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“We strayed from Cava but will never stray again”
Review of Cava

Cava
Ranked #11 of 209 Restaurants in Portsmouth
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: Mediterranean
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine, Romantic, Bar scene, Special occasions
Dining options: Late Night, Dinner, Lunch, 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 June 22, 2013

We love to support new businesses, especially new restaurants but last night we should of stuck with what true and consistent. Cava is just that. For any given “special” occasion or a last minute celebration in life Cava is our go to. We don’t even live in Portsmouth but a half hour away. It’s a toss of the coin if we go to Boston or to Portsmouth. We decided give an uncomfortably close new tapas restaurant around the corner from Cava a try.

We lasted for 1 drink and 3 plates and both my husband and eye felt ourselves yearning for Cava. We were lost here in the shuffle. We missed the greetings. We missed the precision of every dish served. We missed the eye contact and wit of the staff. We paid up quickly at our undisclosed location and like heartbroken lovers we crept back to Cava hoping they would take us back. The owner, who is almost always present, was there to greet us and as it was a busy Friday night we told him of our betrayal and he gave a huge welcoming guttural laugh and promptly sent us to 2 bar stools where we immediately felt like we were back home.

Cava’s food tastes farm fresh. Each small plate exhibits details and tastes that are pleasing and fun. Although this night we did not indulge on their fantastic roasted dates, croquettas and day boat scallops we did find room for our favorite , kristin’s famous churros and champlain valley triple cream, banana, chestnuts and honey comb. Mmm, mmm.

The menu keeps popular dishes around and rotates our seasonally inspired plates. The wine list is exceptional and unique. If you haven't been to Cava make it a must, and don’t stray too far!

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Thank souptraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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306 - 310 of 470 reviews

Reviewed June 12, 2013

Great place, some dishes (the pork!!!) are really innovative and top class. Impressive wine list with many wines by the glass, but really heavy on European wines. The tasting menu looked like a bargain (30 $ for the meal + 30$ for wines) - but minimum is two persons and since I was alone I had to pass on that one.

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Thank JanOhman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 11, 2013

Dissapointed there are no local plates. Food was alright. Nothing to write home about. Love the open kitchen and aesthetics.

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1  Thank William J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 11, 2013

Excellent wine bar with great tapas...a great food experience. The place is very quaint, located in an alley and the service was impeccable. We would most definitely go back.

Thank Montreal15
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 30, 2013

I have dined at Cava a good ten + times since their opening a few years ago. It is easily one of the most consistent premium restaurants in all of Portsmouth. Great offerings, excellent wine list, and friendly, helpful staff. I have never come across rude service here and never find it "pretentious". You have the choice of the tasting menu or you can opt to order a la carte. I tend to go a la carte as you can freely order as you feel, and determine the appetite of the table. Those who choose to give this place a 1 star just don't get it. You must be a party of 4 to reserve a table. There are about 9 tables total in this restaurant, and you cannot blame them for having to maximize their seating (especially in winter months when the deck is closed). Arrive early if you don't have reservations, and be prepared to be wowed. Guests of mine who visit often from Manhattan and/or Boston claim this to be one of the best meals they have had in years. This is one of the best of the best in Portsmouth, and you'll leave one satisfied diner.

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

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