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Ratings and reviews

RATINGS
Food
Service
Value
Atmosphere

Details

PRICE RANGE
$31 - $50
CUISINES
American, Steakhouse, International
Meals
Lunch, Dinner, Late Night
Reviews (522)
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LanguageEnglish
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Traveler rating
235
140
59
41
34
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All reviews steak creamed spinach rack of lamb creme brulee haddock clam chowder special occasion the main dining room street parking wait staff new hampshire medium tender martini hostess nh
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Reviewed August 20, 2022 via mobile

Went for a special dinner. Ordered cocktails, the drinks were not good, told our server, he shrugged and walked away. Creamed spinach was not very creamy. Food overall was good but not overly hot upon arrival to our table. Told no complementary desert, for an...anniversary celebration (stingy considering the price of the meal). When the bill arrived, it indicated a specific type of bourbon not stated as the liquor on the menu. When we asked the server, he said he likes this kind of bourbon. the manager came, explained it was a new menu, they are implementing some new things, but clearly was not interested in our feed back. If are ok with lousy service at a high price point this is your place.More

Date of visit: August 2022
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Reviewed July 29, 2022 via mobile

We were researching a martini bar in Portsmouth New Hampshire and the library restaurant came up. It does not disappoint and Pam and Lauren are incredible. The bartender in question in previous reviews is no longer here. Highly recommended for specialized drinks.

Date of visit: July 2022
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Reviewed April 27, 2022

We stopped for dinner and thought the atmosphere is wonderful. The bar area has a fireplace with book shelves surrounding you and the dark wood very welcoming. We had drinks at the bar and unlike other reviews, found the barman friendly, approachable and very talkative....Dinner is expensive which some people have thought was not worth it. My steak and au gratin potatoes were excellent and yes, pricey. The lamb was also very good and if you are looking for wine - the list seems endless. We went for a special occasion and would recommend it.More

Date of visit: April 2022
Helpful?1  
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Reviewed March 21, 2022

Saturday night, late March. Very New England steak house with charming old-world decor and excellent service. Extensive wine bottle list, with limited but good choices of wine by the glass at reasonable prices. Gorgeous shrimp cocktail, yet a la carte entrees of filete mignon and...baked stuffed haddock were blah 1960's continental preparation on poorly dressed plates. Basmati rice served with fish was dry and flavorless, and side order of potatoes was luke warm. Desserts were nothing special, with layered mousse cake having suffered some dryness from being refrigerated too long.More

Date of visit: March 2022
Helpful?2  
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Reviewed March 6, 2022

To start, the service was great and the atmosphere is really cool and historic. Unfortunately, I had higher expectations for the food. It was over priced for what we got and a little bland. However, the service was fantastic and extremely accommodating and kind. Overall,...I would only go back if the price range was more reasonable with the food you receive.More

Date of visit: March 2022
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Reviewed February 19, 2022 via mobile

Excellent service and prompt. Food was amazing as was the atmosphere. Warm, welcoming, old school luxury steak restaurant. Remember those?? Great cocktails, the kind they put alcohol in and you can actually taste it! We all had filets and they were excellent. Shrimp Bang Bang...appetizer was super tasty. Caesar salad had plenty of anchovies. Dessert was amazing. Highly recommend. I can’t wait to go back!More

Date of visit: February 2022
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Reviewed February 18, 2022

My wife and I were out for a celebration dinner. We have been to most of the restaurants in Portsmouth over the years, and decided to try The Library again. We promptly got our table (5:30pm) and the food was excellent, the service was very...good. But I was a little bothered that the drink list and drink specials had no prices, and our waiter could not tell us a price. The drinks were very expensive! We know alcohol has a large mark up in restaurants, but one drink shouldn't cost the price of a bottle. Overall, a very good but expensive dinner. Cost for two was over $175, plus $6.00 for 2 hrs for on street parking at a meter. Sad to say, but going to Portsmouth is becoming overly expensive compared to other towns nearby.More

Date of visit: February 2022
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Reviewed January 17, 2022

My wife & I went to Portsmouth for a weekend away for New Year's with friends of ours. There were 4 couples. We had reservations at The Library on Thursday, 12/30. We were seated upon arrival. Our table was at the end of the main...dining room next to the fireplace. It was a perfect area to sit for the eight of us. Fairly quiet to talk and hear one another. Our waitress Elise, took our drink orders along with appetizers immediately after introducing herself. Our drinks arrived after a small delay to be expected given the restaurant was full at 6:00pm. Shortly after our first round of drinks and finishing the delicious apps, we ordered. Naturally, most of us ordered steak since The Library is a steakhouse. My wife & I ordered the cracked peppercorn sirloin with cognac peppercorn sauce. It took a comfortable time for the orders to arrive but no one was complaining. We expected delays. Our meals were delicious. Both our steaks were cooked perfectly as we ordered. The peppercorn flavor on the steak & the sauce made it stand out. Everyone equally enjoyed their meals, drinks and the service. Elise was charming & personable. She helped make our evening very special. Looking forward to going back. One of a handful of steak restaurants that are a cut above the many that are out there.More

Date of visit: December 2021
Helpful?1  
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Reviewed January 16, 2022 via mobile

Was our first time here. When making reservation online, informed that we would be visiting to celebrate my wife’s birthday. Upon arrival, hostess asked if we were celebrating a special occasion so I informed again. We decided to sit in the lounge which was nice...and cozy with the fireplace adding to the ambiance missing in the brighter main dining room. Our clam chowder and artichoke dip w/ toast apps were good, not great. Our filets w/ extra Oscar were tasty but arrived lukewarm, apparently sitting awhile before delivery. Embarrassingly, watched a birthday cupcake w/ candle being delivered to a nearby couple complete with the staff singing ‘Happy Birthday’. After dinner, our waitress asked if we’d like dessert. I informed it was my wife’s birthday (3rd time) and nothing - instead bring a dessert tray for us to choose from. We split a very yummy shortcake. When bill arrived, waitress informed that dessert was free due to filet concern. Given the high price paid, the value of our overall experience was poorMore

Date of visit: January 2022
Helpful?1  
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Reviewed January 3, 2022

We went to the Library on a family recommendation and made a reservation for 12/28. We were quickly greeted by the hostess that checked us in and got us seated right on time. I will say the food was good and I would rate it...up there with the likes of Capitol Grill or DelFrisco's however the service we got was horrible. 0 lack of refilling our drinks unless they were for our adult drinks which meant we went our whole dinner with only 1 water refill and 0 soda refill for our daughter. Also having your waiter refer to all your choices as "cool" is not what I was really expecting from this posh place. Also forgetting toppings like the sauce/onions was also a let down. The food was great and cooked to order perfectly just wished that for the price you are paying the service should be just as perfect.More

Date of visit: December 2021
Helpful?1  
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Reviewed December 31, 2021

Pleasant vintage old world surroundings - wood wainscoting and ceiling, Good selection on menu we had land & sea ( Sirloin & Bay Scallops ) , deconstructed lobster pie and haddock. Food came warm to the table and had good flavor. The scallops were relatively...small but tasty. Food and wine prices on the high side but was a pleasant experience for special night out. Servers were attentive but quite busy so you needed to make sure to get your requests in when they stopped by.More

Date of visit: December 2021
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Reviewed November 5, 2021

Everything about the restaurant was great, the service and the food. I think the clam chowder is probably the best I've ever had.

Date of visit: November 2021
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Reviewed October 4, 2021 via mobile

. It was our 37th wedding anniversary and we wanted to go somewhere nice. We had 7:30 reservations and arrived at 7:15. We were told our table wasn’t ready yet (understandable) and that we could have a seat at the bar. We waited at the...bar until 7:40 and were then seated at a very nice table. We waited a while for our server to take our order but he was very pleasant. We had the New England clam chowder which was very good. And it came out in a timely manner. I ordered the filet mignon and my husband ordered the pork chop. After waiting awhile And still no dinner. It was now about 8:30. Our waiter and other wait staff came over to us many times to apologize for our dinner being delayed. Each time saying it will be right out. By 9:30 with still no dinner my husband told the waiter that if it wasn’t out in 5 minutes that we would leave. He assured us it would be out!!! We left after 10 minutes without dinner. The bartender asked if we wanted it to go!! Really?? We were staying in a hotel. We offered to pay for our drinks and the soup but they refused. Totally ruined our anniversary. If you can’t handle the number of guests don’t take the reservations!More

Date of visit: September 2021
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Reviewed September 18, 2021

We were visiting Portsmouth and were intrigued by the idea of a restaurant in a library. We struck up an immediate rapport with the server, who gave us good advice. The food was very tasty, and we were not rushed out of the place (as...happens sometimes when they need your table!). In fact--don't tell the management--we ordered two appetizers and some drinks AND dinners, and the server quietly held back the order for dinner until we had worked on the appetizers for a while. Good that she did, since there was no way that we could have eaten even one dinner between the two of us at that point. She did not have to hold back on placing the orders, except that she had our best interests at heart. We settled for desserts and a final glass, and that made for a perfect dinner. Next time, we'll be smarter about ordering!More

Date of visit: August 2021
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Reviewed September 4, 2021

Made reservations for our 25th anniversary to make this a special occasion. The room was warm and inviting and our server was very nice. The garlic bread appetizer was very good, and cocktails were good as well. The Wagu beef appetizer was good, but came...out with our onion soup. My wife had the baked stuffed haddock with lobster on rice with green beans, I ordered the rack of lamb, medium rare. The haddock and lobster was good, but the rice and green beans were very bland and took away from the dish. My lamb was served medium raw. The center wasn't even cooked. I sent it back and it came back medium rare. It was supposed to be in a rosemary wine sauce, but all I could taste was the wine. There was no flavor to the lamb other than the wine. There was no crisp on the outside either. Garlic mashed potato side was rather pasty tasting. Desserts were presented on a platter in lieu of a menu. The chocolate layer cake looked good and so did the creme brulee. When desserts came, the chocolate cake was totally smothered in chocolate sauce and whipped cream, you couldn't really taste the cake. The creme brulee wasn't soft like a custard and the glaze was very hard and thick...worst creme brulee I ever had. They didn't have cappuccino because their machine was broken. The coffee tasted old. Even though they asked if this was a special occasion when we made our reservations, and after telling our server that it was our 25th anniversary as well, there was no acknowledgement at all. For $200.00 plus tip, we expected a much better experience. We definitely won't be back!More

Date of visit: September 2021
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Questions & Answers
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122JanetM
October 26, 2018|
AnswerShow all 4 answers
Response from Gugliuzza | Property representative |
We closed for lunch approximately 2 months ago. We are happy to open during the day for larger parties, but will only be serving our dinner menu, or our event menu. Please don't hesitate to email us:)
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THE LIBRARY, Portsmouth - Menu, Prices & Restaurant Reviews - Tripadvisor

Frequently Asked Questions about The Library

The Library is rated accordingly in the following categories by Tripadvisor travelers:
  • Food: 4
  • Service: 4
  • Value: 3.5
  • Atmosphere: 4.5