Nearby points of interest
Nearby points of interest
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.
Portsmouth, NH 03801
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.
$31 to $50
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
Nearby Parking Garage, or Street
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
Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Farm to Table, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Non-Smoking, View, Wine
Black Trumpet Ratings and Reviews
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....
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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!
Please sign in to record your input. Thanks!
Report this review as inappropriate?
If you believe this review should be removed from OpenTable, please let us know and someone will investigate.