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Cava

Certificate of Excellence
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10 Commercial Alley, Portsmouth, NH 03801
(603)-319-1575
Website
Today
5:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Open now
See all hours
Hours:
Sun - Thu 5:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Fri - Sat 5:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Dining options: Drinks, Lunch, Dinner, Late Night, Reservations
Description: Cava is located in the heart of historic downtown Portsmouth, New...
Cava is located in the heart of historic downtown Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Just a brief walk from the Portsmouth Parking Garage and the Ladd street access. We are located in the middle of quaint Commercial Alley. The walking alley way is home to several small businesses and Cava's Vertical Garden. Dine under the Northeasts only outdoor living wall. Cava is the dream of two long time friends John Akar and Gregg Sessler. Together they combined their years of experience in the restaurant business to build Cava. Featuring two wine bars, one on the street level, and one in our Wine Cave. John offers a diverse always changing selection of international wines to be paired with Chef Sessler's modern and classic Mediterranean cuisine. Chef Sessler uses only the freshest seasonal products available to create his innovative menus. Join Chef Sessler and his team at the Chef's Table for dinner and a show. *Cava accepts reservations for parties of 4 or more for our dining tables. *Cava accepts reservations for parties of 4 and under at our Chefs Table.*If you are a party under four people and are not interested in the Chef's Table, all seating is based on a first come first serve basis.*During Restaurant Week Cava will accept reservations for all seating, including our bar seating, for parties of two or more.*For Valentine's Day and New Years Eve, Cava will be accepting reservations for all seating, including our bar seating, for parties of two or more.*It is always a good idea if you are a party of four or more, or if you would like to sit at the Chef's Table to make a reservation in advance Cava.
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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 301 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 214
    Excellent
  • 51
    Very good
  • 20
    Average
  • 8
    Poor
  • 8
    Terrible
Rating summary
  • Food
    4.5 of 5 stars
    Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
    Atmosphere
    4.5 of 5 stars
Close, but no cigar

Cava, which means wine cellar in Spanish is a tapas restaurant nestled in a charming alley in downtown historic Portsmouth, NH. The decor is contemporary and welcoming, at least on the first floor, the basement, where we were seated was dark, and not as welcoming. Now, there are 2 possible reasons... read more

4 of 5 starsReviewed April 26, 2015
Eduardo G
,
Boston, Massachusetts
Good for:
  • Special occasions
  • Romantic
  • Entertaining clients
  • Local cuisine
  • Bar scene
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301 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Boston, Massachusetts
Top Contributor
142 reviews 142 reviews
102 restaurant reviews
63 helpful votes 63 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 26, 2015

Cava, which means wine cellar in Spanish is a tapas restaurant nestled in a charming alley in downtown historic Portsmouth, NH. The decor is contemporary and welcoming, at least on the first floor, the basement, where we were seated was dark, and not as welcoming. Now, there are 2 possible reasons why we could have been seated in the dungeons... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Boston, Massachusetts
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 25, 2015

Amazing, amazing food, and best service by a bar tender/waiter ever. Our waiter, Danny, was not only extremely knowledgeable about the tapas menu, but fun and attentive, too. We got one of their last reservations for a Saturday night; 5:15, and our party of four sat at a bar area. We were originally not sure if the bar reservation would... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes
Portsmouth, New Hampshire
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
13 restaurant reviews
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 18, 2015

Cava has been on our list to visit for some time, and after a memorable chef's table experience it maintains a place in our top three. Every bite of our tasting menu meal was a delicious delight. Rarely can I say that a meal is perfect, but from beet salad to churros, I have nothing to criticize. We also elected... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes
Peabody, Massachusetts
Top Contributor
73 reviews 73 reviews
69 restaurant reviews
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 18, 2015

I dine alot and used to be in the restaurant field. I also know restaurants and superb dining experiences. You can come up with any superlative adjective for Cava -- AMAZING, SPECTACULAR, OUTSTANDING -- all of these work for this unbelievable dining experience. I went with my wife for restaurant week and was having an early 60th Birthday celebration. The... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes
Maine
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 16, 2015

This was the second time visiting Cava and both times we did not have reservations so were seated at the bar downstairs. Don’t be disappointed if you are led downstairs as it is quiet and cozy and the bar is set in front of the building’s original stone walls. However, my only complaint with the seating is that the wait... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
15 restaurant reviews
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 7, 2015 via mobile

Enjoyed the open kitchen and chatted with Chef Hilary. She seemed friendly and shared information and favorites. We had the prawns, very tasty. And the lobster potato empanadas, those were a little bland, but the sauce they came on was good. The drinks were good and we would return.

Was this review helpful? Yes
Contoocook, New Hampshire
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 30, 2015

Another tucked away great restaurant in Portsmouth. This was our first visit to Cava and we could not have been happier with our choice. Our party include two couples, both coming in from out of town. Reservations are definitely recommended. We were seated at one of the two window tables on the first floor. To my mind, these are the... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes
Portsmouth, New Hampshire
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 18, 2015

creative and delicious plates-check. thoughtful and diverse wine list- check. knowledgable and attentive service-check. ambience, seating, music, management, yup, that's right, all good. you might think, how is it this one place accomplishes so much?? i challenge you not to call this one of your new favorite places for upscale dining experience! it's small plates, but you want to try... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes
Portsmouth, New Hampshire
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 17, 2015

I have been here quite a few times. They have delicious tapas that are always rotating. They bring them out spaced out so is a nice leisure meal to enjoy your company and their amazing bites. Get the churros with chocolate, they are divine.

Was this review helpful? Yes
Vancouver, Washington
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 16, 2015

The food here does not disappoint. This is our second visit to Cava. The food is unique and delicious. The menu varies but has been spectacular each time. The wine selections are also excellent and the servers are very knowledgeable.

Was this review helpful? Yes

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Restaurant Details

Location and Contact Information

  • Address: 10 Commercial Alley, Portsmouth, NH 03801
  • Location: United States  >  New Hampshire (NH)  >  Portsmouth
  • Phone Number: (603)-319-1575

Price and Cuisine

  • Cuisine: Mediterranean

Restaurant Characteristics

  • Good for: Special occasions, Romantic, Entertaining clients, Local cuisine, Bar scene

Description

Cava is located in the heart of historic downtown Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Just a brief walk from the Portsmouth Parking Garage and the Ladd street access. We are located in the middle of quaint Commercial Alley. The walking alley way is home to several small businesses and Cava's Vertical Garden. Dine under the Northeasts only outdoor living wall. Cava is the dream of two long time friends John Akar and Gregg Sessler. Together they combined their years of experience in the restaurant business to build Cava. Featuring two wine bars, one on the street level, and one in our Wine Cave. John offers a diverse always changing selection of international wines to be paired with Chef Sessler's modern and classic Mediterranean cuisine. Chef Sessler uses only the freshest seasonal products available to create his innovative menus. Join Chef Sessler and his team at the Chef's Table for dinner and a show. *Cava accepts reservations for parties of 4 or more for our dining tables. *Cava accepts reservations for parties of 4 and under at our Chefs Table.*If you are a party under four people and are not interested in the Chef's Table, all seating is based on a first come first serve basis.*During Restaurant Week Cava will accept reservations for all seating, including our bar seating, for parties of two or more.*For Valentine's Day and New Years Eve, Cava will be accepting reservations for all seating, including our bar seating, for parties of two or more.*It is always a good idea if you are a party of four or more, or if you would like to sit at the Chef's Table to make a reservation in advance Cava.
Open Hours
Sunday
5:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Monday
5:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Tuesday
5:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Wednesday
5:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Thursday
5:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Friday
5:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Saturday
5:00 pm - 10:00 pm

Questions & Answers

Here's what previous visitors have asked, with answers from representatives of Cava and other visitors
1 question
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Questions? Get answers from Cava staff and past visitors.
Posting guidelines
Typical questions asked:
  • Do you have gluten-free options?
  • Is there a dress code?
  • Do you allow dogs on the outdoor patio?