Thursday, July 19, 2012

Eats & Treats: Tapas at Cava

I've been ignoring you, readers.  Nay, I've been neglectful of you.  Sometimes it's easy to forget that I have a real job outside of this gig.  Not to mention, that job requires as much tender loving care like writing does.  I wish I could tell you that this will be the last time that we are separated like this, but realistically speaking, I'd be lying to you if I said that.  Lying of course would put such a strain on our relationship, so can we just forgive and forget?  I promise I'll indulge you with talk of delicious tapas, which were -- dare I say it?  -- better than any I had had in New York City?!

In the few spare moments for the week, I got to grab dinner with some coworkers earlier this week, which meant an rare opportunity to explore Portsmouth some more.  If I could imagine what living during the Revolutionary War was like, it would probably be a lot like Portsmouth, minus the sushi restaurants, yoga studios, and the lone Banana Republic.  We finally settled on this tapas place called "Cava" hidden away in a quaint street alley downtown, after the hostess tempted us street side with the tasting menu. 

Cava on Commercial Alley and Market St. in Portsmouth, NH

We in turn ended up completely ignoring in favor of the a la carte menu, which proved to be an incredibly wise decision.  My group, consisting of a person who eats anything, a person who can't eat spicy food and a person who can't eat pork, proved a little selective, but Cava's menu provided something that pleased everyone.  My absolute favorite part about the north east has been the wide variety of both sea food and organic food options, as compared to the options in New York which could be described as delicious junk.  With cocktails and wine glasses in tow, we ordered everything from tapas staples (patatas bravas) to locally raised/grown dishes (spring lamb and hummus) to mixtures of the two (gazpacho with a locally grown corn puree).  The neat part about dinner was that all of the greens were grown in-house in a tiny patch next to the window.  While a majority of the food, in my mind, was a tad over seasoned, the restaurant really hit it out of the park with the flank steak drizzled in garlic and corn, which combined the right bit of crispness fit for a late summer meal.

Top-Left:  Flank state with corn and lime; Bottom-Left:  Patatas bravas; Top-Right:  Ceviche; Bottom-Right:  Spring lamb and hummus

To top off the entire dinner, one of my coworkers requested one special item on the menu, which literally had us on our knees in foodgasm-ing.  Just call me the Meg Ryan of foodgasms.  Click the next page if you want to see what it was.  The photo is as delicious as it actually was!  

The one takeaway from our waiter was that the churros were to die for, and were "so good" that people came specifically to Portsmouth just to eat them.  Intrigued, we ordered a round to be split between the three of us.  Now, all three of us are pretty polite when it comes to sharing food.  The churros proved to be the one exception.  Dusted with cinnamon sugar, the churros were crisp to the touch, but melted and disintegrated from the inside.  I usually hate churros for being way too sweet (forgive me, but my previous experiences with churros have been limited to the ones that they sell at Costco and Taco Bell), but these were fantastic.  Despite being wary of the potential cavity hitter, the chocolate was the perfect contrast to the sugar churros, with its dark bitter flavor.  If Cava was worth anything, it was for the churros.

Churros and Chocolate

1 comment: