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  • Black Trumpet

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Black Trumpet
Black Trumpet

Black Trumpet Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.blacktrumpetbistro.com
  • Phone: (603) 431-0887
  • Hours of Operation: The dining room is open Sun-Thurs: 5:30pm - 9:00pm / Fri & Sat: 5:30-10:00pm. The wine bar opens nightly at 5:00.
  • Payment Options: AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
  • Cuisine: Global, International
  • Executive Chef: Evan Mallett
  • Dress Code: Smart Casual
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Farm to Table, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Non-Smoking Restaurant, View, Wine, Wine Bar
  • Private Party Facilities: The Black Trumpet dining room is available for social or corporate events seating up to 30 people. The historic character and beauty of the room, along with unparalleled food and service, makes a truly memorable evening.
  • Private Party Contact: Denise Mallett (877) 766-0994

Getting there

  • Parking: Public Lot
  • Parking Details: Nearby Parking Garage, or Street
A word from Black Trumpet
Black Trumpet is a two-story bistro and wine bar in the heart of Portsmouth’s historic old port. Both floors offer views of the Piscataqua River and the oft-photographed tugboats that still escort enormous tankers into the harbor. Our first floor dining room offers a cozy, romantic setting with warm, unassuming service. The upstairs wine bar is a more intimate, convivial space. The menu changes every six weeks to capitalize on the freshest seasonal ingredients. The wine list features a variety of unheralded gems that pair well with the bold flavors of Chef Mallett’s cuisine. Black Trumpet’s cuisine reflects the chef-owner’s culinary curiosity, drawing inspiration from the Mediterranean as well as the Americas. A typical Black Trumpet menu may include influences from Spain, North Africa, Turkey and the Mexican heartland. Reservations are accepted in our dining room, the upstairs wine bar is first-come-first-served. Continued
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerFit for Foodies
  • Diners' Choice WinnerRomantic
  • Diners' Choice WinnerMost Booked
Diner Reviews
  • "Steak was wonderful. Fish was pretty much unseasoned and uninspiring - quote "I could have down that at home". While we enjoy the black trumpet despite the high prices for its ancient harbor ambience and always stop by when we happen to be in Portsmouth, this was a damper on the evening before we drove home."
    Dined on 7/20/2014
  • "Black Trumpet was absolutely delicious. The food is locally sourced and incredibly fresh while presented in a creative way. Service was impeccable!"
    Dined on 7/19/2014
  • "After some quick research of reviews on the web, we decided to give Black Trumpet a try while in town for the weekend. I was hoping our entire party of six would enjoy the restaurant, but I expected that a few might not find it their cup of tea. I was pleasantly surprised that all enjoyed every bite and were delighted with the service. A few people had three small/medium plates, while others had a salad, entree and shared a few small or medium plates for appetizers. While I did not have room for dessert, four people in our party raved about theirs....especially the lemon curd and quinoa desserts. We would definitely recommend this restaurant!"
    Dined on 7/18/2014
  • "the restaurant has a great location down by the water and feels very intimate inside. solid locally resourced produce is presented very nicely. food lacked a little creativity and refinement for price but was enjoyable all the same. would definitely recomend and dine here again."
    Dined on 7/18/2014
  • "We had a great meal at the black trumpet! We recommend getting a variety of small and medium plates to share."
    Dined on 7/17/2014
  • "We loved our evening at Black Trumpet. The appetizers were fantastic. Very knowledgeable bar staff with an exciting wine list. Would return again for sure."
    Dined on 7/17/2014
  • "This restaurant is just an amazing food experience. Simply incredible."
    Dined on 7/14/2014
  • "If you've never tried goat before, try it here. One of us tried it on a lark and we were pleasantly surprised how good it was. It is ver nice restaurant but is pricey."
    Dined on 7/11/2014
  • "This resturant is by far the best in Portsmouth. You might not know exactly what you are eating but it tastes soooo good. Must try the cheeses and what ever the special is. I would recommend this to anyone who loves a little something different."
    Dined on 7/11/2014
  • "This is the best restaurant in Portsmouth. Others are more expensive (though not by much), or have a better view, but nothing beats the quality of ingredients and create dishes crafted by the chef's at Black Trumpet. It's not a place for conservative eaters - every item on the meny has some ingredient you've never heard of. But the result is an incredibly memorable meal in a great setting. I cannot stress this enough - always get the meze plate."
    Dined on 7/6/2014
  • "This is a must stop when in Portsmouth. The food is always cooked perfectly, the portions are perfect and the service on par with a 5-star restaurant. A European dining experience in the US !"
    Dined on 7/4/2014
  • "Had a birthday dinner here and it was amazing. Romantic, beautifully decorated, and had a very warm atmosphere. Our server was just amazing. Steered us to amazing food and wine picks"
    Dined on 7/3/2014
  • "The food was dynamic and burst with fresh flavor. The chef's mezze plate was absolutely delicious and the highlight of the meal (Best. Scallop. Ever.) The jacketed sweet potato dish and steak were cooked to perfection and the wine matched perfectly. Thank you for a wonderful meal and a wonderful evening, it was certainly a top highlight of our vacation."
    Dined on 7/3/2014
  • "A little noisy and slow but exceptional food. We would definitely go back."
    Dined on 7/2/2014
  • "The Crew at Black Trumpet always shock me. We couldn't find a suitable restaurant in Maine so we stopped by Portsmouth on our way home. Great starters, as always, and we are settling in to a wonderful meal (patting ourselves on the back). Then the entree hits the table. We ordered Lamb, but we were not ready for the lamb we got. Of course everything else on the plate was delicious, but the lamb was amazing. Picture all the lamb, every bit, all braised until it was about to turn into sauce. Then those wonderful folks in the kitchen do something to make it into an entree-sized rillette. I'm from Providence but a trip to Portsmouth is well worth the time."
    Dined on 7/2/2014
  • "It was my girlfriend's birthday and after the week she'd had previously it was worth it to get away to Portsmouth. I found this restaurant in some online reviews and I wanted somewhere quiet and quaint. We found just that and some great/unique food as well. The NY steak was moist and perfectly cooked for my taste with a mushroom sauce. Great views of the water from up stairs and a waitress that was helpful as well as quiet."
    Dined on 6/27/2014
  • "One of Portsmouth's best, innovative menu, excellent service."
    Dined on 6/25/2014
  • "Each ingredient is chosen with care. The unique, and local cuisine is definitely one-of-a-kind. I happily drive the hour it takes to get there KNOWING the dining experience will be well-worth the efforts."
    Dined on 6/22/2014
  • "From the moment we walked in, the service was impeccable. I went with some smaller plate and loved what I had. The flounder, salmon tartar and goat cheese puff was amazing, as was the octopus. The soft shell crab was just right and the chicolate tart was heavenly. Our entire party was pleased with their experience."
    Dined on 6/21/2014
  • "The food was prepared well and the taste was great. The staff was very friendly. The price was fair and all the food is obtained from local farms in the New England area!!"
    Dined on 6/18/2014
  • "My wife and I enjoyed a joint Father's and Mother's day gift award, given by our son, who selected the Black Trumpet on line. We enjoyed an early and fine meal with attentive and very friendly service from Katy (who like us, hails from Maine). The interesting and inventive menu worked well for us: one small dish, one medium, and one main dish. Ambiance is nice, but dark, which in the evening I imagine would add to the illusion of a romantic hideaway along the waterfront. We will recommend the Black Trumpet to our friends."
    Dined on 6/17/2014
  • "Nice find! Close to the shops of Portsmouth, but not directly on the strip. You feel like you've found your own special hole in the wall which serves excellent cuisine!"
    Dined on 6/15/2014
  • "My wife and I went for our anniversary. The dining room is warm, romantic and intimate with exposed brickwork and beams. We appreciated the fact, highlighted in other reviews, that the tables have sufficient space between them to avoid a sense of crowding. We decided to share a number of small and medium plates, rather then order any main course and they were all delicious. As the menu changes all the time it would be a waste to describe each item in detail, but the creative use of fresh ingredients is what makes this a special meal. Be aware, that the Black Trumpet is pricey, but in my opinion this is justified by the sourcing of the food and the obvious extensive preparation. Service was outstanding; friendly and efficient."
    Dined on 6/14/2014
  • "This was our second time to Black Trumpet and the restaurant lived up to expectations. We were celebrating our anniversary and had a very memorable dinner. The service was great, the food was delicious, and the wine and cocktails were lovely. Thanks for making our celebration special."
    Dined on 6/13/2014
  • "Had our 28th Anniversary dinner at Black Trumpet with my wife and grown daughters. Everyone loved it... The place , the music, the service and the great food & drink."
    Dined on 5/30/2014
  • "The service was excellent. The food was very good/fine, though somewhat self-consciously over the top and with not a large number of choices. While the wine that we had was indeed an excellent bottle, a Nebbiolo, the choices were somewhat limited. Piedmont wines were few (but good), and these days it's a missed opportunity not to have a few Aglianico's on the list. Also, there was nothing from the winery that many regard as one of the best in the U.S.A., Ridge of California (especially in relation to what they charge for a splendid bottle of carbenet sauvignon, chardonnay or zinfanded). Spanish wines are also often excellent value for money, and they were rather few on the Black Trumpet's list. "
    Dined on 5/29/2014
  • "Great spot for a special occasion. The staff was great and the food fantastic. I checked out the menu before making reservations so I knew what I was in for as far as price went. Would recommend to others. I guess my only complaint would be is that the wine bar upstairs fills up fast. We showed up at 6:30 for a 7:15 reservation figuring we could grab drinks while we waited....wrong. Will be back!"
    Dined on 5/25/2014
  • "So when I say 'vibrant bar scene' it's a small bar, but busy! Good food, not crazy complicated and not crazy expensive. Ask to sit upstairs and try and grab one of only two window seats. Good view of the river. As-of this weekend, you will need reservations."
    Dined on 5/22/2014
  • "We had a fantastic dinner and the service was really great. Highly recommend for a romantic evening in Portsmouth!"
    Dined on 5/20/2014
  • "We went there for my husband's birthday with my 12 year old son. The food was good (though the Paella was a bit bland). The lighting and ambience were spectacular. It would have been a lovely place for a romantic date for two."
    Dined on 5/18/2014
  • "We enjoy coming to the black trumpet for a lovely meal all around. We'll be back."
    Dined on 5/18/2014
  • "We ordered 2 appetizers and 2 entrees. All items were lacking salt and the paella needed more saffron. "
    Dined on 5/17/2014
  • "My husband and I enjoyed our dinner of small plates at Black Trumpet. Our waiter was gracious and had a great sense of humor. Our tastes were delicious and creative. Wine was excellent. Great neighborhood experience."
    Dined on 5/17/2014
  • "The out of the ordinary menu translates into extraordinary cuisine. Make sure you leave room for the quinoa pudding for dessert. "
    Dined on 5/16/2014
  • "The waitress was very good and happy to describe the unusual ingredients in some of the dishes. Her recommendations were excellent. People are very friendly when you arrive, but except for excellent service, they also leave you alone to enjoy the meal. It's very pretty inside. I sat downstairs, but the view upstairs is excellent, over the water. There's plenty of space between the tables, and the night I ate there the restaurant wasn't full and the noise level was very quiet. They're creative in the way they cook, and the food is beautifully plated. It's a place for foodies, for sure. Nice people, nice experience. "
    Dined on 5/6/2014
  • "After reading reviews I was excited to dine at the Black Trumpet. However the food was just ok. I had the flat steak which was served with a potato gratin. The gratin was grey in color and had zero flavor. Salt and pepper are absent from the tables, so I was unable to season the under-seasoned food. My steak was cooked well, but also lacked flavor. Although the building is charming and service was good, I will not be returning. "
    Dined on 5/3/2014
  • "For a restaurant that had a "wine bar", the by the glass selection of wine was disappointing. There wasn't really any choice for each varietal. One Pinot Noir, one Malbec, no Zinfandel or Shiraz. After dinner wine was where there was some selection. We ordered madeira with dessert and the waitress couldn't tell us the difference between the 2 madeira's - both from the same producer. We had to Google it at the table. The food offering was a little confusing - small and medium plates and entrees. The food was great! The best thing we had was the octopus small plate - amazing! The room was charming."
    Dined on 4/26/2014
  • "Food was interesting and good, not great. Seats were uncomfortable, portion sizes small, nothing notable that would make me desire to return."
    Dined on 4/20/2014
  • "I was on a quick business trip to Portsmouth, and the BT was recommended to me as a wine bar. The wine list was very good, no doubt. I ate alone in the bistro, and the wait staff made me feel very welcome. I had the Tres Meze small plate special, which included fatty duck, a meatball, and an aronchini. Wonderful! Then I had braised lamb with parsnip gnocchi. Very rich, with maybe a bit too much oil, but delicious. To finish I had a goat cheese course with Sauternes. All-in-all, it was a memorable experience. I will definitely try to come back when I am in town. "
    Dined on 4/15/2014
  • "Very fine restaurant, very serious about it's food. Wine list a bit pricey, but you can tell it's been chosen carefully. And the bartender knows his wines. Try the escargot with mild mushrooms in a fine risotto. Could gave been a wee bit hotter, but it was very very good. This is a great restaurant in a very old building that a lot of locals know all too well. Think reservations, particularly during Portsmouth's tourism season.!"
    Dined on 4/15/2014