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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

4.6

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.6

service

4.6

ambience

4.6

value

4.2

Noise

Moderate

93% would recommend it to a friend

Fit for Foodies (46)
Creative Cuisine (45)
Good for a Date (43)
See All
Special Occasion (38)
Cozy (36)
Romantic (35)
Good for Anniversaries (31)
Local Ingredients (30)
Worth the Drive (30)
Neighborhood Gem (28)
Authentic (24)
Waterfront (21)
Notable Wine List (19)
Quiet Conversation (18)
Good for Birthdays (14)
Handcrafted Cocktails (13)
Casual (12)
Seasonal (12)
Bar Seating (11)
Tasting Menu (11)
Scenic View (9)
Tapas (8)
Good Vegetarian Options (7)
Pre/post Theatre (7)
Fun (5)
Comfort Food (4)
Healthy (4)
Hot Spot (4)
Gluten Free Options (3)
Great Beer (3)
Good for Groups (3)
Organic (3)
Business Meals (2)
Happy Hour (2)
Late-night Find (2)
Vibrant Bar Scene (2)
Disabled Access (1)
People Watching (1)
Quick Bite (1)
Spicy (1)
Sunday Lunch (1)
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1402 reviews
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vip
 (New England)·Dined 3 days ago

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

 
·Dined 6 days ago

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

 
·Dined 6 days ago

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 6 days ago

Excellent as always

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·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 5, 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 2, 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

 
·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 19, 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 18, 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

 
·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
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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
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (New England)·Dined on November 9, 2017

Black Trumpet was fantastic! From the service to the food, we had an excellent evening.

Tags: Romantic, Good for a Date, Notable Wine List, Creative Cuisine, Cozy, Neighborhood Gem, Special Occasion, Worth the Drive
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on November 9, 2017

Small, intimate dining area in historic area near waterfront. Upscale menu with high quality ingredients.

Tags: Tasting Menu, Quiet Conversation, Special Occasion, Gluten Free Options
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food5
ambience5
service4
value5

 
·Dined on November 5, 2017

My husband and I visited The Black Trumpet during a special one night get away for us. The atmosphere was beautiful, relaxing and comfortable. The staff was very friendly and attentive. The bar tender even created a special drink for me based on a few of my favorite flavors. The only thing I would recommend is having a few more entree options. We had a wonderful time and do plan to visit again in the future.

Tags: Romantic, Authentic, Good for a Date, Quiet Conversation, Special Occasion, Cozy, Comfort Food
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food4
ambience5
service4
value5

 
·Dined on November 3, 2017

Fantastic food and fantastic service !

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (New England)·Dined on November 2, 2017

We (two people) ate upstairs for the first time and liked it even more than downstairs. The food is wonderfully cooked and the wine list is fascinating (though we had beer).

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Romantic, Fun, Neighborhood Gem, Special Occasion, Creative Cuisine, Notable Wine List
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food4
ambience4
service4
value3

 
 (New England)·Dined on November 2, 2017

Absolutely super. We went there for Portsmouth Restaurant Week and the food was really REALLY good. We will be returning there again 🤗

Tags: Pre/post Theatre, Good for a Date, Special Occasion, Local Ingredients
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (New England)·Dined on October 28, 2017

Great ambiance and nice location, we are locals and had been meaning to go here for a long time. Very good bread and drink offerings. Unfortunately we were disappointed with the entrees. I ordered the seafood paella, which is one of my favorite things to order out. I had high expectations as this is a very well known restaurant in Portsmouth. The paella came with ONE scallop (it was cooked perfectly), two SMALL pieces of fish (salmon and white), six tiny mussels, and three to four tiny overcooked shrimp. The rice was greasy and crusty. For $32 and a restaurant of fine dining caliber, I expected a lot more and was very disappointed. The flavors of the paella could not individually tasted, they all blended into together, which made the dish boring. My husband ordered the pork fried steak, which was good, but it was accompanied by very salty greens. Again, we had higher expectations. We finished with Mexican Tiramisu, which ended up being very good (though I was nervous when ordering due to lacking entrees). Despite the ambiance and bread, I do not think we will return.

Tags: Cozy
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food2
ambience4
service4
value2

 
·Dined on October 21, 2017

We arrived early and expected wait, but they showed us to our table immediately. Every member the staff we encountered was cheerful, polite and helpful. I don't recall if I mentioned our anniversary in our reservation or if they overheard, but our waitress surprised us after dinner with a slice of their amazing tiramisu with a candle in it. We had a wonderful experience, and recommend Chef Evan's restaurant and food to everyone. If we are lucky enough to be in Portsmouth again, we will surely return to this cozy gem.

Tags: Special Occasion, Notable Wine List, Cozy, Romantic, Fit for Foodies, Local Ingredients, Good for Anniversaries, Good for Birthdays
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food5
ambience5
service4
value5

 
·Dined on October 20, 2017

Exceptional food. Wonderful service and ambience. Creative cocktails. What's not to love?

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Quiet Conversation, Fit for Foodies, Good for a Date, Good for Anniversaries, Handcrafted Cocktails, Good for Birthdays, Local Ingredients, Worth the Drive, Fun, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on October 19, 2017

highly recommend...interesting menu coupled with excellent service and the food was delicious

Tags: Bar Seating, Casual, Cozy, Fit for Foodies
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food4
ambience4
service5
value4

vip
 (New England)·Dined on October 19, 2017

Great meal, fun food, great service, relaxed romantic atmosphere upstairs...

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Birmingham)·Dined on October 16, 2017

Enjoyed the ambiance and view! Awesome bartender! Food was delicious!

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (New England)·Dined on October 14, 2017

One of the best meals I've had in quite a while!

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food5
ambience4
service4
value4

 
 (New England)·Dined on October 13, 2017

I am a foie gras fan,,, the portion was way too small, was like 2 bites!! 😳 shouldn’t be chopped either!

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Romantic, Cozy, Tasting Menu, Waterfront, Healthy
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food4
ambience5
service5
value3

 
 (New England)·Dined on October 7, 2017

Enjoyed the atmosphere and the service. We were allowed to have dinner at a slow pace. Each course was well prepared and presented.

Tags: Authentic, Waterfront, Local Ingredients, Handcrafted Cocktails, Good for a Date, Seasonal
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food3
ambience5
service3
value4

 
·Dined on October 7, 2017

Very creative and talented chef with a choice of small, medium and large plates. Great cocktails, excellent wine and awesome food made with fresh local ingredients. Very impressed

Tags: Bar Seating, Good for Anniversaries, Tapas, Cozy, Creative Cuisine, Notable Wine List, Special Occasion, Pre/post Theatre, Local Ingredients, Handcrafted Cocktails, Good for a Date
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Las Vegas)·Dined on October 6, 2017

There are only two tables upstairs overlooking the water and we happily sat at the bar until one opened up. The bar menu is creative. The drink special in honor of Tom Petty and the signature Black Trumpet were both tasty and visually appealing. I would say that about all the food. Our waiter helped us with planning our meal. I am sorry I was too full for dessert, but don't pass on the bread.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Creative Cuisine, Authentic, Bar Seating, Waterfront
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (New England)·Dined on September 30, 2017

The atmosphere is relaxed and comfortable. The service was awesome and everyone was friendly. The special fish dish was really good as well the "small" meals we ordered.
I would recommend to friends and family. We will be back a again for another great meal.

Tags: Quiet Conversation, Neighborhood Gem, Cozy, Worth the Drive, Creative Cuisine
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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

 
·Dined on September 30, 2017

My wife and I celebrated our 6th wedding anniversary here Saturday night. The customer service was impeccable. We enjoyed a cocktail upstairs while they got our table ready. The staff worked as a team to accommodate us all night. The food was great and very filling. Somehow the staff new that it was our anniversary and brought us dessert on the House. I would highly recommend this place for an anniversary or group outing.

Tags: Casual, Fun, Romantic, Great Beer, Tasting Menu, Authentic, Good for Anniversaries, Worth the Drive, Special Occasion, Comfort Food, Good for a Date, Neighborhood Gem, Good for Groups
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (New York Area)·Dined on September 30, 2017

Excellent as always. A favorite spot to end the week....romantic and delicious. Service is top notch and the food is yummy.

Tags: Notable Wine List
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on September 29, 2017

Enjoyed dinner here while in town for a wedding. Our group of four split a few small plates and entrees. Our server was extremely fun and knowledgeable. The cocktails were fantastic and the atmosphere is cozy but upbeat. Great spot for a dinner out!

Tags: Fun, Romantic, Cozy, Tapas, Handcrafted Cocktails
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food4
ambience5
service5
value4

vip
 (Baltimore)·Dined on September 23, 2017

The duck confit appetizer was excellent and a generous portion (don't make it smaller now). The clam with polenta had far too few clams and too much clam broth - didn't quite hit the mark. The paella was delicious, but light on the fish/shellfish. The rice, however, was extremely flavorful and perfectly done. Our waitress was very friendly and quick with recommendations when asked. The whole restaurant staff was very attentive and friendly.

The restaurant started quiet, but then a table of eight arrived and the noise level became uncomfortable. Some of the volume is due to the hard surfaces of the restaurant - something they can resolve with some insulation. Restaurant owners need to let parties know when they are getting too loud and negatively effecting their fellow patrons.

The food wasn't good enough to overcome the noise level...probably wouldn't go back.

Tags: Neighborhood Gem, Fit for Foodies, Authentic
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food3
ambience3
service4
value3

 
·Dined on September 20, 2017

Great interesting food, a pleasant change from the norm,great wine and beer selection.

Tags: Fit for Foodies
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food4
ambience3
service4
value3

 
·Dined on September 19, 2017

Excellent food and great service, warm and inviting space...a great dining experience all around. We had an excellent anniversary dinner. Our only suggested tweak (very minor) was the music being played was a bit too busy and loud for the rest of the vibe/space/evening.

Tags: Worth the Drive, Cozy, Fit for Foodies
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food5
ambience4
service5
value5

vip
 (Nashville)·Dined on September 17, 2017

We loved the Black Trumpet and we requested to be seated upstairs which had a great view. Wonderful evening.

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Waterfront, Casual, Romantic, Good for Anniversaries
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (New England)·Dined on September 16, 2017

The Black Trumpet is a dark, cozy, very romantic restaurant. The menu caters to every taste. The drinks, especially "The Black Trumpet " are delicious. The food is creative and exquisite. The service impeccable. A great place for a "special date " whether you've been together for years or are just beginning.

Tags: Neighborhood Gem, Waterfront, Special Occasion, Fit for Foodies, Casual, Good for a Date, Tapas, Bar Seating, Happy Hour, Good for Anniversaries, Notable Wine List, Quiet Conversation, Tasting Menu, Good for Birthdays, Creative Cuisine, Cozy, Handcrafted Cocktails, Worth the Drive, Romantic, Authentic
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

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