on May 20, 2017

We arrived early and were seated right away for a special occasion. They were very nice and wishing our graduate best wishes. However, we all felt like they were eager to feed us and get us out to turn over the table- very rushed. Food was average but overpriced. Nothing spectacular. My seafood bouillabaisse was luke warm, filled with lots of chewy mussels, 5 very overcooked rubber shrimp and an unshelled 1/2 lobster that seemed to have been cooked many hours previous. I was daring in that I'd worn a white shirt and ordered a red, brothy stew but I assumed, as with any other bouillabaisse, the lobster would be shelled and ready to eat. It wasn't. And I had to ask for a set of lobster crackers. Which, even though they're a high priced seafood restaurant on the Atlantic, in prime lobster country, they apparently didn't have. Instead I was given a pair of nutcrackers (which can suffice if you know how to use them but are difficult), no picks, no bib. Obviously, made a mess. Sad celebratory lunch.

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OpenTable Diner (New England)
3.0  Dined on May 19, 2017

Probably not the right time to go as it was UNH graduation. As a result the place was crowded, service was slow although friendly, and generally pricey ($80 Surf/Turf that was average at best). I would like to think that the captive audience was not purposely treated to higher prices. Ordered a 1/2 dozen oysters which were very, very small with little substance. I may try it again on a weeknight.

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vipFran (Nashville)
5.0  Dined on May 18, 2017

We were there for dinner after a long travel day. Enjoyed the atmosphere and the Sangria was delicious.

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ScottyMo (New England)
5.0  Dined on May 14, 2017

We celebrated Mother's Day at the Oar House. We were seated in a lovely small room on the 2nd floor. Great ambiance! The seafood was spectacular. I recommend the Saffron Bouillabaisse - very tasty with a lot of everything in it. My land loving son had the 22 oz Rib Eye - and he was rather happy. We had a nice family meal that made the Mom in our bunch very happy. We will visit again!

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OpenTable Diner (San Francisco)
3.0  Dined on May 13, 2017

The food was good but was seated right under a vent blowing cold air on both of us, had to dine with our coats on.

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Megan (New England)
5.0  Dined on May 13, 2017

The Oar House was excellent. The service was fabulous. The waitress was quick to refill our beverages and made sure we had everything we needed, but didn't hover. The food was amazing. We ordered two appetizers and three entrees and all were cooked to perfection. Great experience.

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Pupster (New England)
3.0  Dined on May 13, 2017

The food wasn't bad by any means it was good, but not great. The portions were smaller than I would have liked. I got the pulled pork sandwich and it was very flavorful, just not nearly enough of it. It was spread pretty thin, was very well contained inside the bun and had no additional sauce on it. The fish sandwich was small pieces and heavily breaded. The dessert, carrot cake was outstanding, though rather expensive at $9.00 for about a 3x2 inch rectangular piece. The service was a little slow, but our waitress was very nice.

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Kristy (New England)
2.0  Dined on May 6, 2017

We ate at the Oar House for my son's birthday. He ordered the filet mignon. While cooked as ordered, the meat was flavorless and a bit tough.My daughter had the lobster roll and said it was just so-so. I had baked haddock. It was completely bland and loaded with flavorless bread crumbs. The other meals ordered were good. Our server was attentive but the food was not anywhere at the level it should have been considering the cost

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OpenTable Diner (New England)
5.0  Dined on May 6, 2017

As usual excellent time at the Oar House

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OpenTable Diner (San Francisco)
5.0  Dined on April 29, 2017

Fantastic place with unbelievable food. The best mac & cheese I've ever had. The only slight disappointment was that there were no ocean views inside the restaurant, but there were plenty of outside tables right on the ocean if that's what you like. Whatever you choose you won't regret it.

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OpenTable Diner (New England)
4.0  Dined on April 21, 2017

Wonderful entrees, not particularly fancy per se, but VERY tasty. Atmosphere was excellent as was the service. One of my two favorite restaurants in Portsmouth.

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OpenTable Diner (New England)
5.0  Dined on April 16, 2017

Dinner was great, loved the room we were seated in. The phone call letting us know that reservations were running 15 min late was very nice. Service was fabulous and dinner delicious

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