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Party Size
For 2
7:00 PM
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Booked 10 times today

Black Trumpet

1430 reviews
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$31 to $50
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Global, International
Top Tags:
  • Creative Cuisine
  • Good for a Date
  • Special Occasion
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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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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Parking details
Nearby Parking Garage, or Street
Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Farm to Table, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Non-Smoking, View, Wine
What 1430 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.5  based on recent ratings
Noise · Moderate
93% of people would recommend it to a friend
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Herb1vore (New England)
5.0  Dined on October 22, 2014

The Black Trumpet is the third in a series of famous restaurants to occupy its intimate space on Portsmouth's (NH) Ceres Street. The service is very attentive and a list of wines available by the class allows great pairings. A tasty sweetbread appetizer nearly provided a meal with its beautiful sauce. The three-appetizer platter turned out to be an incredible sampler of marinated beef on couscous, fried redfish on a pesto sauce and a Moroccan lamb meatball, shaped around a cube of feta. The duck entree was a very perfect plate of sliced breast and leg confit sauced with wild mushrooms on a savory puree of vegetables. We didn't get around to the dessert selections and weren't inspired to overeat by the options listed.

hard2please (New England)
5.0  Dined on October 20, 2014

The food was world-class. The ambiance was warm and welcoming. The wait staff was outstanding. What more can I say?

Newmarketer (Charleston)
4.0  Dined on October 19, 2014

This was the first time we dined at the Black Trumpet but it will not be the last time. We always look for restaurants with menus that are different from the masses and the one at Black Trumpet certainly fits that bill. The portions are small but that allows you to go through the small plate, medium plate, entree and dessert without feeling stuffed. That is very important to us. Great wine list as well. We visited on a Sunday evening and therefore the place was half empty with very low noise. However, being as small as it is the noise level might be quite high when it is full. Very comfortable ambiance and attentive service.

Teddy (Charleston)
5.0  Dined on October 19, 2014

Went with a handful of friends. The reservation was for 5 but we upped to 6. They were very accommodating for our group and had us seated quickly. Delicious food, smaller portions but exquisitely done. Great wine list and a total gem of a spot.

vipBRabbit (New England)
4.0  Dined on October 18, 2014

Enjoyed a lovely dinner. Atmosphere was intimate and beautiful, as was the food. Small portions with every detail elegantly presented.

suzy (New England)
3.0  Dined on October 18, 2014

Our server did not have a good knowledge of the food. Staff was friendly and food was good.

Donna (New England)
2.0  Dined on October 12, 2014

Our group of six was getting together for our annual dinner because we live far apart. We hoped to be able to talk a lot and hear each other. Unfortunately the restaurant was quite loud with multiple groups laughing loudly. The menu was interesting - I think we had to ask about the ingredients in every dish. Gruit-braised Chevon Goat? The portions were average sized - not generous. Dinner was a long time coming even though we were among the first diners in the restaurant. All in all, I wouldn't return.

safmrb10 (New England)
3.0  Dined on October 11, 2014

We really enjoyed the cozy, romantic atmosphere. Unfortunately, we weren't as impressed with the food itself. We enjoyed our drinks and cheese appetizer, yet our main entrees were just OK. Not sure if we'd return.

GentleBen (New York Area)
5.0  Dined on October 11, 2014

We spotted the Black Trumpet first in the 2013 NY Times piece "36 Hours in Portland." A double check on Trip Advisor confirmed that this was ambitious cuisine for foodies. And a Google search for locavore restaurants cinched the deal. We were not disappointed.

From start to finish, this was an excellent meal, with good service and a lovely setting. We began with home-made charcuterie--the pork rillettes being a highlight of the entire meal. A trio of amuse-sized bites in the meze also accompanied our cocktails. Then we moved to mid-sized plates, sharing two of them, before splitting an entree. The latter--braised goat--was another highlight. Tender and full of flavor. With bread and fab desert, it was plenty of food for two hungry adults.

TPM17 (New York Area)
3.0  Dined on October 10, 2014

Black Trumpet is the first place I go to the night I arrive in Portsmouth the interior is beautiful and the service is superior but their menu changes seasonally and can be touch and go depending on your tastebuds.

vipCate (Seattle)
5.0  Dined on October 5, 2014

Normally it is hard to get a table at Black Trumpet with a late notice. We were fortunate to get in early (5:45pm) and had a delightful dinner. I had the catch of the day which was perfect. My husband's pasta had an unusual but tasty sauce. Service and wine were great. We will definitely go there again.

vipwynneat (New England)
5.0  Dined on October 4, 2014

our dinner at Black Trumpet was beyond expectation; the servers were attentive and informed but not pretentious, the setting charming, and the food just delicious. Each flavor was showcased perfectly even in the more complicated dishes, and the seasonal ingredients the chef worked with were so fresh and vibrant. The corn tasting dish was just magnificent. I look forward to going back!

vipChezFez (New England)
5.0  Dined on October 4, 2014

We celebrated our 15th Wedding Anniversary Dinner here & it was an outstanding experience. Two highlighted features are the choices & the flavors. The menu is broken up into Small, Medium, & Main dishes, which allows great flexibility in building your meal. Coupled with this flexibility is a deft hand by the chef in creating some wonderful & interesting flavors on all the plates. In addition there are wonderfully fresh, creative & seasonal specials on the blackboard. Add to all this a nice cocktail, wine, beer & spirit menu + great service & you are firing on all cylinders. No hesitations recommending this to anyone and/or going back myself again & again.

alison (San Francisco)
5.0  Dined on October 2, 2014

The food here is extraordinary. The first "small plate" was octopus with black olives, tender and delicious. Second, an intense smoked tomato soup with little dots of goat cheese: amazing. First medium plate: lobster croquettes, delicious airy morsels with a little spike of heat at the end. This heat was also true of the squid stew, tasty with a bit of chew. These four dishes (shared) left room for a berry turnover with honey ice cream. I can usually resist dessert, but not this one. The service was impeccable, and the serving staff extremely knowledgeable about which wine would go with what (we had wines by the glass for each dish). Even the baquette and the miniature corn breads were perfect.

alcobb1 (Atlanta)
2.0  Dined on September 26, 2014

Had the hake special. Fish was vastly overlooked, dry about the edges.

Bjmg (New England)
5.0  Dined on September 25, 2014

We have been here before and are never disappointed with the quality and uniqueness of the food. The fact that they grow their own produce and seek local meat selections is fabulous. Highly recommend this restaurant! The chef / owner is always willing to talk to you about how the food was made and where it came from. Excellent.

Chopped (New England)
4.0  Dined on September 20, 2014

Warm welcome, seated quickly in an attractive lower level dining room. Service was attentive, but menu descriptions were a bit light. Starter of feta, beets and pickled carrots was a excellent mix of salty and sour as well as textures. My wife's foie gras stuffed squash, was also well presented. The chilled zucchini and fennel soup was bland, but to their credit was removed from the bill without prompting, as my wife stopped after eating the few mushroom garnishes. The star was the goat with grits and creamed greens. Crispy exterior on braised goat was a awesome. One of the more well composed dishes that I've had in awhile, as the grits and greens balanced the Richness of the goat. Would love to try more items next visit.

OpenTable Diner (New York Area)
2.0  Dined on September 19, 2014

While the food and service was very good the seating arrangement was very disappointing, we made our reservations well in advance for five people and they still sat us a four top table. The fifth person had to sit at the end of the four top in the walkway/isle. They constantly got their chair hit or got bumped into by Patrons and/or Wait staff, overall the Table was crowded and extremely uncomfortable for five people.

PaulBob (New England)
1.0  Dined on September 19, 2014

We had been looking forward to a fine meal based on prior reviews. From the appetizers to desserts we were hugely disappointed. Couple the bad food experience with an exorbitantly priced wine list (is 4x retail acceptable?) get the drift.

Buyer beware.

Reglotito (Philadelphia)
5.0  Dined on September 18, 2014

We were only in Portsmouth for one night and wanted to have a special dinner. We did the usual research on Yelp and on Open Table and this was our choice. It is a beautiful historic restaurant that is romantic, warm, inviting and invokes romance or at least an intimacy that is great for couples or friends meeting for dinner.
The food was delicate and delicious and nothing disappointed us. We only wish we saved room for dessert. I decided to be adventurous and have the goat dish and it was delicious.
We hope to make it to Portsmouth again to have dinner here.