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About 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.

29 Ceres Street
Portsmouth, NH 03801
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Dining Style:
Casual Elegant

Cuisines:
Global, International

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.

Dress Code:
Smart Casual

Price Range:
$31 to $50

Payment Options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

Phone Number:
(603) 431-0887

Website:
http://www.blacktrumpetbistro.com/

Parking Details:
Nearby Parking Garage, or Street

Executive Chef:
Evan Mallett

Private Party Facilities:
The Black Trumpet dining room is available for social or corporate events seating up to 34 people. The entire restaurant is available for up to 68 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

Additional:
Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Farm to Table, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Non-Smoking, View, Wine

Black Trumpet Ratings and Reviews

5
4
3
2
1

4.5

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.5

service

4.6

ambience

4.6

value

4.3

Noise

Moderate

93% would recommend it to a friend

Creative Cuisine (30)
Good for a Date (30)
Special Occasion (29)
See All
Local Ingredients (26)
Romantic (25)
Worth the Drive (22)
Fit for Foodies (18)
Neighborhood Gem (18)
Cozy (17)
Notable Wine List (16)
Good for Anniversaries (16)
Quiet Conversation (16)
Authentic (15)
Waterfront (10)
Handcrafted Cocktails (9)
Bar Seating (8)
Good for Birthdays (7)
Casual (7)
Good Vegetarian Options (7)
Pre/post Theatre (6)
Seasonal (6)
Gluten Free Options (5)
Tasting Menu (5)
Tapas (5)
Organic (4)
Scenic View (4)
Business Meals (3)
Fun (3)
Great Beer (2)
Healthy (2)
Hot Spot (2)
Late-night Find (2)
People Watching (2)
Comfort Food (1)
Good for Groups (1)
Happy Hour (1)
Spicy (1)
Vibrant Bar Scene (1)
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1428 reviews
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·Dined a day ago

Came in with kids, sat 10 minutes before opening, reservation was @5, they let us in no problem. no kids menu so the chefs whipped up some empanadas, kids were cranky, waiter offered us pasta for the kids and they didn’t have it...., would have been a better experience without the kids, the menu was good, the food was good. I honestly had really high expectations for this place but they weren’t meant, will definitely try again on a solo date night with the wife, the wife and kids were worn out after roaming the streets of Portsmouth on a rainy winter day.... next time will be better for sure....

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food3
ambience4
service4
value3

 
 (New England)·Dined 3 days ago

Great experiece for my wife and I. Server was great and we were seated right at our reservation time, which I appreciated. Food is exceptional but I didn't like the Pumpernickel bread pudding, more of a personal preference. Great drink menu, wine is fantastic. I will go back again, loved it.

Tags: Pre/post Theatre, Notable Wine List
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food5
ambience3
service5
value4

 
 (New England)·Dined 5 days ago

Superb food, thoughtful service, wonderful ambiance. A perfect evening in a great location.

Tags: Special Occasion, Quiet Conversation, Good for a Date, Healthy, Romantic, Waterfront, Neighborhood Gem, Local Ingredients, Authentic
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Denver)·Dined 6 days ago

ALWAYS OVER THE TOP.
WENT ON VALENTINE
S DAY LAST TIME LATE, SO THE STAFF WAS TIRED AS WE WERE LAST SERVED BUT STILL PULLED IT OFF.
LIVED IN PORTSMOUTH FOR 15 YEARS.
STILL BEST FINE DINING IN TOWN

Tags: Organic, Creative Cuisine, Special Occasion, Notable Wine List, Local Ingredients, Good for Anniversaries, Cozy, Bar Seating, Romantic
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food4
ambience4
service4
value3

 
 (New England)·Dined on February 13, 2018

Quiet and cozy. Small number of tables on a quiet walking street. Love the brick and beams ... and small bar upstairs. The food was out of this world - especially the appetizers. Highly recommended.

Tags: Bar Seating, Casual, Tapas, Special Occasion, Good for a Date
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (New England)·Dined on February 10, 2018

We thoroughly enjoyed our Valentine/date night last night at The Black Trumpet. Our server Jon was really great. He was knowledgeable, attentive, timely, and has great people skills. The menu options were fantastic and we had trouble deciding, which is a good thing. My cocktail, The Black Trumpet, was amazing. This is a special restaurant and offers a truly unique selection of food and drinks.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Notable Wine List, Cozy, Worth the Drive, Special Occasion, Good for Groups, Local Ingredients, Romantic, Good for Anniversaries, Good for Birthdays, Creative Cuisine, Quiet Conversation, Handcrafted Cocktails, Authentic, Good for a Date, Pre/post Theatre
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (New England)·Dined on February 9, 2018

Lovely ambience, service and amazing food!

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (New England)·Dined on February 9, 2018

While in Portsmouth the Black Trumpet came recommended and it was very pleasant. The food is very good,and original. The atmosphere is a typical seaport tavern over looking the port. This would be a good spot to stop to get the feel of Portsmouth.

Tags: Casual, Waterfront, Romantic
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food4
ambience4
service4
value4

 
 (New England)·Dined on February 3, 2018

We enjoyed our evening at Black Trumpet very much. Our food was wonderful. We were so impressed with everything we tasted. The service was perfect. And the environment was cozy and comfortable. We look forward to going back.

Tags: Good for a Date, Bar Seating, Notable Wine List, Good for Birthdays, Tapas, Tasting Menu, Worth the Drive
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (New England)·Dined on January 30, 2018

Black Trumpet is very consistently one of the best restaurants I've ever been to. I can rest assured that all ingredients are local, fresh and beautifully prepared. I've been going for years.

Tags: Seasonal, Local Ingredients, Handcrafted Cocktails, Romantic, Good for a Date, Organic, Creative Cuisine, Worth the Drive, Good for Anniversaries, Special Occasion, Healthy
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Denver)·Dined on January 27, 2018

The Black Trumpet was recommended to us by a friend as being a locavore hotspot. Located on a thriving seafront street in Portsmouth, walking into Black Trumpet one is automatically taken back a century. The aesthetic is very pleasing, darkened just right and low ceilings with open (and old) timbers. The restaurant is divided into two sections: one above, the bar; and the other the dining area below.

The menu is simple and the wine offering is excellent. The cheese plate included excellent New England cheeses, pickled beets and toasty crackers. The pig jowls were excellent with a fruity jelly on top that tasted best with the in-house baked rye bread rather than the crackers it was served with. The least favorite were the scallops; they were overcooked (an easy thing to do), but the pickled ginger (?) was great and probably house made. The deserts (I had the blondie) were somewhat lacking, but the presentation was good! The port that I ordered was chilled and I would much rather have such a drink at room temperature.

The ambience of the room was a bit taken because of the noise level; it was a bit difficult to have a conversation, but the service was great given that one understands that the approach is a bit European. That is, we made a reservation and it was apparent that we had the table for the evening. We were not rushed and were allowed time to enjoy the wine between the small plates that came and went.

Overall, with a bit of work in the kitchen given the excellent ingredients at hand, Black Trumpet could be a treasure trove.

Tags: Waterfront, Notable Wine List, Neighborhood Gem
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food3
ambience2
service4
value3

vip
 (New York Area)·Dined on January 21, 2018

Very good pumpernickel bread for the table and then toasted for the appetizer of salmon pastrami. Excellent escargot variation in mushroom madeira sauce and baked paella negra. Strip Steak well prepared but cabbage garnish was a bit overpowering.

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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (New England)·Dined on January 20, 2018

Place is awesome. Had a great, romantic anniversary dinner. This place is excellent.

Tags: Local Ingredients, Casual
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (New England)·Dined on January 20, 2018

Without a doubt, Black Trumpet is one of our favorite dining establishments. The food is fabulous -- both tasty and unique. Service is splendid in a relaxed fashion. Well worth the time (even driving up from the Boston area for a Saturday night date).

Tags: Quiet Conversation, Good Vegetarian Options, Romantic
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (New England)·Dined on January 19, 2018

Loved the whole evening. Looking forward to going back soon.

Tags: Special Occasion, Local Ingredients, Quiet Conversation, Worth the Drive, Waterfront, Fun, Neighborhood Gem
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (New England)·Dined on January 13, 2018

My boyfriend and I had a "date night" here on a Saturday evening. We chose to sit upstairs where it is very cozy, darker w/ candles and a rustic feel w/ the post and beam ceiling, small bar and small tables. With prompt and attentive service, an excellent wine list and a delicious menu... I would highly recommend bringing a date to this restaurant. Downstairs looked a bit brighter and with larger tables and I want to try that the next time!

Tags: Special Occasion
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (New England)·Dined on January 12, 2018

Always a great menu with locally sourced ingredients. Love the unique crafted cocktails and creative daily specials. Located in a historic building; ambiance is wonderful. Never disappoints.

Tags: Cozy, Gluten Free Options, Worth the Drive, Authentic, Fit for Foodies, Special Occasion, Good for Birthdays, Business Meals, Creative Cuisine, Good Vegetarian Options, Neighborhood Gem, Pre/post Theatre, Scenic View, Good for a Date, Romantic, Organic, Bar Seating, Local Ingredients, Handcrafted Cocktails, Notable Wine List, Good for Anniversaries
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (New England)·Dined on January 12, 2018

We had a great meal and the restaurant accommodated the need for soft food following dental surgery. Savory, creative and delicious! Cocktails and wine were terrific as well.

Tags: Local Ingredients, Good for a Date, Romantic, Cozy, Creative Cuisine, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (New England)·Dined on December 31, 2017

Came here for New Years Eve with my boyfriend, per recommendation of a friend. We were not disappointed! Cozy and quiet, and the food was phenomenal. The Brussel sprout app was AMAZING!

Tags: Cozy, Good for Anniversaries, Special Occasion, Quiet Conversation, Good for a Date
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (New England)·Dined on December 30, 2017

We went for our 44 Anniversary. It was small and cozy. Food was good but a very small menu. I suspect it is because of the kitchen size. I be selective to whom I would recommend this restaurant.

Tags: Special Occasion, Cozy
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food5
ambience5
service4
value4

 
 (New England)·Dined on December 30, 2017

We used to dine frequently at Black Trumpet but hadn’t been there for a few years. We requested the window table on the second level when we made our reservation but were not given it. This unfortunately set the tone for our evening. A lot of the menu items this time around were spicy and the drink and food menus both seemed more limited than we remember.

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food3
ambience3
service5
value3

 
 (New England)·Dined on December 16, 2017

Service was unexpectedly slow. We had a reservation for 9 pm, arrived about ten minutes early and were seated pretty quickly, but it was a long wait before we could flag down our waiter to order, and it took at least thirty minutes before our appetizers arrived. Our waiter didn't check in with us at all, and we had to flag him down again to ask about our entrees, after another thirty minutes of waiting.

Overall, it took at least an hour for our main entrees. Our waiter did check in with us after our entrees finally arrived. However, the food was intricately presented and incredibly flavorful.

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food5
ambience5
service2
value4

 
 (New England)·Dined on December 16, 2017

Great atmosphere and the food was really, really great up until the last course where we ordered the burger medium and it came out rock hard and way overcooked. We tried to get our server's attention but she was very busy so we wound up choking it down. After such a delicious start, the main course was disappointing. I think we will probably try again because the other plates were soo delicious and next time I would also send back the burger! Very enjoyable night other than that!

Tags: Local Ingredients, Tapas, Worth the Drive
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food4
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (New England)·Dined on December 16, 2017

Great food and service

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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (New England)·Dined on December 16, 2017

Best restaurant on the Seacoast of NH - and that’s setting a very high bar!

Tags: Good for a Date, Romantic, Fun, Tapas, Creative Cuisine, Special Occasion, Neighborhood Gem, Notable Wine List, Worth the Drive, Quiet Conversation, Handcrafted Cocktails, Tasting Menu, Waterfront, Cozy, Scenic View, Business Meals, Authentic, Casual, Pre/post Theatre, Bar Seating, Local Ingredients
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (New England)·Dined on December 15, 2017

Interesting, exceptional food in a quiet cozy atmosphere. Would highly recommend.

Tags: Seasonal, Good for a Date, Creative Cuisine, Worth the Drive, Special Occasion, Fit for Foodies, Romantic, Quiet Conversation, Local Ingredients
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food4
ambience5
service4
value4

vip
 (New England)·Dined on December 12, 2017

First time dining in the upstairs and it was just as nice as downstairs. Service was great as always, food as delicious as expected. Appetizers were a good portion, not too big to make you too full for your entree but not too small to be silly. This restaurant continues to be my favorite in Portsmouth

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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (New England)·Dined on December 9, 2017

We had a fabulous meal, the ambience was beautiful overlooking the water and tugboats in Portsmouth Harbor. The weather was very attentive and knowledgeable about the menu.

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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on December 9, 2017

It was Awesome. Service and food cant be beaten for a romantic dinner.

Tags: Romantic
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (New England)·Dined on December 9, 2017

Excellent as always

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (New England)·Dined on December 8, 2017

It was a wonderful dinner! We enjoyed it very much and look forward to coming back!

Tags: Cozy, Good for a Date, Worth the Drive, Local Ingredients, Special Occasion, Authentic
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Los Angeles)·Dined on December 4, 2017

No visit to New England is ever complete without dinner at Black Trumpet Bistro. This charming and intimate restaurant is located on the Portsmouth waterfront. The menu is creative and seasonal, accompanied by an equally impressive wine and beverage list. A few standouts were the Curried Bay Scallops with boiled cider, and a perfectly cooked sweet potato and spinach. A house made kimchi rounded out the slightly spicy flavor of the dish and showcased the skill and many influences of Chef Evan Mallett. Another favorite was the special linguine with Earl Grey tea smoked mussels and a sherry soubise. Enna's Fiji Bar was a perfect way to end another delicious and memorable meal. Black Trumpet Bistro has achieved that elusive balance of fine cuisine, atmosphere, and hospitality. It is truly an exceptional restaurant worthy of a trip. I look forward to dining there on my next visit to Portsmouth.

Tags: Happy Hour, Worth the Drive, Neighborhood Gem, Notable Wine List, Fit for Foodies, Good Vegetarian Options, Tasting Menu, Special Occasion, Authentic, Cozy, Seasonal, Local Ingredients, Good for a Date, Bar Seating, Waterfront, Creative Cuisine
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (New England)·Dined on December 1, 2017

We sat upstairs in the bar area - was super cozy, warm, quiet. Great view of the harbor. Loved the service. Menu was inventive -something about the experience left us with a feeling of good - not great. We just ordered appetizers - maybe the main courses would have changed our review to excellent? Would go back for drinks - but probably not to eat.

Tags: Scenic View, Local Ingredients, Waterfront, Romantic, Notable Wine List, Creative Cuisine
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food3
ambience5
service5
value3

 
 (San Antonio)·Dined on November 25, 2017

Our meals were among the very best we have ever eaten. The flavors were unique and amazing. From the burger (not a regular burger!) to the pork loin with brussel sprouts (amazing mustard sauce) to the paella, we were all very satisfied. Two of us cannot have gluten. Our waiter was very kind and carefully accommodated our special needs. I highly recommend this restaurant.

Tags: Tapas, Casual, Good for Anniversaries, Fit for Foodies
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (New England)·Dined on November 18, 2017

Six of us enjoyed an exciting meal, everything was delicious.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Creative Cuisine, Casual
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on November 17, 2017

Very disappointing. Despite all the hype, this restaurant is not worth the expense. Service was slow, despite the restaurant not being very full. They ran out of their daily specials early in the evening. After enjoying a nice bottle of Pinot Noir, we were unable to order another bottle. They were out of it. And they were likewise out of the only other comparable Pinot on their winelist. The lamb was tasteless and poorly prepared/presented. They forgot to bring one of the desserts we ordered. And were so slow returning to our table that by the time they offered to bring us what we had ordered, the other desserts were already finished. On top of all this, they had seated an 8 top in the middle of the downstairs dining room. The table was so loud and disruptive (constantly getting up and bumping into other diners) that is was quite difficult to have a conversation with people at our table.

As a final note, Black Trumpet is one of the many mediocre restaurants in Portsmouth that seems to live on an undeserved reputation (likely conferred upon it by people who do not know or expect better).

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food2
ambience1
service2
value1

 
 (New England)·Dined on November 17, 2017

A very welcoming dining space, friendly and professional staff, and excellent imaginative menu. Our favorite Portsmouth restaurant.

Tags: Notable Wine List, Creative Cuisine, Good for a Date
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (New England)·Dined on November 17, 2017

One of our favorite places for a more elegant meal with pleasant warm ambiance on a cold fall or winter night. We need to start eating there more often. This past time the duck leg (whole duck leg) confit small plate was wonderful and the special large plate of crispy braised turkey leg with mushrooms was a bit hit. Not to say that everything else we had was not.

Tags: Good for a Date, Fit for Foodies, Creative Cuisine
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (New England)·Dined on November 13, 2017

Finally had a wonderful birthday dinner at Black Trumpet after often drooling over their menu posted outside as we walked by. The small and medium plates are a wonderful way to try and shared several different dishes. Everything we ordered was thoughtful, interesting, and super delicious. Can't wait to go back!

Tags: Notable Wine List, Creative Cuisine, Neighborhood Gem, Cozy, Local Ingredients, Fit for Foodies, Tasting Menu, Good for Anniversaries, Handcrafted Cocktails, Special Occasion
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (New England)·Dined on November 11, 2017

Have been here a number of times when we visit from Boston. It's excellent every time. We just visited Saturday with friends and family for a special occasion. The service from John could not have been better.

Tags: Great Beer, Vibrant Bar Scene, Special Occasion, Creative Cuisine, Local Ingredients, Authentic, Neighborhood Gem
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

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