People watching and sampling tasty food go together perfectly at Popovers right by Market Square in Portsmouth. You can still catch some Indian summer, enjoy the crisp fall air from the outdoor café seating or enjoy the casual, bustling ambience inside. Either way, the Mediterranean-influenced sandwiches, wraps, panini and salads here are sure to satisfy any lunch or dinner hunger pangs. Save room for dessert, though. The pastry case is a colorful enticement with desserts by Master Baker Steve James.
For breakfast try a popover with maple butter and a cup of premium coffee or some of the house-made granola with fruit and yogurt. Lunch or dinner fare includes a grilled chicken Caesar or a classic yellow fin tuna Nicoise salad with rare tuna, hard cooked eggs and roasted red potatoes. The panini also offer a taste of the exotic with a Cuban pork version with slow-cooked citrus-rubbed pork, ham, Swiss, dill pickle and a chipotle mayo.
A hearty Italian sandwich has all the best of sliced delicacies like Genoa salami and mortadella on rosemary focaccia, or try one of the small plates, like an antipasto for two, with imported meats, cheese, roasted peppers and olives. The warm Feta dip is rich with cream cheese and olive tapanade and is perfect for sharing. There’s also a good selection of wines and cordials to go along with your meal or with one of the many cakes and pastries calling you from behind the glass of the large pastry case.
Popovers on the Square
8 Congress St., Portsmouth, (603) 431-1119, www.popoversonthesquare.com
Rachel Forrest is a former restaurant owner and now independent food writer who lives in Exeter. Hear her on “Wine Me Dine Me” with co-host Susan Tuveson at 6 p.m. on WSCA-FM 106.1. She can be reached by e-mail at email@example.com.