Went to Cava a month or so ago and I am sorry to admit we had a rather disappointing experience – mostly where service was concerned. They admitted they were short-staffed that evening, so I am hoping it was a one-off. Perhaps we simply had the misfortune of arriving on a bad night.
I went with a few friends – one of whom is a wine lover from out of town – so I really wanted to make sure this person had a great evening. We were hoping to try some interesting/out of the ordinary Spanish wines and we were quite carefree about prices. When we asked the servers at the bar for advice, one person said (very kindly) that he was new and so really couldn’t help us. There seemed to be no one else who could assist us. I turned to the end of the bar and happened to see the (or one of the) proprietor(s). Apologetically, I asked for some help. We did get assistance with choosing and drank two lovely bottles of wine, but a comment was made to me of the effect that it was his night off and he was hoping to relax a bit. (Note: if you want to relax and be left alone, better not to try to do it in your own restaurant, where you will be recognized!)
The food was good but not particularly memorable and no one in our party seemed terribly impressed.
I contrast this with a visit to the tapas bar at Chiado last week (or Senhor Antonio to be exact). Delightful service and wonderfully wine-savvy staff. Stunning wines (at a cost, but there are wines to be enjoyed there at any price range).
I enjoyed Cava on previous visits and I am a fan of the chef, like the concept, and want to see them succeed, so I am hoping this is just a temporary rough patch. Any thoughts?