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
118 reviews since May 23, 2014
Overall Rating4.4
  • Food4.5
    Service4.3
  • Ambiance4.4
    Noise LevelModerate
90% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
romantic (86)fit for foodies (82)special occasion (78)neighborhood gem (53)scenic view (43)notable wine list (32)late-night find (8)good for groups (6)hot spot (5)vibrant bar scene (3)kid-friendly (1)Show More
  • 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
  • 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
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 59 ratings-only reviews submitted since May 23, 2014
    • Overall Rating4.4
    • Food4.5
    • Ambiance4.5
    • Service4.4
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The following 865 reviews are from the Black Trumpet reviews archive.
  • 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.
    Ardnamara09
    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.