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“Wonderful staff, atmosphere, and most of all FOOD!”
Review of Cava

Cava
Ranked #14 of 204 Restaurants in Portsmouth
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: Mediterranean
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine, Bar scene, Special occasions, Romantic
Dining options: Dinner, Lunch, Late Night, 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.
Dover, New Hampshire
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Wonderful staff, atmosphere, and most of all FOOD!”
Reviewed April 25, 2014

This is my all time favorite restaurant! They have superior small plates with a menu that's always changing. My first trip to Cava, I was a bit weary that I would not be as satisfied with the small portions, but quickly learned this was not the case- and I have never left there hungry! I have and will ALWAYS recommend the Chef's special. You are served course after course each being better than the last. This ranges from I believe around 35 dollars with a minimum of two people. I can guarantee you will not find a better price or quality anywhere in town! I have been to most restaurants in Portsmouth,as it is near my home, and although I enjoy a lot of them, Cava is always the one I suggest to friends, family, and acquaintances. The atmosphere is something to speak about as well. Staff are friendly, it's certainly not stuffy, and the mood fits perfect for anything from a romantic date to a casual outing with friends. I love the everything about this place, and can't wait to go back again :)

  • Visited November 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank April S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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450 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Sandisfield, Massachusetts
Level 5 Contributor
57 reviews
24 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
“Great food, atmosphere, and service”
Reviewed April 4, 2014

We had dinner here on Sunday, March 30, 2014 and it was one of the best dining experiences that we have ever had. We started with the roasted dates. We were given the golden pineapple desert, served with lime zest and pomegranate molasses, as a complementary pallet cleanser before we had the paella. We finished with the valhrona chocolate for dessert. All were excellent. The waiter and other staff were friendly and attentive. The waiter helped us pick a great wine to accompany our meal. We will go back every time we are in Portsmouth.

  • Visited March 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank 571Roxanne
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level 3 Contributor
23 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“Pleasantly Surprised!”
Reviewed March 19, 2014

From the moment you walk up to the front door, tucked away in a small downtown Portsmouth side street, Cava exceeds most expectations. The overall ambiance is fantastic, and it would be excellent for just about any sort of dining experience, be it business, casual, or a date.

The menu had a very interesting pairing of flavors and ingredients, making the overall food experience very unique. Highly recommend the chickpea fries, the paella dish, and the steak. There was an extensive cocktail list - my only regret was not being able to try more!

Definitely worth checking out on any visit to Portsmouth.

  • Visited March 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank matticulousme
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 6 Contributor
200 reviews
161 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 62 helpful votes
“Sophisticated fare”
Reviewed March 13, 2014

Cava offers a wide-ranging and ever changing wine list with servers and bartenders who know their stock. The chef creates seasonally sumptuous small and medium plates based on fresh produce, local seafood and cheeses plus desserts that you really must save room to enjoy. We love sitting at a bar, talking with the bartender and those seated around us. Cava is perfect for this type of socializing. On our last visit I enjoyed a small plate with escargot over polenta with a flavorful broth. It was warm and welcoming on a chilly evening. My husband ordered the paella which was filled with seafood, chorizo and creamy arborio rice, nicely seasoned. Based on our neighbors who ordered their dessert first and then went to the small plates, we ordered the churros with warm chocolate dipping sauce. An absolute winner! Service is attentive. Servers know the menu, the adult beverage offerings, and are able to help with pairings of wine and small plates. Prices are quite reasonable. This place is excellent for a date night, meeting friends or a special occasion night. The upstairs is small, with a chef's bar, the wine bar and small tables, but there is a downstairs dining area as well.

  • Visited March 2014
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank HebbieDacker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wakefield, NH
Level 5 Contributor
70 reviews
47 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“Lovely first class dining”
Reviewed March 5, 2014

This was our second trip to Cava and after experiencing the chef's menu, at the chef's bar, visiting withe chef, we moved it up to the very top of our list of favorites. Every bite felt like an adventure and we were moved to exclaim delightedly with each small plate.
Portsmouth has all kinds of really terrific restaurants and this one tops them all. 'Also the staff could not have been better, a great blend of professionalism and friendliness. We shall return.

  • Visited March 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
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    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Janet M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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