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Black Trumpet
Black Trumpet

Black Trumpet Details

  • 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 (877) 766-0994

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. Continued
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerFit for Foodies
  • Diners' Choice WinnerRomantic
  • Diners' Choice WinnerMost Booked
Diner Reviews
  • "This is the best restaurant in Portsmouth. Others are more expensive (though not by much), or have a better view, but nothing beats the quality of ingredients and create dishes crafted by the chef's at Black Trumpet. It's not a place for conservative eaters - every item on the meny has some ingredient you've never heard of. But the result is an incredibly memorable meal in a great setting. I cannot stress this enough - always get the meze plate."
    Dined on 7/6/2014
  • "Had a birthday dinner here and it was amazing. Romantic, beautifully decorated, and had a very warm atmosphere. Our server was just amazing. Steered us to amazing food and wine picks"
    Dined on 7/3/2014
  • "This is a must stop when in Portsmouth. The food is always cooked perfectly, the portions are perfect and the service on par with a 5-star restaurant. A European dining experience in the US !"
    Dined on 7/4/2014
  • "The food was dynamic and burst with fresh flavor. The chef's mezze plate was absolutely delicious and the highlight of the meal (Best. Scallop. Ever.) The jacketed sweet potato dish and steak were cooked to perfection and the wine matched perfectly. Thank you for a wonderful meal and a wonderful evening, it was certainly a top highlight of our vacation."
    Dined on 7/3/2014
  • "The Crew at Black Trumpet always shock me. We couldn't find a suitable restaurant in Maine so we stopped by Portsmouth on our way home. Great starters, as always, and we are settling in to a wonderful meal (patting ourselves on the back). Then the entree hits the table. We ordered Lamb, but we were not ready for the lamb we got. Of course everything else on the plate was delicious, but the lamb was amazing. Picture all the lamb, every bit, all braised until it was about to turn into sauce. Then those wonderful folks in the kitchen do something to make it into an entree-sized rillette. I'm from Providence but a trip to Portsmouth is well worth the time."
    Dined on 7/2/2014
  • "A little noisy and slow but exceptional food. We would definitely go back."
    Dined on 7/2/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 6/13/2014
  • "It was my girlfriend's birthday and after the week she'd had previously it was worth it to get away to Portsmouth. I found this restaurant in some online reviews and I wanted somewhere quiet and quaint. We found just that and some great/unique food as well. The NY steak was moist and perfectly cooked for my taste with a mushroom sauce. Great views of the water from up stairs and a waitress that was helpful as well as quiet."
    Dined on 6/27/2014
  • "One of Portsmouth's best, innovative menu, excellent service."
    Dined on 6/25/2014
  • "Each ingredient is chosen with care. The unique, and local cuisine is definitely one-of-a-kind. I happily drive the hour it takes to get there KNOWING the dining experience will be well-worth the efforts."
    Dined on 6/22/2014
  • "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!!"
    Dined on 6/18/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 6/21/2014
  • "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!"
    Dined on 6/15/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 6/17/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 6/14/2014
  • "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!"
    Dined on 5/25/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 5/30/2014
  • "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. "
    Dined on 5/29/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 5/22/2014
  • "We had a fantastic dinner and the service was really great. Highly recommend for a romantic evening in Portsmouth!"
    Dined on 5/20/2014
  • "Tucked away int he back street of this port village is this amazing restaurant with modern menu items and exquisite food prep. Worth the trip to Portsmouth."
    Dined on 10/10/2013
  • "We enjoy coming to the black trumpet for a lovely meal all around. We'll be back."
    Dined on 5/18/2014
  • "We ordered 2 appetizers and 2 entrees. All items were lacking salt and the paella needed more saffron. "
    Dined on 5/17/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 5/18/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 5/17/2014
  • "The out of the ordinary menu translates into extraordinary cuisine. Make sure you leave room for the quinoa pudding for dessert. "
    Dined on 5/16/2014
  • "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. "
    Dined on 5/6/2014
  • "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. "
    Dined on 5/3/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 4/26/2014
  • "Food was interesting and good, not great. Seats were uncomfortable, portion sizes small, nothing notable that would make me desire to return."
    Dined on 4/20/2014
  • "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. "
    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.!"
    Dined on 4/15/2014
  • "Every bite was pure delight. Creative, fresh, local, very well executed. Beyond my very high expectations. Can't wait to go back!"
    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."
    Dined on 4/13/2014
  • "Restaurant Week visit -- Our table tried just about everything offered and everything was unusual and delicious. Love the Black Trumpet cocktail, too."
    Dined on 4/12/2014
  • "Drinks was good food was ok! Most likely will not go back!"
    Dined on 4/12/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 4/10/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 4/8/2014
  • "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!"
    Dined on 4/7/2014
  • "Lovely table, attentive wait staff, delicious food."
    Dined on 4/6/2014