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
103 reviews since April 29, 2014
Overall Rating4.4
  • Food4.5
    Service4.4
  • Ambiance4.4
    Noise LevelModerate
93% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
romantic (75)fit for foodies (73)special occasion (68)neighborhood gem (46)scenic view (39)notable wine list (24)late-night find (10)good for groups (5)vibrant bar scene (4)hot spot (3)kid-friendly (1)Show More
  • 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
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    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
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    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.
  • Nice experience
    Eatngreet
    Dined on 7/30/2014
    Great old building. Quiet. Excellent menu and great service. View on second floor window excellent.
    Special Features:
    scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Top notch dining
    NY2NHFoodie
    Dined on 7/28/2014
    As recent transplants from Manhattan, our taste for fine dining is quite sensitive - and we are quite often disappointed after going to NH restaurants that are rated as "top". However, this is NOT the case with Black Trumpet. Every item we ordered was impeccably plated and absolutely delicious. Such creative combinations that one would NOT anticipate taste as delicious as they do. My husband was initially disappointed when he read the menu as saw what they were offering that evening... but he did a complete 180 as soon as he tasted the first bite of his appetizer. HIGHLY RECOMMEND, especially for those looking for a dining experience comparable to Big City fine dining.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, scenic view, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Disappointing service
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 7/25/2014
    Been here before and had great service. I would still come back, but disappointed with our experience.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, late-night find, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Fantastic find!
    jwar14
    Dined on 7/25/2014
    Loved everything about it. Such thoughtful, interesting and most importantly DELICIOUS dishes. Hope to get back to Portsmouth area again, making this the first stop! Try everything.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, scenic view, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • upscale, interesting small plates
    sapphire
    Dined on 7/25/2014
    interesting small plates, though the description of the preparation and ingredients sometimes surpassed the results a bit. Rustic, warm atmosphere and good service.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Real food, real service
    Honestfoodandwinepls
    Dined on 7/25/2014
    We started with the braised octopus and a smoked bluefish pate and I think it was a struggle for us both to leave any for the other. It was an excellent beginning. We ordered Domaine Tempier Rose which held up to our appetizers and entrees of paella and chicken with green onion risotto as well. The service throughout the evening was warm and comfortable, while still being professional. It was a perfect evening out for us and par for the course at The Black Trumpet.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, scenic view, neighborhood gem, hot spot, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Amazing food!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 7/24/2014
    Food...on point. Service...on point! We will be back again!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Mixed feedback
    AbcdeVIP
    Dined on 7/20/2014
    Steak was wonderful. Fish was pretty much unseasoned and uninspiring - quote "I could have down that at home". While we enjoy the black trumpet despite the high prices for its ancient harbor ambience and always stop by when we happen to be in Portsmouth, this was a damper on the evening before we drove home.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 7/19/2014
    Black Trumpet was absolutely delicious. The food is locally sourced and incredibly fresh while presented in a creative way. Service was impeccable!
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Dining Experience!
    mikegins21
    Dined on 7/18/2014
    After some quick research of reviews on the web, we decided to give Black Trumpet a try while in town for the weekend. I was hoping our entire party of six would enjoy the restaurant, but I expected that a few might not find it their cup of tea. I was pleasantly surprised that all enjoyed every bite and were delighted with the service. A few people had three small/medium plates, while others had a salad, entree and shared a few small or medium plates for appetizers. While I did not have room for dessert, four people in our party raved about theirs....especially the lemon curd and quinoa desserts. We would definitely recommend this restaurant!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Favourite resto in Portsmouth
    foodlover
    Dined on 7/18/2014
    This is our most favourite restaurant in Portsmouth. We always try to stop in whenever we travel to the coast. This time we were staying in Kennebunkport and made a point of coming for dinner. The food is always fresh and delicious. The gluten free menu offers a variety of choices for my wife. This time we had paella and it was delicious. The seafood was so fresh and the wine recommended by our server was excellent. I only wish we lived closer so that we could get there more often
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • very enjoyable dinner
    cooktotable
    Dined on 7/18/2014
    the restaurant has a great location down by the water and feels very intimate inside. solid locally resourced produce is presented very nicely. food lacked a little creativity and refinement for price but was enjoyable all the same. would definitely recomend and dine here again.
    Special Features:
    scenic view, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Awesome place!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 7/17/2014
    We had a great meal at the black trumpet! We recommend getting a variety of small and medium plates to share.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Intimate, and delicious
    Travelingfoodlover
    Dined on 7/17/2014
    We loved our evening at Black Trumpet. The appetizers were fantastic. Very knowledgeable bar staff with an exciting wine list. Would return again for sure.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, late-night find, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Off night?
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006
    Dined on 7/14/2014
    We returned to Black Trumpet for a third visit, expecting the same level of service and excellent menu we'd experienced previously. This establishment is a favorite, and somewhat of an early tradition for my husband and I, and this time we brought friends. We were, unlike previous visits, seating upstairs near the bar, and the noise was awful. Our server was friendly, but seemed a little caught off guard by the specials, and three out of four of our cocktails were made incorrectly. The meal itself was lovely as always, though we felt the menu offerings were a little lackluster compared to other visits. We'll probably come back, given that every place has off nights.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Portsmouth perfection
    MickVIP
    Dined on 7/14/2014
    This restaurant is just an amazing food experience. Simply incredible.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, late-night find, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Texas Visitors
    SazaracLoverVIP
    Dined on 7/13/2014
    This was a great find for us. The bar and bar tender were 1st class. You might have thought you were in New Orleans. She measued and mixed perfect cocktails. The food options were varied and extremely creative. The waitress was knowlegable and attentive, w/o hovering. The evening could not have been more perfect.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, late-night find, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Try the goat. Really.
    Lanie
    Dined on 7/11/2014
    If you've never tried goat before, try it here. One of us tried it on a lark and we were pleasantly surprised how good it was. It is ver nice restaurant but is pricey.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Best Ever
    maine4me
    Dined on 7/11/2014
    This resturant is by far the best in Portsmouth. You might not know exactly what you are eating but it tastes soooo good. Must try the cheeses and what ever the special is. I would recommend this to anyone who loves a little something different.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • A truly special place
    opentablenickname
    Dined on 7/6/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, scenic view, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Spectacular as always
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 7/4/2014
    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 !
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Lovely romantic scene
    KeeCee
    Dined on 7/3/2014
    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
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • excellent time!
    JCapazzi87
    Dined on 7/3/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great food
    Lulu
    Dined on 7/2/2014
    A little noisy and slow but exceptional food. We would definitely go back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Always a hit
    Detay61
    Dined on 7/2/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, scenic view, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Our birthday dinner
    kensavage
    Dined on 6/27/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • One of Portsmouth's best!
    Backpat
    Dined on 6/25/2014
    One of Portsmouth's best, innovative menu, excellent service.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Delicious
    Delectable
    Dined on 6/22/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, scenic view, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • 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