Friday, November 18, 2011

Portsmouth Restaurant Week | Black Trumpet

Along a brick sidewalk that weaves down a quaint New England street bordering a historic port studded with industrial fishing boats, sits a mustard yellow barn door with thin black metal hinges, adorned with a handsome slate sign. Complimentary elements come together to create an inviting facade along a brick back drop - a giant circular sign touting gold lettering swings overhead, black windowpanes form a focal point where plants still bloom in the garden boxes beneath, and a gold striped awning above the door frame is the finishing touch. Located here at 29 Ceres Street is the family owned Black Trumpet Bistro, serving seasonally inspired, widely influenced American cuisine. A staple in the Portsmouth fine dining scene, I had heard plenty of rave reviews but this evening marked my first time in. Up a creaky narrow staircase the intimate wine bar overlooks the Piscataqua River. A cozy cave like dining room defined by heavy wood beam ceilings, exposed brick walls and shiny copper table tops is situated on the first floor. Both of these spaces embody a rustic elegance, fit for a romantic duo or a convivial group of 10.The ladies and I, after solid day at Red Hook Brewery and exploring downtown Portsmouth, cozied up at the wine bar just as it was opening at 5pm. We shared pitchers of the fall inspired Harvest Sangria, made with white wine, lemon, brandy and autumnal spices, before settling into our table downstairs for our 5:30 reservation.We started with a bread bowl of thinly sliced ciabatta and the restaurants signature bread, a crumbly loaf studded with black trumpets and dates. Accompanying them was a creamy butter laced with orange, this unique pairing sparked intrigue and made fans all around the table. I opted to partake in the restaurant week menu, three courses for $29 is certainly a good deal! I started with the delicately prepared Salt Cod Salad made with heirloom squash, pancetta and brussels sprouts, served warm in a sherry apple vinaigrette. The cod was not overly salty nor overly fishy, and as a result of pairing it with classic fall ingredients, the salad struck just the right balance of flavors and texture. You've got a nice sweetness from the heirloom squash, a bitter crunch from the brussels, and a firm bite of saltiness from the pancetta. The sherry vinegar and crisp apple dressing adds depth while tying everything together. For my main course, the Coq au Vin with porcini-cocoa pappardelle, cob smoked bacon and mushrooms was excellent. The chicken was perfectly braised, this traditionally rustic french preparation is clearly something the chef excels at. The pappardelle added a unique flair to the dish, it was a welcome addition to the earthy mushrooms, smokey bacon and savory chicken. Dessert was less exciting in comparison to its predecessors, but still a job well done. I had a few bites of the German Chocolate Beet Brownie with milk chocolate frosting, beet whip and candied orange peel. I wasn't a huge fan of the brownie itself, but that fluffy beet whip topping was pretty awesome. For my Indian Pudding with whipped vanilla custard and golden raisin sauce, I actually expected it would come at a warmer temperature. With a soft set consistency, the pudding still manages to comfort, covered by a blanket of silky vanilla custard over a pool of golden raisins bathing in sweet syrupy goodness. If you find yourself in the city of Portsmouth, you'll be in good company at Black Trumpet. It's definitely worth checking out, both the bistro and wine bar, on separate occasions or all at once. The place was packed as the girls and I made our way out. I was so not ready to leave New Hampshire and head back to Boston, I love it up there!!
Black Trumpet on Urbanspoon

13 comments:

Fun and Fearless in Beantown said...

I love all of the great interior shots of the restaurant! Thanks for being my dining buddy!

Meghan@travelwinedine said...

I wish I had grabbed a bite of that pappardelle. It looks so delicious, and that definitely looks like a perfect fall dinner. Such a fun day! :)

Elizabeth said...

I've never been here but all the food looks wonderful. One of my fave Portsmouth spots is just down the street, Ceres bakery

In and Around Town said...

Sounds like you guys had such a fun weekend! I definitely need to head of there soon!

Jaime @ La vie...J'aime said...

I love that pappadelle pasta...pretty restaurant!

Michelle Collins said...

The beet brownie sounds fantastic! My sister had her wedding rehearsal dinner here - I don't remember what I ate, but I remember it being delicious!

Amber Blue Bird said...

this place looks cozy. the autumn sangria sounds really yummy. off to see if i can find a recipe for something similar to serve at Thanksgiving dinner

Emily @ A Cambridge Story said...

Great interior photos and love your descriptions of exterior :)

Tracey said...

One of my favorite places in Portsmouth! The parpadelle looks delicious.

Megan said...

Thanks for eating my scallops! :) This was a great place to be on a fall evening.

Cara said...

looks like an amazing place! gotta love RW!

Bridget said...

Looks like you girls had a fab dinner! Sorry I missed it! I love the atmostphere in there, so cozy. Your main dish sounds particularly delicious!

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