Black Trumpet
Black Trumpet

Black Trumpet

  • 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 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 WinnerFit for Foodies
  • Diners' Choice WinnerRomantic
  • Diners' Choice WinnerMost Booked
Black Trumpet reviews from OpenTable diners
123 reviews since July 30, 2014
Overall Rating4.3
  • Food4.3
    Service4.2
  • Ambiance4.4
    Noise LevelModerate
86% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
fit for foodies (90)romantic (76)special occasion (76)neighborhood gem (57)notable wine list (32)scenic view (26)hot spot (12)good for groups (11)late-night find (8)vibrant bar scene (4)kid-friendly (1)great for lunch (1)Show More
  • Yusef
    Dined on 11/23/2014
    As usual, great, creative, flavourful food, attentive service and great atmosphere. Enjoyed the meze, different salads and enique antres. Best in Portsmouth.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Not as good as we expected
    LessieVIP
    Dined on 11/22/2014
    Limited menu with maybe half a dozen choices for entrees. It didn't take long for me to realize that most of the food would have black pepper in it. I told the wait staff right away of my allergies. She said it wouldn't be a problem. 45 minutes after ordering she returned to say the entree I selected had loads of pepper in it. I chose another dish-a plain fish. It took another half an hour for our food to arrive.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Everything was fantastic!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010VIP
    Dined on 11/21/2014
    We thought the food, service and atmosphere were all great. We will be regulars from now on
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Dinner
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 11/12/2014
    Our dinner was fantastic. Four of us went during Restaurant Week and we loved everything we had. The service was excellent, they were attentive and friendly. The ambiance was romantic enough for a special occasion. It was my first visit there and Black Trumpet did not disappoint!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Time at Black Trumpet during Restaurant Week
    PattyK
    Dined on 11/11/2014
    My husband and I enjoyed a "Restaurant Week" three-course meal at the Black Trumpet this week. The service was terrific and so was the food. I had a delicious salad with candied almonds and fresh goat cheese. My husband had Moroccan meatballs made with combined beef and lamb for a great unique flavor. For the main course, I loved the BT burger which was also made with beef and lamb on a delicious focaccia bun made "in house" and spread with a sweet sauce. My husband enjoyed his local fish meal, too. I did notice that the butter served with the bread was not salted. This was the second restaurant we visited that had this. I think that's fine if the bread is full of flavors, but if the bread is not popping with flavor, then the unsalted butter doesn't help it. I'd much rather have salted butter. The wine list was good, there were two groups having dinner that night, too. I would recommend the Black Trumpet to anyone. The stone wall in the back was impressive, too.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Top 3 in Portsmouth
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 11/3/2014
    Black Trumpet always lives up to expectations. One of my favorite, in the top 3, restaurants in Portsmouth, NH. Right variety of food selections, excellent flavors, nice drink/wine/beer menu. Service is consistently very good to great, always pleasant.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Black Trumpet does not disappoint
    Debooinma
    Dined on 11/1/2014
    Had a reunion dinner with some old friends and it was perfect spot for a creative meal, good conversation and great ambiance. The Black Trumpet cocktail was awesome as was the appetizer (chef meza?). Would go back when I'm in the area again.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Go ahead, try the sweetbreads.
    TommyVIP
    Dined on 11/1/2014
    They are excellent. Very good appe, so stop thinking what part of the animal they really are. And I had the bison tenderloin, also very good although surprised a bit by how fatty one slice was. Great food, good wines, great restaurant for cold November nights. Service was attentive buy discreet, this is a very fine restaurant
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • What a great bistro!
    Futility
    Dined on 10/31/2014
    I recently had the pleasure of dining at Black Trumpet Bistro. Our server was very attentive and provided us with such great hospitality. She was so knowledgable about the food, wine and cocktails. The menu is fantastic. There are so few places on the east coast that serve foie gras or sweetbreads, let alone offering both on the same menu! Both were fantastic especially the sweetbreads. My only complaint was that it was difficult to cut the bacon warped around the foie gras torchon, but it was perfectly prepared and plated. We finished up our meal by sharing the Rabbit Paella. I was super impressed by this dish. You never see escargot in a dish if it isn't drowned in garlic butter. Overall I was thrilled to dine at Black Trumpet Bistro!
    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.
  • Disappointed
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 10/24/2014
    We came for the beef ribs, the waiter did not tell us they were on special, so since we did not see them on the menu, we did not order them. Only discovered on our way out that they were available. Service was slow. Menu choices a bit too trendy. Moroccan meatballs were dry, seafood chowder very good, Brussels sprout salad good. We come to the black trumpet every time we are in Portsmouth, this time we brought a guest and it was a disappointment. Not sure if we will come back..there are so many restaurants to choose from. The chef is excellent, just wish there were a few less exotic things on the menu. Really appreciate the owners friendliness!
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Just So-So
    KBGB
    Dined on 10/24/2014
    We were very excited to visit the Black Trumpet again after not having been for four years because we enjoyed our meals so much back in 2011. Unfortunately, the quality of the meal we had this time was incredibly disappointing. I had a beef, veal and goat burger on homemade focaccia. The burger was incredibly dry and while the bread had a really good flavor, it completely overwhelmed the burger. It also was too large for the burger, leaving me with a lot of extra bread. It was served with a salad which was fine, neither really good or bad. My husband had a goat ragout served over grits and greens. It, too, was fine. Nothing was really exceptional which was disappointing because we had incredibly high hopes and expectations.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Excellent dining experience
    willdeni
    Dined on 10/24/2014
    We loved everything about this restaurant! The food had an overwhelming flavor experience! We can't wait to be in the area again to come back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, late-night find, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Innovative and excellent
    Herb1vore
    Dined on 10/22/2014
    The Black Trumpet is the third in a series of famous restaurants to occupy its intimate space on Portsmouth's (NH) Ceres Street. The service is very attentive and a list of wines available by the class allows great pairings. A tasty sweetbread appetizer nearly provided a meal with its beautiful sauce. The three-appetizer platter turned out to be an incredible sampler of marinated beef on couscous, fried redfish on a pesto sauce and a Moroccan lamb meatball, shaped around a cube of feta. The duck entree was a very perfect plate of sliced breast and leg confit sauced with wild mushrooms on a savory puree of vegetables. We didn't get around to the dessert selections and weren't inspired to overeat by the options listed.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Top Notch
    hard2please
    Dined on 10/20/2014
    The food was world-class. The ambiance was warm and welcoming. The wait staff was outstanding. What more can I say?
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Greta menu
    Newmarketer
    Dined on 10/19/2014
    This was the first time we dined at the Black Trumpet but it will not be the last time. We always look for restaurants with menus that are different from the masses and the one at Black Trumpet certainly fits that bill. The portions are small but that allows you to go through the small plate, medium plate, entree and dessert without feeling stuffed. That is very important to us. Great wine list as well. We visited on a Sunday evening and therefore the place was half empty with very low noise. However, being as small as it is the noise level might be quite high when it is full. Very comfortable ambiance and attentive service.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • 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