The Library is a restaurant run by Andrew Carmellini in the Public Theater. It's been getting some notice as a real, substantial dining spot. Eating the food at Joe's Pub (which serves the exact same menu) rather than in the restaurant reveals that people might be being seduced by the name of the chef and an apparently attractive dining room.
I put Andrew Carmellini in quotes in the thread title because no one can believe he did anything more than design the menu and hire the staff here. I doubt he's seriously in the kitchen. Which isn't to say that this is typically bland Performance Facility food. No, it's atypically bland: a cut -- maybe several cuts -- above what you'd usually expect, but basically characterless.
The menu (and for that matter the cocktail list) are kind of all-over-the-place. Different stuff, so that just about anybody will find something they can convince themselves they want. I had the goulash. (NOTE: It's weird to eat goulash while watching Flamenco.) It would have been more heavily spiced in Hungary -- but the meat would have been much worse. Unlike with the previous food at Joe's Pub, I didn't feel like I was being imposed upon in eating it. But I didn't remember it when I was finished.
Now you might say, what do you expect in a Performance Facility? And if the food were just served in Joe's Pub, I'd say it was a nice change for the better (it's certainly better than the food at LPR). But, of course, this same food is also being served in a fairly heavily promoted stand-alone restaurant within the Public complex. What purpose will THAT serve? The Public Theater stands at the cusp of two of the most interesting dining neighborhoods in the entire United States. Why does anybody need a characterless better-than-average place when excellent, characterful options are mere blocks away? The big new place Carmellini is opening down the street, with Damon Wise in the kitchen, will be enough by itself to obviate The Library. Without even mentioning that Acme is right across the street from it.
If The Library keeps Uptown or suburban Public Theater patrons out of Acme, increasing my chances of successful post-performance walk-ins, more power to it. Beyond that, I don't really get it.