Black Trumpet
Black Trumpet

Black Trumpet

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.blacktrumpetbistro.com/
  • Phone: 6034310887
  • 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 8777660994

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.
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Ambiance
  • Diners' Choice WinnerFit for Foodies
  • Diners' Choice WinnerRomantic
Black Trumpet reviews from OpenTable diners
115 reviews since May 25, 2014
Overall Rating4.3
  • Food4.5
    Service4.3
  • Ambiance4.4
    Noise LevelModerate
90% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
romantic (83)fit for foodies (79)special occasion (75)neighborhood gem (52)scenic view (42)notable wine list (32)late-night find (8)good for groups (6)hot spot (5)vibrant bar scene (3)kid-friendly (1)Show More
  • Nothing special
    FussyDiner
    Dined on 9/17/2014
    Maybe it's just not my kind of place. Small portions of overly described (and priced) food that didn't hit the mark on anything two of us ordered.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Interesting Bistro
    BillVIP
    Dined on 9/14/2014
    The Black Trumpet is best described as a bistro. The ambiance is quaint (e.g. copper sheet table tops) and almost seedy (e.g. located on a street that is essentially an alley). The menu is somewhat limited. However the service was prompt and the food was excellent. Recommended for a "different" but rewarding dining experience.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Still hungry
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 9/13/2014
    Great food but portions way too small for the price. We are not expecting huge portions, but when paying nearly 200 bucks for dinner (and wine) you should not walk away hungry. We came home and made a snack!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • NIce night out
    Onceandawhile
    Dined on 9/13/2014
    Arrived for an early dinner (6PM reservation) and were seated promptly in the downstairs area and staff was attentive. Later the area filled in and could have been difficult to have a "private" dinner but all guests were considerate. Food was an interesting and fresh selection. Flavors were light and well matched. Price to quantity ratio was a bit on the high side but still an enjoyable dining experience
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2007
    Dined on 9/12/2014
    We have been here often, and are always delighted with the food and the knowledgeable waitstaff. However, on our most recent visit, we were really surprised by the lack of attention by our server. Aside from taking our order and bringing us the check at the end, she never asked once how the meal was, or if we needed anything else. I had to flag her down just to get some freshly ground pepper. This was disappointing, as we think of this restaurant as very high end, and I guess expect a higher level of service to go with the excellent quality food. We will be back, but thought you would like to know so you can remain excellent on all fronts!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, romantic, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • A Gem
    HungryHuskie
    Dined on 9/11/2014
    Our best overall dining experience in Portsmouth - amazing food and friendly, efficient service. Well worth a visit.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Try's too hard to be different
    2stisfied
    Dined on 9/9/2014
    BT was highly recommended by friends but our group of four found the menu to be limited and expensive for what it was. Service was indifferent but adequate . Everyone had a hard time finding something on the menu; however, once a selection was made ( chicken, blue fish and soup) our group seemed to enjoy their choices. Wine prices for bottles were expensive.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • Outstanding restaurant
    Charliemac
    Dined on 9/8/2014
    Portsmouth has quite a few fine restaurants now, but this is clearly one of the best. We had quite an enjoyable dinner, with excellent food and outstanding service. Menu is very imaginative, and focused around fresh, local ingredients, especially seafood. Very well prepared and presented. It is on the expensive side, so be prepared.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, notable wine list, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Exceptional food and great ambiance
    Melanie
    Dined on 9/6/2014
    This is a very pretty restaurant. The service was friendly and accommodating and the food was very good. The menu is creative and works with what is in season so everything is very fresh.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Mostly good
    mandk
    Dined on 8/31/2014
    This place was recommended as a nice upscale "date night" place. We had reservations. When we arrived we stood around for 5 minutes waiting for someone to seat us. The ambience was pretty cool, the server was friendly, albeit quite hurried. Apps were delish, the beer and wine were good. I got the chicken, it was very good. My wife got the stuffed pork tenderloin which was overcooked and dry. The server was apologetic and comped us the pork. Really wanted to like this place, but the service and less than excellent food has me leery to come back given the prices.
    Special Features:
    notable wine list, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • classic fresh food
    patfromca
    Dined on 8/30/2014
    this was a gfift from my brother probably would have never found this gem. it's tucked on small street down by the harbor. once you walk in it seemns very dark but warm and inviting. the staff is friendly and very attentive. the chef's choice of dishes is based on local fresh items. which comes across in both the tase flavor and smell. would definately go back
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • PhilliesFanVIP
    Dined on 8/29/2014
    We were very disappointed that a bottle of Chardonnay was served warm and the waitress brought an ice bucket indicating that she thought it would chill after being served. The menu is very limited, and while the entrees we selected were good, they were not exceptional.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Charmant et délicieux
    Plantaquatix
    Dined on 8/28/2014
    Voici un endroit très agréable pour passer une soirée romantique tout en dégustant un excellent repas. A l'étage supérieur il y a quelques tables qui ont une très belle vue mais, que vous soyez en bas ou en haut, l'endroit reste très charmant.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • kms123
    Dined on 8/27/2014
    We found the menu too limited, an inexcusable error of putting Pollock on as the fish special, (a real no-no for New Englanders), the food overall not to be as good as it should have been (and some items downright quite bad, and the portions too small.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Very disappointed
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009VIP
    Dined on 8/27/2014
    This used to be my favorite restaurant in Portsmouth, but not anymore. I was embarrassed that I took friends there. The local fish was Pollock? Yuck! The entree choices were pathetic. Goat? Fried Herring with grits? Several of us had Spinach Pappadelle...tasteless! Ask to leave out the Pollock with the Paella? Sure, but still there! Never again! Atmosphere is lovely!
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • natquebec
    Dined on 8/26/2014
    Black trumpet for food lovers that like to be surprise in an unusual and delicious way!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great for anniversary
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 8/23/2014
    Had dinner here for my boyfriend's and my anniversary. I had the fish special...he had the braised goat. Last time I had the braised goat so I thought I'd try something different. It was delicious, but I think I might get the goat again next time! It is THAT amazing!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2007VIP
    Dined on 8/22/2014
    Another delicious meal at Black Trumpet. My guest enjoyed two mid-sized dishes, while I took the more traditional route with the chilled soup and the daily fish (a red fish in a divine infused sauce with the most fantastically tasteful vegetables). Lobster croquettes were a hit as always. And the quinoa pudding was a fresh take on rice pudding. We sat upstairs because it was on the late side and that's all they were seating, but we prefer the downstairs room--seems more suited to the restaurant's aspirations for its food.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, late-night find, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • disappointing on this night
    5cats
    Dined on 8/22/2014
    We love this restaurant and have eaten here many times. I do keep waiing for there to be more on the menu for vegetarians though. In this day and age when so many people have gone VEGETARIAN or even vegan for health or philosophical reasons, there really shoud be meatless CHOICES, and one must not have to settle on something. The food on this night was disappointing, especially the paella that my husband ordered. It was over $30 and not only was it quite small, there were only TWO shrimp in the entire dish, one which turned to a pasty consistency when he ate it. The service was also lacking. We had to wait to get our water glasses filled which really should not happen.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, scenic view, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Wonderful foodie experience
    Yellowcat
    Dined on 8/21/2014
    Nice ambience, attentive and good service, and most importantly, the food was very fresh and amazing. A real gem that ranks highly even compared to many of the best places in NYC.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Outstanding New American
    Carge77
    Dined on 8/9/2014
    A charming small bistro on the waterfront, great ambiance, very friendly staff. Menu was exceptionally creative, featuring a mix of small, medium, and entree-sized plates. House-made charcuterie and breads, local cheeses, and day-boat fish and seafood are staples. The Paella was particularly impressive, as was the chilled soup with zucchini and fennel. Excellent dinner experience for couples and small groups, intimate setting, fun little joint. Fantastic cocktails, too. Can't wait to go back!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Never Fails
    mneuman
    Dined on 8/5/2014
    My husband and I have been going to The Black Trumpet for years now. The food and service are always consistently amazing. Very few restaurants can boast that statement!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, scenic view, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Expectations
    Eastcoastdelicious
    Dined on 8/3/2014
    I had wanted to go back to the Black Trumpet for many years now. My previous experience was with people who do not really appreciate creative meals. My girlfriend and I, are regular restaurant goers, and especially like new culinary adventures. Although , overall what we had at the Black Trumpet was good and very tasty, it did not quite match the expectations we had. The Paella, was a little dry and the Chorizo was not very good. My Papardelle dish was good, but served a little cold. Our server was extremely friendly and courteous, but lacked the experience that this complex menu needed. Nevertheless, I would definitely come back, and re-do this experience.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Nice experience
    Eatngreet
    Dined on 7/30/2014
    Great old building. Quiet. Excellent menu and great service. View on second floor window excellent.
    Special Features:
    scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Top notch dining
    NY2NHFoodie
    Dined on 7/28/2014
    As recent transplants from Manhattan, our taste for fine dining is quite sensitive - and we are quite often disappointed after going to NH restaurants that are rated as "top". However, this is NOT the case with Black Trumpet. Every item we ordered was impeccably plated and absolutely delicious. Such creative combinations that one would NOT anticipate taste as delicious as they do. My husband was initially disappointed when he read the menu as saw what they were offering that evening... but he did a complete 180 as soon as he tasted the first bite of his appetizer. HIGHLY RECOMMEND, especially for those looking for a dining experience comparable to Big City fine dining.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, scenic view, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Disappointing service
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008VIP
    Dined on 7/25/2014
    Been here before and had great service. I would still come back, but disappointed with our experience.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, late-night find, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Fantastic find!
    jwar14
    Dined on 7/25/2014
    Loved everything about it. Such thoughtful, interesting and most importantly DELICIOUS dishes. Hope to get back to Portsmouth area again, making this the first stop! Try everything.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, scenic view, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • upscale, interesting small plates
    sapphire
    Dined on 7/25/2014
    interesting small plates, though the description of the preparation and ingredients sometimes surpassed the results a bit. Rustic, warm atmosphere and good service.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Real food, real service
    Honestfoodandwinepls
    Dined on 7/25/2014
    We started with the braised octopus and a smoked bluefish pate and I think it was a struggle for us both to leave any for the other. It was an excellent beginning. We ordered Domaine Tempier Rose which held up to our appetizers and entrees of paella and chicken with green onion risotto as well. The service throughout the evening was warm and comfortable, while still being professional. It was a perfect evening out for us and par for the course at The Black Trumpet.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, scenic view, neighborhood gem, hot spot, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Amazing food!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 7/24/2014
    Food...on point. Service...on point! We will be back again!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Mixed feedback
    AbcdeVIP
    Dined on 7/20/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 7/19/2014
    Black Trumpet was absolutely delicious. The food is locally sourced and incredibly fresh while presented in a creative way. Service was impeccable!
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Dining Experience!
    mikegins21
    Dined on 7/18/2014
    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!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Favourite resto in Portsmouth
    foodlover
    Dined on 7/18/2014
    This is our most favourite restaurant in Portsmouth. We always try to stop in whenever we travel to the coast. This time we were staying in Kennebunkport and made a point of coming for dinner. The food is always fresh and delicious. The gluten free menu offers a variety of choices for my wife. This time we had paella and it was delicious. The seafood was so fresh and the wine recommended by our server was excellent. I only wish we lived closer so that we could get there more often
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • very enjoyable dinner
    cooktotable
    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.
    Special Features:
    scenic view, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Awesome place!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 7/17/2014
    We had a great meal at the black trumpet! We recommend getting a variety of small and medium plates to share.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Intimate, and delicious
    Travelingfoodlover
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, late-night find, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Off night?
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006
    Dined on 7/14/2014
    We returned to Black Trumpet for a third visit, expecting the same level of service and excellent menu we'd experienced previously. This establishment is a favorite, and somewhat of an early tradition for my husband and I, and this time we brought friends. We were, unlike previous visits, seating upstairs near the bar, and the noise was awful. Our server was friendly, but seemed a little caught off guard by the specials, and three out of four of our cocktails were made incorrectly. The meal itself was lovely as always, though we felt the menu offerings were a little lackluster compared to other visits. We'll probably come back, given that every place has off nights.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Portsmouth perfection
    MickVIP
    Dined on 7/14/2014
    This restaurant is just an amazing food experience. Simply incredible.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, late-night find, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Texas Visitors
    SazaracLoverVIP
    Dined on 7/13/2014
    This was a great find for us. The bar and bar tender were 1st class. You might have thought you were in New Orleans. She measued and mixed perfect cocktails. The food options were varied and extremely creative. The waitress was knowlegable and attentive, w/o hovering. The evening could not have been more perfect.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, late-night find, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate