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“Not worth the hype” 3 of 5 bubbles
Review of Black Trumpet Bistro

Black Trumpet Bistro
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Ranked #38 of 199 Restaurants in Portsmouth
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $31 - $50
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine, Special occasions, Romantic
Dining options: Late Night, Dinner, Full Bar, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff
Dining style: Casual Elegant
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
264 reviews
179 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 85 helpful votes
“Not worth the hype”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 12, 2013

Do not understand some of the raves about this place. We found it pretentious and overpriced for the value. Chef mexe was miniscule and tasteless; I have eaten better sauteed squid in any ethnic bistro in my travels; and the seafood paella was a disaster, with half a dozen shrunken little mussels (and I have eaten big, juicy mussels all over New England), tasteless chicken (at least I think that's what it was) and so little rice, we had to scrape the burned rice off the bottom of the pan to eat some. A shame really, we were celebrating my wife's birthday and we would have liked a good memory.

Bottom line: an exotic self description does not a goof restaurant make. Suggest cooks go back to school!

  • Visited October 2013
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank jack M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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292 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    165
    61
    37
    19
    10
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Essex, England
Level Contributor
39 reviews
16 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
“Excellent food in great surroundings”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 11, 2013

Had not booked and only wanted a light meal in early evening.They welcomed us even though they knew our spend would be low and gave us their last table.. The menu looked very appealing and we ate a little more than planned. They provided a trio of small dishes which were unusual and very well prepared and presented. Atmosphere is very informal and staff are friendly and very knowledgeable. Would certainly go again for a full meal if we are ever on vacation in the area again.

  • Visited October 2013
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank Geordieboy60
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Santa Rosa Beach, Florida
Level Contributor
9 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Funky but in a good way.”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 10, 2013

Great atmosphere and same goes for the food. Dishes are unique and flavorful. Location is in the heart of Portsmouth.

  • Visited September 2013
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank roberto32459
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Amherst, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
297 reviews
212 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 169 helpful votes
“Excellence!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 7, 2013

We enjoy making several trips a year to Portsmouth and have visited many of its finer restaurants. Black Trumpet Bistro is exceptional in every way. We reserved a table and were seated promptly downstairs. The hammered copper tabletops and wooden chairs were familiar and suited the room's old brick walls and wooden beams. We started our meal with a small plate of Sauteed Local Mushrooms with Carpano Antica and Crispy Kale. It was delicious with a glass of Sauvignon Blanc, and the selection of breads and herb butter. Next I had Beef and Beet Borscht with nigella and preserved lemon creme fraiche, and my mate had Heirloom Tomato and Roasted Corn Salad with housemade ricotta, and peach balsamic. The borscht was a delightful light broth with chunks of sweet red and yellow beets and tender bites of savory beef with a nice balance between the peppery nigella and acidic preserved lemon. The tomato salad was also a perfect balance sweetness, acidity, and mellow creaminess. My mate had a medium dish for her main, Eggplant and Tomato Moussaka layered with lentils and bulgur, baked with soubise. She was very satisfied. I had the Beef Shortrib glazed with balsamic and orange, served with turnip polenta, Brussels sprouts and crispy shallots. I love to cook shortribs at home, and these were simply delicious. I especially enjoyed the combination of the rich glaze, turnip polenta and crispy shallots. The sprouts were a bit crunchy and undercooked for my taste, but it was a minor flaw. A glass of Pinot Noir was great with the shortrib. For dessert we shared a Local Pear Creme Brulee with pear chutney and ginger tuile. The pear creme with pear chutney was heavenly. I picked off the brulee sugar which is nothing more than sweetness, but I always do that. We enjoyed a cup of herb tea after dinner. The ingredients for our dinner were local, organic, and respected by skilled chefs. Our water glasses were always full and service was gracious and unhurried. We will definitely return. I can recommend this quiet bistro without any hesitation.

  • Visited October 2013
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank merlinslap
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Berkeley, California
Level Contributor
26 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“not fine dining”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 5, 2013

We were seated upstairs in the wine bar assigned to a waitress who was brusque almost to the point of being rude. Although surprised that an expensive, fine dining experience was at a table with no tablecloths, we decided that perhaps they are attempting to re-create a period atmosphere. It was already uncomfortably noisy, and then a loud foursome was seated next to us. I went downstairs prepared to tell the hostess that we would be paying for the bottle of wine we had ordered and then leaving. She immediately offered us a much quieter table downstairs by the window, which we accepted. The food was very good when it came, the second server much more amiable, and despite the rocky start we had a pleasant evening.

  • Visited October 2013
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank Will S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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