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“Brought tears of joy to my eyes”
Review of Cava

Cava
Ranked #16 of 205 Restaurants in Portsmouth
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: Mediterranean
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Special occasions, Local cuisine, Romantic, Bar scene
Dining options: Lunch, Late Night, Dinner, Reservations
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.
Reviewed May 7, 2013

If you go to Portsmouth, you must go here. It helps to love Spanish wine because their selection is superb. Indeed, their entire wine list is impressive, but I stuck Spain; five different glasses in fact. I had a delightful, solo evening because I simply entrusted all my tapas choices to the attentive bar man who brought me his personal recommendations. Although the grilled asparagus was unremarkable, it was done beautifully. I was blown away, however, by the chevre croquets. Delectible! I could have eaten those all night. But the treats that sent me to to heaven, were the piping hot, sugar dusted churros, complete with a dish of slightly spiced melted chocolate for dipping. My first bite brought tears to my eyes as I flashed back to the churro vendors in Madrid 30 years ago. Save room for this dessert and be sure you have a designated driver, because you will want that third or fourth or fifth tasting of tempranillo, or granach, or was it it a blend. Oh heck, I don't remember any more. I'll need to go back.

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1  Thank Sheldon S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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301 - 305 of 458 reviews

Reviewed May 6, 2013

Advisory: don't go hungry, the plates are indeed as advertised "small plates" and you need to ask the server how many pieces are served so that you don't have an odd man out staring at an empty plate or an uneven offering that sits on the table daring you to take the last piece. Artistic presentation of our ordered dishes were appreciated but after a fleeting taste you do hope to have another bite (so you order more). This place would be best enjoyed for a drink & nibble but if you or your guests are expecting a full meal this could get very pricey.
We went on a weekend, place was chock full of patrons all trying to out-shout the rest of the sandwiched tables. We had several TMI moments from adjoining tables that added levity to our discussions. Perhaps a calmer week day would give off a different vibe.
Check their website http://cavatapasandwinebar.com/Images.php for visuals of the offerings.

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Thank tatsa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 28, 2013

We celebrated our anniversary dinner at Cava and it was an excellent choice all around. My husband had chosen this place based upon ratings and I was a bit skeptical as he never chooses a restaraunt, not only that, i was about 35-40 minutes from our home. We were unable to make reservations as you need to have more than 2 for a table upstairs, and we really didn't want to eat downstairs. We sat at the bar, not the bar where you can watch the chef's create their magic, but at the small bar with 6 seats. Danny was our waiter and bartender and he was the nicest waiter and we really appreciated his help in choosing our eating options. We chose to do the tasting menu which was alot of fun and vey well spaced out making our evening last and our food was delivered warm with a brief explanation about the ingredients. Each time we received new plates, new utensils, and the food was extremely fresh. We chose to have only one glass of wine and Danny helped us out with that as well. Everyone was very friendly and extremely knowledgeable. The food was very fresh, beautiful and most of all delicious. Each tasting was like a little suprise. We will definitely be back. Not sure what the downstairs is like, didn't even take a look. We had a great time upstairs at the bar. Great spot, definitely check this place out.

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1  Thank Salemgirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 28, 2013 via mobile

This is the one restaurant that should not be missed! I have dined here many, many times. I have never been disappointed. The dishes are incredibly amazing and varied. The menu is always evolving, yet one thing stays the same, the incredible flavors and qualities are always present. I always look forward to the experience of CAVA. The patio dining on a beautiful evening is always unforgettable. And the wine menu and original cocktails are off the charts. I would recommend this dining experience to family, friends, and important clients without hesitation. Be sure to make reservations for the Chef's Table for special occasions......

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1  Thank Adlispdr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 10, 2013

This hidden gem along a side street fit for horse and carriage is staffed by friendly people who serve great food. The seating is sparse--some tables upstairs, some down in the subteranean bar, from which the name probably originates. The tasting menu is the way to go--plenty of choice, 4 courses appropriately sized. The food is surprisingly delicious; not particularly daring but nice combinations of savory, salty, sweet with varied textures, meats and vegetables. An omnivores delight, not dilemna. The service is a little slow--wait staff have to truck up and down the stairs making the kitchen to Cava trajectory a long one. In summary, food excellent, service slow, great wine. I'll be back.

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

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