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“Unique food & pricey wine”

Black Trumpet Bistro
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Ranked #44 of 204 Restaurants in Portsmouth
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $31 - $50
Cuisines: French
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Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine, Bar scene, Business meetings, Special occasions, Romantic
Dining options: Dinner, Late Night, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Reviewed January 3, 2012

My wife and I shared the rabbit tamal appetizer (top notch!). I had the duck and my wife the vegetarian entree for dinner. Both were unique and flavorful. Be prepared for sticker shock on the wine, though!

Thank RMandler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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256 - 260 of 331 reviews

Reviewed December 31, 2011

Portions were terrible. Menu very confusing. $13 for one scallop and a cheese puff.

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1  Thank Dontang
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 13, 2011

We had heard you either really enjoy it or do not like it.. We really did not like it at all. The menu has very unusual entrees, small portions and it is expensive even by Portsmouth standards. The soup was luke warm, the bread was dry. Our main courses were just okay--nothing great. Our table for four was very tight, and there was a cold draft by the door. Our friends had been before and the menu was different from their first time. They were satisfied but not delighted, by any means. We had a drink and a bottle of wine, but at $350 for four people, it was very overpriced. We will not be going again.

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Thank labs2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 11, 2011

We had a very fine time last night at the Black Trumpet. The atmosphere and service were both warm and inviting. As a foursome at a small table, the closeness was charming and helpful in the sense that we could hear ourselves over the crowd. The noise level is quite intense...but I guess I would expect that at a very popular bistro.

Our meals were tasty. The hanger steak special was cooked perfectly. The duck breast was succulent. However, I must say the menu could use some more variety. There are 6 entrees (+ a vegetarian item, which most wouldn't order) and a steak special. I would recommend more seafood, less meat and sausage. I would also suggest simplifying. Many of the dishes just didn't appeal to me because there were too many ingredients. And I am known as one who will eat almost anything. Take a page from Tuscan cooking...less is more if it's fresh and cooked properly. Give me some mussels steamed in garlic, white wine and one herb...add some stellar bread. Don't add sausage or hot peppers. Or how about a piece of lamb with just rosemary! Just ideas.

We have eaten here several times and have enjoyed it. Years ago, I used to return just for the escargot appetizer that was made with snails and mushrooms. It was good beyond belief. But last night it included squash, brussels leaves and sausage...and did I detect carrots and broccoli? OK, but why? It made me yearn for the old days of escargot, simple French style: garlic, butter, crusty bread. Simple but elegant. I want to taste the snails!

We had wine that was extremely nice. The list is interesting. But the average price is $40 to $60. Which means 4 people spent $110 on wine. The price of wine has plummeted more than the value of real estate. The highest quality grapes are now being used for $15 bottles...just to make use of the surplus. We know that any eatery makes it's real profit on alcohol, but I felt a bit "taken". While our wine was delicious, I won't be returning on a regular basis to a restaurant with such an expensive list. Nice for special occasions, but I suspect the owner would prefer that we be more frequent guests.

The Black Trumpet is a fine bistro with carefully prepared food and very nice wine. So I give it "very good" for execution. I love the feeling there. But we won't be back for a long time. The deal breakers are that the food is limited in choice and borders on overly creative (too many ingredients) and the wine list is silly expensive. I see an easy fix here. But that's just my opinion.

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Thank billy407
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 5, 2011

We ate here one year ago; I lived it, my partner didn't. She consented to try it again. This time we were both disappointed ; good appetizers and bread, mediocre entrees and a dessert so lousy that even a sugar nut like me didn't eat it. We won't be back.

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Thank ronnie63_11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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