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“OMG!”
Review of Cava

Cava
Ranked #17 of 204 Restaurants in Portsmouth
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: Mediterranean
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Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Local cuisine, Bar scene, Special occasions
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 December 18, 2013

I cannot say enough good things about Cava. My fiance and I ate here last month when we were celebrating our Birthdays. The food was amazing...fresh, creative and locally sourced. The staff was extremely friendly and helpful. We did not have reservations, so the manager made room for us to dine at the bar. We will definitely eat here again the next time we are in Portsmouth. Wonderful experience!

1  Thank Stacy M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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250 - 254 of 455 reviews

Reviewed December 14, 2013

Ever have it happen to you where you walk into a restaurant having an idea of what you want but then upon seeing the menu your mind just freezes because inasmuch as you may want to say, "One of everything," you know you really ought not to?

That was the problem I had at Cava. The only problem I had at Cava actually.

This problem was soon resolved however, when the server casually suggested the tasting menu.

And thus, a state of indecision was resolved with a journey that lasted an evening.

(Dear Server, Thank you. Love, Me)

As it is seasonal and this review is permanent I won't tease you with details of the butternut squash soup or of the short rib, because I don't know if they will still be there when you go. And I do not want you to go expecting to get X, Y or Z and they not have it.

That would just be disappointing for you and, from the air I got from this VERY attentive staff, would just make them feel bad.

Here is how I want you to go...

I want you to go to this restaurant expecting to order the prix fixe menu. I want you to have an open mind and a willingness to try something new and exciting. Imagine being a guest judge on a certain television show known for supplying mystery baskets of ingredients (along with access to our pantry and fridge) and a torturous thirty minutes in order to create a stunning three course meal, that is the kind of openness I hope you go with.

Inasmuch as I hope you go with the expectation of being surprised I want you to remeber that this is NOT that television show, this is intelligent cuisine prepared for and created by a master with more than thirty minutes time and a limited pantry to make a stunning evening for you, this is the work of a talented individual who knows his craft and took his time.

Relax and enjoy.

And if you do decide that you want an accompanying visual display while your tastebuds are engaged... ask for the chef's table. There are only four seats so call ahead and make a reservation.

And when you inevitably go back before a new tasting menu is out, feel free to start with the Churros since you probably didn't have room for them last time!

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Thank Madmixologist
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 2, 2013 via mobile

We ordered the 8-course tasting menu at 32. The plating and standards of cooking were good but of the 8 courses, there was only one small piece of beef brisket that wasnt a vegetable. The portions were really small, even for tasting menus.

At this price I was hoping to get better portion and more non-vegetable dishes. The margins for them must be handsome.

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

Had a chance to dine at Cava again during restaurant week, and what a wonderful experience. The plates are beautiful and the food is delicious, and the staff is warm and friendly. For restaurant week Cava was offering a 4 course tasting menu (3 choices per course), and since we were 3 diners, we had a chance to taste every single item on the menu. All winners! Chef Greg Sessler had the evening off, but that didn't seem to make any difference in our dining experience.

If you are in Portsmouth, give Cava a shot (If you can, book the chef's table for a really great food experience).

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

my husband and I agree, this is likely the best meal we have ever eaten! We had 4 courses, part of their "restaurant week" menu, and each course was beautifully prepared and amazing! So many levels of flavor an texture.. we savored every bite! The staff was friendly and informative. We cannot wait to come back!!!

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Thank Jackie C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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