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 26, 2014
Overall Rating4.3
  • Food4.3
    Service4.2
  • Ambiance4.4
    Noise LevelModerate
85% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
fit for foodies (90)romantic (77)special occasion (77)neighborhood gem (58)notable wine list (32)scenic view (30)hot spot (11)good for groups (10)late-night find (8)vibrant bar scene (5)kid-friendly (1)great for lunch (1)Show More
  • To be honest, we were disappointed.
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006
    Dined on 12/12/2009
    To be honest, we were disappointed. We were big fans of Lindbergh's Crossing for years and hoped for the best. Beyond the olive's and spiced cocoa, everything else disappointed. Then the chek came. I have never flinched in paying for good food but I regretted everything I ordered when the check came. The prices should be dropped and the menu simplified. As a dyed in the wool foodie, Gilley's is my choice.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Very unusual and different
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 12/12/2009
    Very unusual and different menu. I had antelope. However, the food was very good.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • The ambiance, service, atmosphere
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 12/11/2009
    The ambiance, service, atmosphere are very good. The food is of very high quality, the menu is a bit too escoteric for some. Bascially, there are no standard safe choices, if your partner is looking for standard fare, this would not be a good choice. If however, you want something different, this is a very good choice in Portsmouth
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The food itself was good,
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 12/5/2009
    The food itself was good, but EVERY dish seemed to have one very unexpected ingredient, as if trying to be really trendy or something... not necessarily my taste.
    Special Features:
    romantic, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Black Trumpet is a terrific
    chuckmac07VIP
    Dined on 12/1/2009
    Black Trumpet is a terrific place IF you like mediterranean-inspired cooking: the spices on many of the dishes are quite strong, so be forewarned. that said, the setting is very nice (most seats have a nice view of the harbor), the menu is varied, the preparation is excellent and the servers are terrific. it's more of a tapas-like menu than an traditional menu, but that just meant we could sample more dishes. highly recommended with the above caveat.
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene, fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Beautiful low ambient lighting
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 11/23/2009
    Beautiful low ambient lighting wine-cellar-like restaurant. Great for intimate occasions varying from romantic to business. The Black Trumpet retains a seacoast port restaurant feel but stays classy and is subtle and elegant with is decor and server demeanor. The food is excellent and offers many unique and delicious dishes. The menu offered during our dining experience offered several different types of dishes. Our server was very knowledgeable with the wines and described the dishes well. The prices are high side but do not surpass the worth of the excellently crafted and flavorful food. Dishes are categorized into three courses, each course has ranging meal sizes and types. Nibbling appetizers and typical sized ones.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, kid-friendly, late-night find, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • incredible interior- so very
    Rolo
    Dined on 11/21/2009
    incredible interior- so very antique- good service- very accomodating staff- excellent meal- like the small and medium plates one can get if not a big eater-
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • One of my all time favorite
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 11/20/2009
    One of my all time favorite places to eat in Portsmouth. Food is always excellent and as is the service. Friendly and helpful staff add to the experience and don't forget to check out the upstairs if you want the same quality food in a more casual atmosphere...
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Food was excellent, as always.
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 11/20/2009
    Food was excellent, as always. Many interesting choices on the menu, and everything we had was well prepared. It was a bit loud and crowded, but what can one expect on a Friday night?
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Would not recommend: We went
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 11/14/2009
    Would not recommend: We went here during restaurant week lured by the thought of food 'influenced by spain, north africa, and morocco.' Instead,on the restaurant-week menu, we found squash soup, turkey pot pie and creme brulee. Not what we expected, food was ok, not spectacular, certainly overpriced. Atmosphere would have been much nicer with some jazz or other pleasant music instead of nothing but other people chatting. We were pleasantly surprised with a free slice of cake with a candle for our tenth avnniversary celebration, however, ended up not eating the cake due to overgritty texture. The bay scallops which we ordered off the regular menu were very good as was the creme brulee. But the main dishes were very very bland. yuck.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Restaurant had a great atmosphere.
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 11/13/2009
    Restaurant had a great atmosphere. Food was good, but you can get the same or better at other places for the same price or less.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • My husband and I had a fantastic
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 11/12/2009
    My husband and I had a fantastic time at the Black Trumpet. We had a superb meal as we have everytime we've gone. It always feels like a special night out when we go to the Black Trumpet. I would highly recommend it to anyone and everyone-it's one of my favorite restaurants! Not only on the seacoast...but anywhere! The menu is well though out and carefully crafted. You really get a special gourmet meal when you dine out at the Black Trumpet. We also love the ambiance-the brick walls, the dark exposed beams overhead...it's a beautiful and intimate space. You just can't go wrong if you choose to enjoy a meal at Portmsouth's Black trumpet Bistro.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, late-night find, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The food and presentation
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006VIP
    Dined on 11/9/2009
    The food and presentation was good, however, nothing to talk about. Would I go again, definitely. Solid place.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • We really enjoyed our meal.
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 11/7/2009
    We really enjoyed our meal. Food was great, I really liked the cheese course. The only complaint I have was the service was a little slow. Slow to offer us drinks and we allowed ourselves 1hr and 45 min for dinner and we ended up having to run out without coffee or dessert to get to the play on time. To be fair, we did not tell them we had a deadline until we realized time was really tight.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The food was tasty and imaginative,
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 11/1/2009
    The food was tasty and imaginative, and the location/scenery was fabulous since it was right on the water. The service was strikingly uninspiring. We were not welcomed when we first arrived, the person who took our wine order didn't introduce herself, and while we were the first (and only) people in the restaurant, a group of 4-5 was seated right next to us, just 3 feet away. The wine selection was fabulous and the dessert menu (and the dessert we had) was outstanding. The table we sat at was made of copper which, if you leaned on it, would buckle and then bounce back once you let up on the pressure exerted on the table. It was incredibly intrusive and distracting from our conversation. Nice experience; needs some refinements.
    Special Features:
    scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Our evening was very enjoyable.
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007
    Dined on 10/17/2009
    Our evening was very enjoyable. We were a group of college friends who had not been together for a couple of years and were in Portsmouth for the weekend. We appreciated the fact that we were able to linger over coffee. The food was very good and we liked the ability to have several "moderate plates" vs a large dinner. Would recommend this to friends.
    Special Features:
    good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The atmosphere is cozy and
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 10/17/2009
    The atmosphere is cozy and quaint with river views from selected tables. The service was slow, impersonal, and inexperienced. The food was barely adequate and highly over priced. The wild foraged mushroom stuffed pork was dry and the so called "stuffing" virtually nonexistent. The cod dinner was tasteless, dry, and overcooked. We will not dine at the Black Trumpet again.
    Special Features:
    scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Beautiful restaurant, great
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007
    Dined on 10/10/2009
    Beautiful restaurant, great food, excellent ambiance.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Continues Blue Strawberry
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 10/6/2009
    Continues Blue Strawberry competence with food. Top drawer.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, late-night find, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • A great find! Food was outstanding.
    Judy
    Dined on 10/3/2009
    A great find! Food was outstanding. One person had the short ribs and thought they were the best ever. The seafood paella had a nice spicy taste from the chorizo and lots of seafood...swordfish was cooked to a perfection and I am very picky about my swordfish. Appetizers were very unusual. Chef had a trio with elk tartar that was really special. I had a great pate....lots of it also. Portions were not small!! Wine list very unusual and desserts unique. We tasted a chocolate cake that put us over the "I ate too much" hill... Overall, I would recommend it to anyone and suprise them with the outstanding food out of the "big city!"
    Special Features:
    notable wine list, romantic, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • From the time we walked in,greeted,
    ChrisVIP
    Dined on 9/26/2009
    From the time we walked in,greeted,sat down and served it was superb.It was a great night from the appetizers to dessert.It was all our first time there and it will be a place we will frequent.The server answered all our questions and made some very good recommendations.Thank you Black Trumpet
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene, fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, special occasion, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The food was very good- the
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006
    Dined on 9/25/2009
    The food was very good- the turnip soup, especially-the bacalao, (despite being salted cod,) was too salty- it doesn't need to be that salty- and the pate was a bit dry. The crepes were fun, and delicious. Ambiance would have been better had there not been a huge table taking up much of the first floor- it was loud, a Friday night- and our seat right near the entrance to the kitchen was busy. Our service was adequate, but a little TOO hands off. Other people at other tables had way more attentive and engaged servers (tables are so close together, hard not to notice)- but the guy we had was slow and not too fired up. We definitely enjoyed it and would go back.
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene, fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • The Black Trumpet was a lovely
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 9/23/2009
    The Black Trumpet was a lovely dining experience. It is an cozy, adorable restaurant. The specialty martinis were excellent, the wine was delicious and a huge variety. Our server lacked knowledge of the menu and couldn't answer any questions. He was great at bringing things but aside from that.... We thought the food was quite creative yet a couple of the dishes we had were overseasoned, uncooked & overcooked. certain dishes we tried were simply amazing such as the paella. The deserts were ok- kind of missed it's mark as far as the flavor combination & texture. It was good- we might return for a few of the dishes... but then again...
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • This restaurant was highly
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 9/22/2009
    This restaurant was highly recommended on Chowhound and it did not disappoint. This is a place we'd return to often if we lived in the area. We love how the menu is divided by small dishes, medium dishes and entrees. We're not big eaters, so this suits us perfectly. I also love that they have several local and area beers on draft, since I often prefer beer to wine.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • My party had a 6pm reservation
    KevinVIP
    Dined on 9/21/2009
    My party had a 6pm reservation on a Monday. When we arrived we were warmly greeted by the owner and given our choice of tables. We chose a table upstairs and after climbing a flight of stairs were rewarded for our efforts with a stunning (and unexpected) view of Portsmouth's charming tugboats and working port. The restaurant quickly filled up with other patrons but the staff remained very attentive. The food was fantastic - it exceeded my expectations and the staff was truly wonderful. In fact, I left my credit card behind by mistake and within minutes of leaving the restaurant the owner called me to let me know. I was deeply grateful since I was boarding a plane in the morning to return home to FL. Many thanks for a lovely evening.
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Our third visit, coming from
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006
    Dined on 9/20/2009
    Our third visit, coming from Boston area. Service good, food and wine better. Chef's Mezze Plate was fantastic, as were the mussels. Tried a new wine- the Tikal Patriota- fabulous full-bodied dry red. Greeted warmly by the owner Evan, who went out of his way to make sure our experience was excellent. We will continue to send everyone we know to Black Trumpet Bistro whenever they are in the area.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Dining at Black Trumpet is
    BigBearVIP
    Dined on 9/20/2009
    Dining at Black Trumpet is always an adventure. Because the menu changes every six weeks, you always come across new, tantalizing surprises. It's a very cozy, romantic setting and every member of the staff greets you like an old friend. It's one of our favorite places in the world and we will continue to go back and back and back. The cuisine is exquisite and very inventive. Bon appetit!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Food was very good, service
    Bartnk
    Dined on 9/20/2009
    Food was very good, service outstanding. Chef walked around to each table; nice touch.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Everything was fantastic -
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 9/15/2009
    Everything was fantastic - the service, the wine, the food, the ambiance - always a wonderful place to dine for special occasions or stop by after work - any time!
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • We had a wonderful time. Worth
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 9/12/2009
    We had a wonderful time. Worth the trip if you are from out of town.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • The food was just so flavorful
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008VIP
    Dined on 9/9/2009
    The food was just so flavorful - a terrific mix of spices. And, the service was superb.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Labor day fatigue resulted
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006
    Dined on 9/7/2009
    Labor day fatigue resulted in somewhat poor service this time. Food was good although ran our of bread and he two pieces put on the table were substandard.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Great service and help with
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007VIP
    Dined on 9/7/2009
    Great service and help with the wine choice. Wide variety of food choices, from little dishes to main courses.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Food was great! However, it
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 9/6/2009
    Food was great! However, it was much louder than I expected and not nearly as romantic. The service was terrible. We waited more than 20 minutes to put in a drink order. Then once it arrived, it sat on a counter across from us for another 5 minutes, waiting for our waitress to bring it to our table.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • What a remarkable place for
    diningshaman
    Dined on 9/6/2009
    What a remarkable place for your palate, your happiness, and your soul! Local foods prepared with impeccable craft entertain your taste buds with beautiful textures, spices, and a most magnificent blend of flavor harmonies and subtlety. Nested on a side street adjacent to the harbor, this impeccable restaurant teases you inside with its name and historical architecture. Then you are welcomed and nourished with hospitality and some of the finest cuisine in the northeast. Mushrooms are abundant on the menu but they are used in ways that bring earth and sea together in celebration of this particular place. Enter and be entranced! The paella is a harvest of wonder!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Never write reviews but felt
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006
    Dined on 9/4/2009
    Never write reviews but felt I had to. Just Excellent. From Quality of food to ambiance, very good value for money. It made our two night trip to Portsmouth from Boston a pleasure. The restaurant on the second night was more expensive and did not compare. Wich we had gone to The Black Trumpet twice !!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Food was very innovative and
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 9/1/2009
    Food was very innovative and well prepared. It's a small place with attractive quaint decor. Service was very good. Prices a little high but interesting dishes.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • We thought the food was delicious
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 8/23/2009
    We thought the food was delicious and the ambience was very pleasing - dark, but not so dark you couldn't see your food. Our questions about the menu were answered quickly and with no condescension. We'd love to return.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Excellent food, very creative
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 8/23/2009
    Excellent food, very creative menu, great service. One of the best places I have been in last couple of years.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • It is not often that the chef
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 8/21/2009
    It is not often that the chef has a deft touch with the vegetables and all aspects of the menu. Clearly a basque,portuguese french influence. Tapas type starters with great flavors. The cheese selection is fabulous and not seen many places. Good selections with great fruit counter points. I have been there twice recently and the entrees were perfectly seasoned. The produce and seafood were clearly fresh and the best available. Cooked to perfection and not an after thought like many places. All of the flavors were balanced and well paired. I would skip the dessert, had a dry uninteresting flourless tort. The wine selection is limited but good. Beer was warm but okay. Noisy Overall will go again. Best of Portsmouth in my opinion.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic