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
  • Nh lawyer
    nhlawyer
    Dined on 6/21/2014
    From the moment we walked in, the service was impeccable. I went with some smaller plate and loved what I had. The flounder, salmon tartar and goat cheese puff was amazing, as was the octopus. The soft shell crab was just right and the chicolate tart was heavenly. Our entire party was pleased with their experience.
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Black Trumpet
    IrunsoIcaneat
    Dined on 6/18/2014
    The food was prepared well and the taste was great. The staff was very friendly. The price was fair and all the food is obtained from local farms in the New England area!!
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion, scenic view, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • A gem of a find
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 6/17/2014
    My wife and I enjoyed a joint Father's and Mother's day gift award, given by our son, who selected the Black Trumpet on line. We enjoyed an early and fine meal with attentive and very friendly service from Katy (who like us, hails from Maine). The interesting and inventive menu worked well for us: one small dish, one medium, and one main dish. Ambiance is nice, but dark, which in the evening I imagine would add to the illusion of a romantic hideaway along the waterfront. We will recommend the Black Trumpet to our friends.
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • elounva
    Dined on 6/15/2014
    Nice find! Close to the shops of Portsmouth, but not directly on the strip. You feel like you've found your own special hole in the wall which serves excellent cuisine!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Creative Dining
    Havdine
    Dined on 6/14/2014
    My wife and I went for our anniversary. The dining room is warm, romantic and intimate with exposed brickwork and beams. We appreciated the fact, highlighted in other reviews, that the tables have sufficient space between them to avoid a sense of crowding. We decided to share a number of small and medium plates, rather then order any main course and they were all delicious. As the menu changes all the time it would be a waste to describe each item in detail, but the creative use of fresh ingredients is what makes this a special meal. Be aware, that the Black Trumpet is pricey, but in my opinion this is justified by the sourcing of the food and the obvious extensive preparation. Service was outstanding; friendly and efficient.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • wonderful dinner
    grotonfoodie
    Dined on 6/13/2014
    This was our second time to Black Trumpet and the restaurant lived up to expectations. We were celebrating our anniversary and had a very memorable dinner. The service was great, the food was delicious, and the wine and cocktails were lovely. Thanks for making our celebration special.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great Anniversary Dinner
    bigbobbyb
    Dined on 5/30/2014
    Had our 28th Anniversary dinner at Black Trumpet with my wife and grown daughters. Everyone loved it... The place , the music, the service and the great food & drink.
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion, scenic view, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • NewYorkerAngloCalifornian
    Dined on 5/29/2014
    The service was excellent. The food was very good/fine, though somewhat self-consciously over the top and with not a large number of choices. While the wine that we had was indeed an excellent bottle, a Nebbiolo, the choices were somewhat limited. Piedmont wines were few (but good), and these days it's a missed opportunity not to have a few Aglianico's on the list. Also, there was nothing from the winery that many regard as one of the best in the U.S.A., Ridge of California (especially in relation to what they charge for a splendid bottle of carbenet sauvignon, chardonnay or zinfanded). Spanish wines are also often excellent value for money, and they were rather few on the Black Trumpet's list.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Fine Dining
    XRaymond
    Dined on 5/25/2014
    Great spot for a special occasion. The staff was great and the food fantastic. I checked out the menu before making reservations so I knew what I was in for as far as price went. Would recommend to others. I guess my only complaint would be is that the wine bar upstairs fills up fast. We showed up at 6:30 for a 7:15 reservation figuring we could grab drinks while we waited....wrong. Will be back!
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Think small
    TommyVIP
    Dined on 5/22/2014
    So when I say 'vibrant bar scene' it's a small bar, but busy! Good food, not crazy complicated and not crazy expensive. Ask to sit upstairs and try and grab one of only two window seats. Good view of the river. As-of this weekend, you will need reservations.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Chelley
    Misstuffet
    Dined on 5/20/2014
    We had a fantastic dinner and the service was really great. Highly recommend for a romantic evening in Portsmouth!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • romantic hideaway
    Pelhamite
    Dined on 5/18/2014
    We went there for my husband's birthday with my 12 year old son. The food was good (though the Paella was a bit bland). The lighting and ambience were spectacular. It would have been a lovely place for a romantic date for two.
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion, late-night find
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Consistently good.
    morning120
    Dined on 5/18/2014
    We enjoy coming to the black trumpet for a lovely meal all around. We'll be back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Lacked seasoning
    JSDurhamNH
    Dined on 5/17/2014
    We ordered 2 appetizers and 2 entrees. All items were lacking salt and the paella needed more saffron.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • fun nite out
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006
    Dined on 5/17/2014
    My husband and I enjoyed our dinner of small plates at Black Trumpet. Our waiter was gracious and had a great sense of humor. Our tastes were delicious and creative. Wine was excellent. Great neighborhood experience.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, late-night find, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Delightful
    Cwsl1616VIP
    Dined on 5/16/2014
    The out of the ordinary menu translates into extraordinary cuisine. Make sure you leave room for the quinoa pudding for dessert.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • great dining experience
    moveablefeastface
    Dined on 5/6/2014
    The waitress was very good and happy to describe the unusual ingredients in some of the dishes. Her recommendations were excellent. People are very friendly when you arrive, but except for excellent service, they also leave you alone to enjoy the meal. It's very pretty inside. I sat downstairs, but the view upstairs is excellent, over the water. There's plenty of space between the tables, and the night I ate there the restaurant wasn't full and the noise level was very quiet. They're creative in the way they cook, and the food is beautifully plated. It's a place for foodies, for sure. Nice people, nice experience.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Not Impressed
    Craig
    Dined on 5/3/2014
    After reading reviews I was excited to dine at the Black Trumpet. However the food was just ok. I had the flat steak which was served with a potato gratin. The gratin was grey in color and had zero flavor. Salt and pepper are absent from the tables, so I was unable to season the under-seasoned food. My steak was cooked well, but also lacked flavor. Although the building is charming and service was good, I will not be returning.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Good food, uninteresting wine list.
    HappyHampton
    Dined on 4/26/2014
    For a restaurant that had a "wine bar", the by the glass selection of wine was disappointing. There wasn't really any choice for each varietal. One Pinot Noir, one Malbec, no Zinfandel or Shiraz. After dinner wine was where there was some selection. We ordered madeira with dessert and the waitress couldn't tell us the difference between the 2 madeira's - both from the same producer. We had to Google it at the table. The food offering was a little confusing - small and medium plates and entrees. The food was great! The best thing we had was the octopus small plate - amazing! The room was charming.
    Special Features:
    Fit For Foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Middle of the road
    Shelby
    Dined on 4/20/2014
    Food was interesting and good, not great. Seats were uncomfortable, portion sizes small, nothing notable that would make me desire to return.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great food, attentive service.
    Ardnamara09VIP
    Dined on 4/15/2014
    I was on a quick business trip to Portsmouth, and the BT was recommended to me as a wine bar. The wine list was very good, no doubt. I ate alone in the bistro, and the wait staff made me feel very welcome. I had the Tres Meze small plate special, which included fatty duck, a meatball, and an aronchini. Wonderful! Then I had braised lamb with parsnip gnocchi. Very rich, with maybe a bit too much oil, but delicious. To finish I had a goat cheese course with Sauternes. All-in-all, it was a memorable experience. I will definitely try to come back when I am in town.
    Special Features:
    Fit For Foodies, Romantic, special occasion, Notable Wine List
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Escargot is back.
    TommyVIP
    Dined on 4/15/2014
    Very fine restaurant, very serious about it's food. Wine list a bit pricey, but you can tell it's been chosen carefully. And the bartender knows his wines. Try the escargot with mild mushrooms in a fine risotto. Could gave been a wee bit hotter, but it was very very good. This is a great restaurant in a very old building that a lot of locals know all too well. Think reservations, particularly during Portsmouth's tourism season.!
    Special Features:
    Fit For Foodies, Good for Groups, Romantic, special occasion, Neighborhood Gem, Notable Wine List
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • The menu was unconventional
    Brodcampcaos
    Dined on 4/13/2014
    The menu was unconventional and delicious. More spice and less salt would improve taste. It was very loud. And the walls and floor had nothing to absorb sound. I love that the food was local and portions were perfect.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Every bite was pure delight.
    MehFeb14
    Dined on 4/13/2014
    Every bite was pure delight. Creative, fresh, local, very well executed. Beyond my very high expectations. Can't wait to go back!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Just ok!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 4/12/2014
    Drinks was good food was ok! Most likely will not go back!
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • In a class of its own!
    Wesley
    Dined on 4/12/2014
    Restaurant Week visit -- Our table tried just about everything offered and everything was unusual and delicious. Love the Black Trumpet cocktail, too.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Wonderful Birthday dinner
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 4/10/2014
    We were a very pleased party of 3 visiting Black Trumpet for the first time and participating in Restaurant Week. The food was outstanding and we look forward to returning.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, romantic, scenic view, hot spot, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • The Black Trumpet Winning Dining
    ShaLeeALHA
    Dined on 4/8/2014
    Our new favorite restaurant...trumps Cava and Anneke Jans even. Trendy, well-displayed and apportioned servings. Dessert has been the only let down the several times I've gone. Best wine menu in town (nice to see some French selections). Would do well to include a few more gluten free options, but server and kitchen were able to accommodate with substitutions.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, romantic, scenic view, late-night find, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Excellent meal
    megohmiiite
    Dined on 4/7/2014
    Excellent meal, great wine, service was okay. As a server myself, splitting a check shouldn't be too hard when there are 4 checks and it's restaurant week ( you are only splitting based off of who drank what...), but our waiter gave us grief about that. Outstanding food though!
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Couldn't have been happier.
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 4/6/2014
    Lovely table, attentive wait staff, delicious food.
    Special Features:
    notable wine list, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • A Wonderful Meal
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 4/4/2014
    We all loved our appetizers and our meal and only wish we could have had dessert, but we were watching calories. The flavors were so interesting and complex and we really appreciate that you use fresh, local ingredients as much as possible. The wine was terrific, too!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, vibrant bar scene, romantic, notable wine list, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great place for a date
    ReviewMaster
    Dined on 4/4/2014
    There is a great atmosphere for having a special and personal dinner. The place is quiet and set up very nicely. The servers are extremely nice and wonderful. The food was delicious.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Portsmouth Hidden Gem
    Kayla
    Dined on 4/4/2014
    Highly recommend the Black Trumpet. We had an all around great experience. It has a romantic setting and historic Portsmouth charm that will impress locals and visitors alike. Great wine list as well.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, romantic, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • always interesting options,
    canuck
    Dined on 4/3/2014
    always interesting options, prepared well, and presented nicely. Once again Black Trumpet is a keeper for a great evening out.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Everything was great except...
    portsmouthdininglover
    Dined on 3/21/2014
    We chose this rest. for the uniquie dinning experience it offers. We were sat promptly. However, it appeared that our server was a bit occupied with other tables as it took a while to get our drink order in. Plus our table was set at an akward angle which made me feel uncomforatable. I asked our server if i could adjust the table and she said "sure." A few minutes later the manager noticed i had moved the table and made sure that he pointed out that i was not supposed to do that beacuse he was going to have to sit the reservation next to us. Not sure what the issue was there. Apps and desert were incredible but my duck entree was overcooked & there was way to much starch on the plate.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, romantic, scenic view, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Still the best in Portsmouth
    keithmVIP
    Dined on 3/16/2014
    Black Trumpet is always consistently excellent. They have a young staff that really makes the most out of a really small kitchen. We started with the fried Oysters & "snails" The Oysters were perfect. They'd make a great entrée. The snails was a kind of take on Escargots. They were prepared with a creamy risotto. For our mains we had the Paella & Grilled steak fillet. Both were done perfectly. I guess my only complaint was the steak was quite small, but still was done perfectly. The Paella was, perhaps. the best we ever had. Really full of flavor. The dessert was the "Chocolate Bomb". Very good & very rich.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, neighborhood gem, hot spot, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Wonderful meal
    Seafoodie603
    Dined on 3/14/2014
    Took my parents to Black trumpet and had a fabulous meal. Being a meat eater I took a night off and enjoyed some wonderful vegetarian meal and it was beyond delightful
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • great food but disorganized
    betsyVIP
    Dined on 3/8/2014
    The food is great and it is a pretty place. But we reserved for 7:45, got there early to meet friends for drinks and were told the bar was too crowded and they referred us elsewhere for drinks, which was nice of them. But when we returned at 7:45 we had to wait 45 minutes for our table. Things happen but they weren't especially gracious about it and the bar was still crowded. After about 30 minutes they bought us drinks. I think this happens and since they had my cell phone number which they had called earlier to confirm, they could have called at 7:40 and said they were running late. Perhapsthe lingering table comprised regulars and we are from Portland ME and NYC respectively.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • 5/5 can't wait to re-arrive
    tj555
    Dined on 3/8/2014
    Love the food: always fresh, unique, delicious, and perfectly portioned. The Chef's Meze plate is just amazing, every time I've been there each of the 3 mini plates on that appetizer have been different. Can't wait for another excuse to go to Portsmouth and come back here.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • one of the Best Meals I've Ever Had
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 3/7/2014
    From the tucked away charm of the location to the imaginative preparations, innovative approach and stunning (yet somehow anassuming) presentations, Black Trumpet delivers huge across the board. Best of all, the food is not only good, but it's also good for local farms and fishermen, as Black Trumpet sources pretty much everything locally. To round out the experience, everyone from server to chef was remarkably inviting, friendly and professional. The Black Trumpet is in a leagues all its own.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.