Black Trumpet

4.5
1535 reviews
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$31 to $50
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Global, International
Top Tags:
  • Special Occasion
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Good for a Date
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.
Dining Style
Casual Elegant
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Cuisines
Global, International
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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.
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Phone number
(603) 431-0887
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Payment options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Smart Casual
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Executive chef
Evan Mallett
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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.
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Private party contact
Denise Mallett: (877) 766-0994
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Neighborhood
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Parking details
Nearby Parking Garage, or Street
Additional
Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Farm to Table, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Non-Smoking, View, Wine
What 1535 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.5based on recent ratings
4.5
food
4.6
service
4.6
ambience
4.1
value
Noise · Moderate
92% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
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5.0Dined 6 days ago

This was an amazing experience at all levels. Every element of every dish was delicious and the pacing between courses was fantastic. I want to give special thanks to our server, John, for being so good at explaining the menu and making fantastic recommendations. Definitely will be returning to this phenomenal place.

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3.0Dined 6 days ago

Everything was mediocre at best. The food was meh. The service was meh. We had to wait half an hour because our reserved table wasn’t ready yet. I had heard good things so I was excited, but it was extremely underwhelming.

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5.0Dined 6 days ago

Waiter and rest of staff provided excellent service. New silver service with each course.

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2.0Dined on August 11, 2018

Wait staff was great, moved us to another table without us asking because there was a large noisy group next to us. They were attentive without being invasive. Food however was not great, appetizers missed the mark, were not well put together, flavors were jarring rather than harmonious. Main course was OK, steak was slightly overdone, but not bad. Accompanying potatoes and vegetables were bland and uninspiring. The price and reviews set our expectations above our experience.

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5.0Dined on August 10, 2018

We have eaten in 40 states and 5 countries. We live in Manhattan and the meal we had at the BT was one of the best we’ve EVER had.
The service was wonderful and the whole experience was just great. Thank you!

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3.0Dined on August 10, 2018

Over rated and over priced. Waiter was difficult to understand and the restaurant was dirty.

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5.0Dined on August 9, 2018

Creatively prepared dishes using high quality ingredients. We were delighted with our meal and the service was wonderful.

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5.0Dined on August 6, 2018

Delicious dinner! Portion sizes are on point, and our dinner was cooked to perfection. Highly recommended the chef’s mezze platter and grilled almonds to start. Ribeye and cod for entrees were full of flavor. We live in the greater NYC area, and this restaurant is better than many NYC restaurants at a third of the cost. Highly recommended.

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5.0Dined on August 6, 2018

Unusual and interesting menu choices. The Black Trumpet cocktail is fabulous. We shared four small plates. The staff is very friendly and helpful.

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3.0Dined on August 4, 2018

It was very hot upstairs. Even though AC was on, we were sweating and so was the waiter.

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5.0Dined on August 4, 2018

We went for dinner for our anniversary celebrations. The food was fantastic and the service was outstanding. Thank -you for making our celebration so special. A must for all food.ies.It is absolutely worth the drive from Boston.

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4.0Dined on August 2, 2018

Visiting Portsmouth. Quaint venue, can be somewhat noisy due to acoustics. Somewhat limited menu but well prepared and tasty.

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5.0Dined on July 29, 2018

We came up to Portsmouth to do a reccie for a 2019 family reunion. The last time we had been was in 1977 and needless to say it's changed a lot. We booked a table at the Black Trumpet for dinner. The dining room is situated at street level on Ceres and is intimate and romantically lit. Noise level can be pretty high, dependent upon your fellow diners but this could be the norm for restaurant row on Ceres and Bow Sts. Service is excellent, attentive, timely and but not obtrusive. Nice selection of cocktails, wines by the glass and bottle. Menu is broken down into small, medium and large offerings. There were also a couple of specials the day we were there. We split the Chef's Meze selection from the small menu, then each ordered the fried eggplant from the medium section and each ordered the Zarzuela, a galician seafood stew. The meze consisted of three small offerings which for us were a chocolate meatloaf, a calamari and greens mix and a beef and greens mix. The calamari was the highlight of the meze. The fried eggplant was superb but in hindsight, should have split one order, noting that it was in the medium section of the menu. The Zarzuela was outanding, including mussels, clams and fish in a tomato based sauce with chickpeas and fried bread. Haha, the latter not seen since my last full english brekkie and great to mop up every last drop! Note that the strew was not a soupy mess like bouillabaisse can be at times. We split a dessert, strawberry rhubarb trifle. This time of year, it's a must have pud. Recommended! We will be back in 2019 for the reunion so it's on the list.

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5.0Dined on July 29, 2018

We (a party of 4) arrived 15 minutes early for our early dining reservation and were able to get a table upstairs which is smaller and quieter. There are several tables by the window looking out on the tugboats in the harbor, but they won’t reserve them in advance. The gourmet food and service are exquisite, simply the best dining experience in Portsmouth. Good wines and craft beers too.

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4.0Dined on July 28, 2018

Excellent food, food was slow due to kitchen problem that night. Bread was delicious and will be better if they are warm !

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5.0Dined on July 28, 2018

Everything was wonderful. The service. The food. The wine. The ambiance. Everything. Our waiter was knowledgeable, friendly, efficient, personable...total package. The food was on point. Best Galician seafood stew I have ever had; and that includes all its cousins-bouillabaisse, zuppa di pesce, and cioppino. Brown butter potato gallate...OMG. and so on...
If you are near Portsmouth, NH. Stop. Eat. Repeat

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5.0Dined on July 28, 2018

Whenever I"m in the New England area, I make it a point to have dinner at Black Trumpet Bistro. Chef Evan Mallet and his team take the highest quality local ingredients and craft them into delicious seasonal cuisine. Service is friendly, attentive and knowledgable. The wine list features small grower producers from the old world, as well as some unique selections from California and Oregon. All of the wines are carefully selected to pair well with, and enhance the food. Black Trumpet is one of my favorite restaurants and I look forward to another dining experience very soon.

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2.0Dined on July 27, 2018

If your hungry, not for you
This restaurant has a nice ambiance, good service, refills water without requesting.
The bread and butter were tasteless, and the portion size for different dishes are very
different. My seafood dish in a light sauce ( $30) was so small I was hungry after that and my
small appetizer. The salmon dinner my husband ordered was a decent portion.
Usually I am not able to finish my dinner however, this was the opposite case.
Needless to say we will not be returning and will not recommend this restaurant to
others.

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5.0Dined on July 27, 2018

This restaurant never disappoints w creative dishes and unusual ingredients. The service is always outstanding and the atmosphere perfect. An absolute treasure in portsmouth!

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4.0Dined on July 27, 2018

Dined with family we don't often see.

Exceptional and creative food, wonderful service. It would have been more comfortable if the space were cooler. It was during the awful hot and humid July, and perhaps the air conditioning just could not handle it, but it was a bit warm. The young woman with the ice water kept our glasses full, which was much appreciated.

Really love the fresh inventive dishes!

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3.0Dined on July 27, 2018

The menu has many good gluten free and vegan dishes.

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5.0Dined on July 27, 2018

My girlfriend and I went to BT to celebrate her birthday, and had a lovely time. Karen was particularly lovely as our server, and we have been talking about it since.

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5.0Dined on July 26, 2018

Very creative nand tasty dishes! Get small or medium plates to share and enjoy!

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4.0Dined on July 26, 2018

The Black Trumpet is all around excellent. the staff were attentive but not smothering, courses came in a timely manner and preparation was very interesting (in the best sense). The weakest point was perfectly adequate cappuccinos - when the weak point is a perfectly ok cappuccino that is not bad. All of the food from small plates to dessert were simply outstanding.

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4.0Dined on July 26, 2018

Recommended by a friend as the best restaurant in Portsmouth. It was very good, but with a limited menu. My wife had the zarzuela, and I had the crab, cucumber and buttermilk terrine from the "small dishes" plus the mussels from the "medium dishes" instead of anything from the "main dishes" section. My wife liked the zarzuela, and the mussels were very good with a nice, tangy sauce.

I would recommend this place, but first check the menu online to make sure that there's something on it that you would order.

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3.0Dined on July 25, 2018

Fantastic food, lovely restaurant. 7-25 7:30 pm. Waiter does not match the quality of the food and great setting. Hard to get his attention and when he would come by he was in a big hurry every time. Had to stop him three times from walking away after hurriedly telling us about drinks, menu, etc in order to ask a question about the choices. There were only about 4 or 5 tables with people. He was overbearing when he did come around. A shame. We would love to return if we knew we would have another waiter/waitress. Sorry.

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5.0Dined on July 25, 2018

This was my fourth trip to the Black Trumpet. It is always excellent. Incredible flavor in all dishes. The appetizer sampler is a must.

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4.0Dined on July 24, 2018

We received a very warm welcome. The staff was very friendly and the service was excellent. The had a table upstairs overlooking the boats and the water. It was cosy, candle light and fresh flowers on the table. We had the chefs special to start, a fresh local fish and vegetarian dish as a main course. I felt the dishes were nicely presented and different. I am actually not sure whether I liked them. It’s a matter of taste. still I recommend the restaurant.

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5.0Dined on July 22, 2018

Black Trumpet was wonderful. The food, servers, ambiance, and experience were even better than expected at a restaurant with so many good reviews. I would absolutely go there again.

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5.0Dined on July 22, 2018

Excellent restaurant. Food was great, especially the appetizers. Staff were lovely.

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3.0Dined on July 19, 2018

My birthday. But I don’t know why they reported that we did not keep our reservation. I have the receipt to prove that we did. The service was good and the waiter was friendly and helpful.

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5.0Dined on July 19, 2018

I can’t remember having a more overall great experience at a restaurant. Food, service, ambiance all marks hit high.
Nice anniversary dinner. Thanks!!

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5.0Dined on July 17, 2018

Best place to enjoy dinner. Best wait staff. I throughly enjoyed the pace of dinner having three courses and tea. The wait staff definitely enjoy having guests.

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5.0Dined on July 17, 2018

Excellent as always!

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3.0Dined on July 14, 2018

Have been to this restaurant and enjoyed it in the past - but this time the food was unimpressive and it was overwhelmingly noisy (we had to shout throughout dinner to make ourselves heard). Not interested in going back any time soon.

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4.0Dined on July 14, 2018

Exceptional ambiance, stone and brick. Good to great food.

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5.0Dined on July 13, 2018

Our meal was amazing and our waiter was not only attentive and knowledgable, he also was very personable. He listened to my wife's description of our wine preferences and suggested two different bottles and brought us samples. When we wondered about different appetizers, he suggested that we share three small dishes and then split the entree (a perfect compromise for us). The cod special with pine nut tartar sauce was one of the finest seafood dishes that I have ever had. Finally, at the end of the meal, he brought us a complimentary additional glass of wine to compensate for what he considered a long wait for our food. We will definitely be going back.

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4.0Dined on July 10, 2018

Absolutely the best clam chowder I’ve ever had. Not traditional New England style, more like clam stew. It was outta this world! Great dining experience for foodies. Everything was freshly prepared and courses paced perfectly. Highly recommend.

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5.0Dined on July 7, 2018

The food was superb and the service efficient and friendly. We had a memorable and delicious meal. Met our expectations for a top shelf chef-owned restaurant. Loved it. can't wait to return.

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5.0Dined on July 7, 2018

The “best yet” which is quite a statement as Black Trumpet has always been my favorite! Tonight my husband shared in the rave reviews! Our server was outstanding with a sense of humor and a beautiful voice for “happy bday”...so helpful in the difficult decision making with so many choices. The soft shell crabs and salmon were exquisitely prepared with amazing flavors...the flowerless chocolate cake out of this world. All this in the beautiful ambiance of Black Trumpet making for a delightful evening!

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