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
117 reviews since May 24, 2014
Overall Rating4.4
  • Food4.5
    Service4.3
  • Ambiance4.4
    Noise LevelModerate
90% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
romantic (85)fit for foodies (81)special occasion (77)neighborhood gem (53)scenic view (42)notable wine list (32)late-night find (8)good for groups (6)hot spot (5)vibrant bar scene (3)kid-friendly (1)Show More
  • 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.
  • Downtown Portsmouth good choice
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 3/7/2014
    All great food with Mediterranean flair Only complaint was hangar steak was quite small for $32
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • start to finish..quality!
    r1515
    Dined on 3/2/2014
    The entire experience was fabulous. The decor and ambiance were warm and comfortable. The menu was not overwhelming but provided sufficient choice. We were a party of five, everyone got something different..but everyone sampled everyone else's as the presentation encouraged temptation. Portions were moderate which was great as it allowed us to sample every course! Qualityt ingredients yeild a quality product and this was quality all the way. Can't wait to go back!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • perfection
    mrfoodie
    Dined on 3/1/2014
    We had requested a window seat and they set us up in the wine bar (classy) it overlooked the harbor and with the candle made for the most romantic evening. The service was spot on and never felt rushed or that we were waiting too long for anything. The chef deserves to be cooking at the James Beard house, the food was out of this world!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, notable wine list, romantic, scenic view, late-night find, neighborhood gem, hot spot, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • New Menu Debut: Molto Delizioso!
    LJAJ
    Dined on 2/27/2014
    My sister and I ate here on a bitter cold Wednesday night, to celebrate her birthday! We sat upstairs right by the window; to our surprise we were cozy and warm - no draft! We had the meze plate to start - scrumptious, a delicious Vermont cheese with orange marmalade and crostinis to follow, and then as entrees it was the duck breast for me and the lamb short-rib for her. Each dish was savory in its own way. For dessert, we had the chocolate cherry bomb and it was da bomb! I love it here and will definitely be back with my boyfriend. Also - the service was stellar. We were not rushed whatsoever, nor were we overly doted on. Thanks Black Trumpet!
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Black Trumpet in a brick case
    Steve
    Dined on 2/27/2014
    We went to this hidden gem based on a friend's recommendation and are glad we did. The atmosphere was very cool with the historic brick walls of the lower level of the building on the waterfront. Service was great end to end; personable but not intrusive. The food was outstanding! From fried oysters, kale Caesar salad, paella, lamb shank to cheese plate, all were unique and memorable. We will go back for an encore!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Wonderful Experience
    DiscerningDiner
    Dined on 2/27/2014
    Had dinner with my older daughter. Wonderful experience. Wine was superb, meal was fantastic. Can't say enough about the paella. They even have a fantastic rum to finish off the meal, which is a rare find. Would definitely go back and would definitely tell a friend.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Disappointing
    NHfoodie
    Dined on 2/24/2014
    The chef is a James Beard semi finalist but the food was just ordinary. Better Portsmouth restaraunts w/o the hype. I would not go back.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • simply wonderful!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 2/23/2014
    We will be back....what a delightful experience in every way.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Wonderful dining experience
    Dutch
    Dined on 2/22/2014
    The food was excellent! Sourcing their food locally, they change their menu every 6 weeks to adjust to seasonal availability. The restaurant came highly recommended and we were not disappointed!
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Pricey and limited menu, but
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 2/20/2014
    Pricey and limited menu, but otherwise, excellent food and service. Because of price level, would only consider for special occasions.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Tooting the Black Trumpet's Horn
    joshdrums
    Dined on 2/16/2014
    I went to the Black Trumpet with my girlfriend on Valentine's Day this year and I can't imagine picking a better spot. Right when we went in, the ambience was romantic; rustic brick walls were lit by dim cast iron chandeliers. The waitstaff was very polite and attentive, but gave us plenty of room for our special night. It may have been the best meal I've ever had. We started off with Brioche Texas Toast stuffed with cheeses and sauteed mushrooms and topped with incredible sweet butter. She's a vegetarian, so she ordered a jacketed sweet potato stuffed with spicy lentils and an amazing yogurt cheese. I got the Valentine's Day Special: bay scallops with a saffron risotto that was unbelievably aromatic. We finished with a truffle sampler.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, notable wine list, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Amazing wait staff and service.
    Foodie1000
    Dined on 2/14/2014
    Amazing wait staff and service. Romantic environment and delicious food. Would absolutely recommend to a friend for special occasion or a simple romantic night out.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, neighborhood gem, hot spot, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Perfect for date night.
    Datenight
    Dined on 2/14/2014
    My husband and I visited the Black Trumpet for the first time on Valentines day. The restaurant itself is very quaint and cozy. I have a gluten allergy and the gluten free menu was very good. Our server was very friendly and accommodating. We both had the short rib and it just melted in your mouth. Perfection. We will definitely be back and soon.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Best in Portsmouth
    MarketSquared
    Dined on 2/12/2014
    Black Trumpet is in the top 5, if not the best, restaurant in Portsmouth.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, scenic view, notable wine list, neighborhood gem, hot spot, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • not enough for vegetarians
    5cats
    Dined on 2/8/2014
    I love this place and have eaten here several times. I don't know if it is just this most recent menu but I had a very difficult time finding three small plates to enjoy that did not have meat. For such an extensive menu it had a lot of meat and seafood. I eventually had to go with the one main couse that was vegetarian, which was a stuffed squash with lentils, and it was very disappointing. It was something I could eaily make at hoime,
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Dinner in Portsmouth
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008VIP
    Dined on 1/31/2014
    We were in Portsmouth for a wine tasting and our hotel bartender suggested this resto. It was amazing. The staff was incredibly nice and knowledgeable about the food and wine. I had the short ribs which melted in your mouth deliciousness. Met the chef on the way out and he was so nice and wonderful! Definitely go if you're in Portsmouth. Amazing!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, vibrant bar scene, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • A great time
    Scott21
    Dined on 1/31/2014
    My wife and I went there on a Friday evening and the ambience was wonderful, the were people friendly and attentive without being in the way, the presentation was wonderful and the everything was very tasty. I highly recommend the Black Trumpet.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, scenic view, great for lunch, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Everything I had heard
    Russ
    Dined on 1/24/2014
    Many of our guests praise The Black Trumpet, and now I see that the praise was well justified. Great food, attentive service, nice atmosphere. Should be on your list.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Phenomenal
    Tinal
    Dined on 1/23/2014
    I brought a group for a dinner meeting. They were just as impressed as I was. Many small plates were outstanding but my short rib was outstanding.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Excellent experience
    jamton
    Dined on 1/17/2014
    This was, as my wife said, "fine dining as it is supposed to be". Everything was excellent from the food to the service to the atmosphere.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Excellent experience
    Beth
    Dined on 1/17/2014
    My husband and I wanted a special dinner and we definitely had one! The small plates were creative and the flavors were incredible. The vanilla citrus butter for the fresh baked bread was so good I could have eaten it straight out of a bowl. I had the borscht which was unlike any I have ever had, with crispy beef and rosemary. Our main course was the antelope with parship gnocchi and collard greens. The sauce was delightful. For dessert my husband had the banana crusted grilled pineapple. It was so delicious! Flavors truly popped in our mouths. I would definitely go back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Pricey but Yummy
    VeganOptionsPleez
    Dined on 1/11/2014
    We had a great time at the Black Trumpet. The atmosphere was interesting and pleasant. The food was delicious and my drinking friends loved the cocktails. We found it pricey for the small portions, however. Also, I chose the Black Trumpet based on an online search for vegan and vegan-friendly restaurants in Portsmouth. While the staff and kitchen were very accommodating to my need for vegan options, there were no vegan items on the menu.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, late-night find, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Mediocre food. Doesn't come
    yums
    Dined on 1/11/2014
    Mediocre food. Doesn't come close to what Portland or Boston have to offer.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • another fabulous meal
    FoodLover
    Dined on 1/4/2014
    The food was delicious. The mushrooms on the mezze plate were succulent. The fried oysters melted in your mouth. And the food got better from there.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, romantic, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Highly Recommended!
    kayemm
    Dined on 1/2/2014
    My boyfriend and I accidently stumbled upon the Black Trumpet a few years ago and have been returning ever since. We have been impressed at each visit by the outstanding service, warm, welcoming atmosphere, wine options and remarkably creative menu. The menu offers seasonal fare and a nice selection of cheese. We really enjoy that there are small and medium plates (perfect for sharing!) in addition to the lovely entrée options. We enjoyed everything we ordered last visit, especially the stuffed Brioche Texas Toast: crisp, buttery bread, filled with creamy melted cheese and mildly sweet, maple scented mushrooms. I cannot recommend the Black Trumpet highly enough; a must-try if you are ever in the Portsmouth area.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, romantic, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Another Great Meal
    Allegra
    Dined on 12/29/2013
    We went on a Sunday night during a rain/ice storm on the spur of the moment when we found ourselves in town. Received a warm welcome when we arrived early and were cozily seated. We ordered up seafood - two appetizers which we shared - snails and oysters. Both wonderful. The bread was served in abundance with the BT's signature vanilla and citrus butter. Yum! For our entrée, we both ordered the monk fish served with fennel, spinach, and black olives in a intoxicating warm liquid - almost like a bouillabaisse. Spoons provided! Well done, Black Trumpet! Thank you!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • A very promising menu, but
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 12/28/2013
    A very promising menu, but the execution was lacking.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Scrumptious
    Eatsy123
    Dined on 12/27/2013
    This was our first time dining here and we loved the experience. We were celebrating two birthdays and to our delight we were given two yummy desserts to share! We will be coming back just by the service standards being so wonderful. The food was very good but I only have a suggestion to proportion the servings of protein to starch and veggies a little more adequately. I ordered the duck which was served with risotto that was not heavy but given a hefty serving of it that it overtook the veggies and protein portions by easily double the amount. That is it :) So basically a lovely meal and night. Thanks!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Overrated
    seamaster
    Dined on 12/24/2013
    We decided to try this restaurant as a result of it's exceptional OT reviews, however our experience did not live up to the ratings. Perhaps we were there on an 'off night'. At the entrance we were ignored by the hostess for several minutes upon arrival and throughout dinner, the staff didn't seem to have the dinner sequence well organized. After waiting for starters longer than one would expect, they arrived at the table..about 2 minutes later our soup/salads were placed on the table with an offer to take them back if we weren't ready. Entrees were not exceptional or reflective of the pricing. although friendly, it was a lot of the 'little things' that made our visit less than memorable and the staff lacked timing and coordination.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate