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The Library Cafe - Restaurant Review

About.com Rating 2.5 Star Rating

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Library Cafe, Farmingdale - fish and chips

Library Cafe, Farmingdale - fish and chips

Photo © Linda Tagliaferro

The Bottom Line

The Library Cafe building once housed a real library where silence reigned, but now, lively crowds sit at the bar, booths or tables surrounded by high-decibel sports events on wide screen TVs. I'm past the age where I enjoy screaming across a table to be heard, but if you like sports with a side of excellent food, this is the place for you. I wouldn't recommend it for a first date unless you're on a blind date set up by your mother and you'd rather not hear what this person has to say. But if you're a diehard sports fan and looking for great gastropub-style food served by a friendly waitstaff, this is the place for you.

Pros

  • Excellent design
  • Great food
  • Friendly, attentive service
  • Good for sports fans

Cons

  • Ubiquitous TVs are loud, and the crowd whoops or moans with each touchdown

Description

Guide Review - The Library Cafe - Restaurant Review

First of all, let me say that I'm probably not the best person to review The Library Cafe. I am quite possibly, dear reader, your mother's age. My days of hanging out in loud venues, screaming at the top of my lungs to be heard, are long past. I am also not a sports fan, although I was a cheerleader in both high school and college, long before you had to bump and grind in skimpy outfits to cheer on your team.

That said, my husband and I found ourselves having dinner at The Library Cafe and we're definitely too old for the blaring wide screen TVs that are in every available space in the eatery. But you might love sports, cheering on your favorite team and talking at top decibel in order to be heard by the person sitting next to you.

As the name of the venue implies, The Library Cafe is housed in a lovely building that was once a real library. The soaring ceilings, the stone lions that stand guard outside underneath a golden eagle, and a painting of books all keep the memory of that long-past time alive. I told my husband that I'm sure the current crowd is making up for all those times when the building was a shrine to silence. He replied, "Some librarian is turning over in her grave right now."

The design of the cafe is whimsical and stylish at the same time. There are carousel animals, including a horse with a bear-back rider... a Teddy bear, that is. The mirror behind the extensive bar stretches to the ceiling, and there are glass shelves filled with bottles of every shape and size, plus a ladder for those hard-to-reach places. There are cozy booths and a smaller area upstairs which is a little bit quieter (but not when football games are in full swing on the TVs.)

The food is excellent. For a starter, we shared a Goat Cheese & Pear Salad with mixed greens, toasted pecans and a pleasantly surprising addition of strawberries, topped with a balsamic glaze. My husband enjoyed the fish and chips, well-presented in a stainless steel mini-tub, replete with newspaper. The portion was generous and it came with fresh cole slaw, waffle fries and tartar sauce. I tried the grilled portabella mushroom sandwich, which was fresh and tasty, topped with red roasted peppers and mozzarella on a rustic roll. We demolished a decadently delicious Warm Molten Chocolate Lava Cake, which delivered a luscious taste of melted chocolate with each bite.

The cafe also serves burgers, skirt steak, chicken, homemade soups and more. The wine and liquor list is extensive, and there's plenty of cognac, scotch, bourbon and other drinks to be had at the bar or with your lunch or dinner.

They also feature a VIP Member Program where guests receive last minute coupons, promotions, specials and discounts straight to their phones. To enroll and get an additional 10 percent off your check for joining, text “LIBRARY” to “41513”. You'll receive a welcome message within seconds and you need to show it to your server to redeem.

As is common in the travel industry, the writer was provided with complimentary services for review purposes. While it has not influenced this review, About.com believes in full disclosure of all potential conflicts of interest. For more information, see our Ethics Policy.

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