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
121 reviews since June 24, 2014
Overall Rating4.2
  • Food4.3
    Service4.2
  • Ambiance4.4
    Noise LevelModerate
86% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
fit for foodies (85)romantic (83)special occasion (79)neighborhood gem (57)scenic view (40)notable wine list (32)hot spot (10)good for groups (9)late-night find (9)vibrant bar scene (6)kid-friendly (1)Show More
  • Fantastic spot
    Teddy
    Dined on 10/19/2014
    Went with a handful of friends. The reservation was for 5 but we upped to 6. They were very accommodating for our group and had us seated quickly. Delicious food, smaller portions but exquisitely done. Great wine list and a total gem of a spot.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Elegant
    BRabbitVIP
    Dined on 10/18/2014
    Enjoyed a lovely dinner. Atmosphere was intimate and beautiful, as was the food. Small portions with every detail elegantly presented.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • suzy
    Dined on 10/18/2014
    Our server did not have a good knowledge of the food. Staff was friendly and food was good.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Noisy and eclectic
    Donna
    Dined on 10/12/2014
    Our group of six was getting together for our annual dinner because we live far apart. We hoped to be able to talk a lot and hear each other. Unfortunately the restaurant was quite loud with multiple groups laughing loudly. The menu was interesting - I think we had to ask about the ingredients in every dish. Gruit-braised Chevon Goat? The portions were average sized - not generous. Dinner was a long time coming even though we were among the first diners in the restaurant. All in all, I wouldn't return.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great Atmosphere- OK Food
    safmrb10
    Dined on 10/11/2014
    We really enjoyed the cozy, romantic atmosphere. Unfortunately, we weren't as impressed with the food itself. We enjoyed our drinks and cheese appetizer, yet our main entrees were just OK. Not sure if we'd return.
    Special Features:
    romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Lived up to the hype!
    GentleBen
    Dined on 10/11/2014
    We spotted the Black Trumpet first in the 2013 NY Times piece "36 Hours in Portland." A double check on Trip Advisor confirmed that this was ambitious cuisine for foodies. And a Google search for locavore restaurants cinched the deal. We were not disappointed. From start to finish, this was an excellent meal, with good service and a lovely setting. We began with home-made charcuterie--the pork rillettes being a highlight of the entire meal. A trio of amuse-sized bites in the meze also accompanied our cocktails. Then we moved to mid-sized plates, sharing two of them, before splitting an entree. The latter--braised goat--was another highlight. Tender and full of flavor. With bread and fab desert, it was plenty of food for two hungry adults.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, late-night find, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • A must when in Portsmouth
    TPM17
    Dined on 10/10/2014
    Black Trumpet is the first place I go to the night I arrive in Portsmouth the interior is beautiful and the service is superior but their menu changes seasonally and can be touch and go depending on your tastebuds.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Highly recommended
    Cate
    Dined on 10/5/2014
    Normally it is hard to get a table at Black Trumpet with a late notice. We were fortunate to get in early (5:45pm) and had a delightful dinner. I had the catch of the day which was perfect. My husband's pasta had an unusual but tasty sauce. Service and wine were great. We will definitely go there again.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • a perfect evening
    wynneat
    Dined on 10/4/2014
    our dinner at Black Trumpet was beyond expectation; the servers were attentive and informed but not pretentious, the setting charming, and the food just delicious. Each flavor was showcased perfectly even in the more complicated dishes, and the seasonal ingredients the chef worked with were so fresh and vibrant. The corn tasting dish was just magnificent. I look forward to going back!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Flavors & Choices!
    ChezFez
    Dined on 10/4/2014
    We celebrated our 15th Wedding Anniversary Dinner here & it was an outstanding experience. Two highlighted features are the choices & the flavors. The menu is broken up into Small, Medium, & Main dishes, which allows great flexibility in building your meal. Coupled with this flexibility is a deft hand by the chef in creating some wonderful & interesting flavors on all the plates. In addition there are wonderfully fresh, creative & seasonal specials on the blackboard. Add to all this a nice cocktail, wine, beer & spirit menu + great service & you are firing on all cylinders. No hesitations recommending this to anyone and/or going back myself again & again.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Extraordinary
    alison
    Dined on 10/2/2014
    The food here is extraordinary. The first "small plate" was octopus with black olives, tender and delicious. Second, an intense smoked tomato soup with little dots of goat cheese: amazing. First medium plate: lobster croquettes, delicious airy morsels with a little spike of heat at the end. This heat was also true of the squid stew, tasty with a bit of chew. These four dishes (shared) left room for a berry turnover with honey ice cream. I can usually resist dessert, but not this one. The service was impeccable, and the serving staff extremely knowledgeable about which wine would go with what (we had wines by the glass for each dish). Even the baquette and the miniature corn breads were perfect.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Slow in coming; cool upon arrival
    alcobb1
    Dined on 9/26/2014
    Had the hake special. Fish was vastly overlooked, dry about the edges.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Best food in New England
    Bjmg
    Dined on 9/25/2014
    We have been here before and are never disappointed with the quality and uniqueness of the food. The fact that they grow their own produce and seek local meat selections is fabulous. Highly recommend this restaurant! The chef / owner is always willing to talk to you about how the food was made and where it came from. Excellent.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Excellent yet some missed notes.
    Chopped
    Dined on 9/20/2014
    Warm welcome, seated quickly in an attractive lower level dining room. Service was attentive, but menu descriptions were a bit light. Starter of feta, beets and pickled carrots was a excellent mix of salty and sour as well as textures. My wife's foie gras stuffed squash, was also well presented. The chilled zucchini and fennel soup was bland, but to their credit was removed from the bill without prompting, as my wife stopped after eating the few mushroom garnishes. The star was the goat with grits and creamed greens. Crispy exterior on braised goat was a awesome. One of the more well composed dishes that I've had in awhile, as the grits and greens balanced the Richness of the goat. Would love to try more items next visit.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Disappointment
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 9/19/2014
    While the food and service was very good the seating arrangement was very disappointing, we made our reservations well in advance for five people and they still sat us a four top table. The fifth person had to sit at the end of the four top in the walkway/isle. They constantly got their chair hit or got bumped into by Patrons and/or Wait staff, overall the Table was crowded and extremely uncomfortable for five people.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Must stop
    Reglotito
    Dined on 9/18/2014
    We were only in Portsmouth for one night and wanted to have a special dinner. We did the usual research on Yelp and on Open Table and this was our choice. It is a beautiful historic restaurant that is romantic, warm, inviting and invokes romance or at least an intimacy that is great for couples or friends meeting for dinner. The food was delicate and delicious and nothing disappointed us. We only wish we saved room for dessert. I decided to be adventurous and have the goat dish and it was delicious. We hope to make it to Portsmouth again to have dinner here.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • 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
  • Nice plase for special occasion
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 9/16/2014
    Went to Black Trumpet for a birthday celebration and our waitress was very good, attentive and pleasant. Food arrived hot with great presentation.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • 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.