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The Oar House

687 reviews
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$31 to $50
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Top Tags:
  • Special Occasion (593)
  • Romantic (517)
  • Neighborhood Gem (476)

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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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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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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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We feature live piano music inside Friday and Saturday. In season, we feature live music on the deck during Sunday brunch.
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
  based on all time ratings
Noise · Moderate
89% of people would recommend it to a friend
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bellwood (Charleston)
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.

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

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

Stinkfaul (New England)
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

Miaow (New England)
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.

vipKateLovesSeafood (New England)
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.

vipEM56 (New York Area)
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

Jmstep (New England)
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!

StephanieS (New England)
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.

vipRobert (New England)
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.

OpenTable Diner (New England)
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.