About Circa 1886

149 Wentworth St.
Charleston, SC 29401
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Chef Marc Collins draws inspiration from many cuisines around the world to create a menu that is truly unique to the Charleston restaurant scene. Drawing inspiration from historic Southern dishes and always highlighting what is local and in season, Chef Collins puts a healthful, distinctive spin on classic Lowcountry dishes. This means there is less butter and cream than typically seen on Southern menus. Whole grains are incorporated to dishes and ingredients are used at the peak of flavor. The result is satisfying dishes that retain their bright, bold flavors without the large amounts of fat found in many restaurant dishes. From our Plantation Rice Bread Rolls made in house daily, to the selection of local seafood, to Pastry Chef Lovorn’s incredible desserts, each dinner at Circa 1886 celebrates the region we call home. Let our professional, attentive, experienced and knowledgeable staff guide you through the menu and help select a wine that is a perfect pairing for food and budget.

Dining Style:
Casual Elegant

Cuisines:
Southern

Hours of Operation:
Dinner: Monday - Saturday: 5:30pm - 9:30pm

Cross Street:
Smith

Dress Code:
Business Casual

Price Range:
$31 to $50

Payment Options
AMEX, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

Phone Number:
(843) 853-7828

Website:
http://www.circa1886.com/

Parking Details:
Off-street parking next to restaurant

Executive Chef:
Marc Collins

Additional:
Banquet, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Corkage Fee, Full Bar, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Private Room, Wine

Restaurant Photos

Blackened Tenderloin
Pear Crisp Souffle
Buttermilk Praline Panna Cotta
Cinnamon Rubbed Antelope Loin
Antelope
Apple Barbeque Braised Pork Ton Toro
Black Garlic & Lentil Soup Amuse Bouche
Green Pea Bavarois
Gas House Egg
Roll With Whipped Oil
Chicken Fried Foie Gras
Spicy Grilled Shrimp With Fried Green Tomato
Niman Ranch Pork Chop With Lemon Curd Potatoes
Bass
Miso Poached Wreckbass With Udon Noodles, Baby Bok Choy, Pork Belly, And Quail Egg
Trio of Sorbets
Niman Ranch Pork Chop With Peach Nectar Bbq Sauce

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Private Dining

The private dining room (Tack Room)with mirroring fireplaces and six windows overlooking our garden can accommodate up to 38 people. Our Garden Room also offers a private dining experience perfect for a party of up to 12. Several different banquet menus are offered for private parties.

Circa 1886 Ratings and Reviews

5
4
3
2
1

4.7

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.6

service

4.8

ambience

4.8

value

4.3

noise

Moderate

93% would recommend it to a friend

Loved For

Best Ambiance
South Carolina
Fit for Foodies
South Carolina
Notable Wine List
South Carolina
9 More
Romantic
South Carolina
Southern
South Carolina
Best Overall
Charleston
Best Service
Charleston
Best Ambiance
Charleston
Fit for Foodies
Charleston
Romantic
Charleston
Special Occasion
Charleston
Southern
Charleston
Best Restaurants in Downtown Charleston ›

Special Occasion (175)
Romantic (172)
Fit for Foodies (137)
See All
Notable Wine List (110)
Neighborhood Gem (56)
Good for Groups (12)
Scenic View (11)
Hot Spot (7)
Great for Outdoor Dining (6)
Great for Brunch (4)
Late-night Find (4)
Kid-friendly (2)
Vibrant Bar Scene (2)
Great for Lunch (1)
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1984 reviews
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Excellent in all areas. The service was ...

vip
 (Philadelphia)
·Dined 4 days ago

Excellent in all areas. The service was superb. The food was fantastic. Great wine list.

Tags: Notable Wine List, Quiet Conversation, Fit for Foodies, Cozy
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

The food is amazing and the service supe ...

 
 (Washington DC)
·Dined 4 days ago

The food is amazing and the service superb! While Charleston has many fine restaurants it would be difficult to find one that would surpass Circa 1886.

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Quiet Conversation, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Our overall experience at Circa 1886 was ...

 
 (South Carolina)
·Dined 4 days ago

Our overall experience at Circa 1886 was incredible. Our server, Ian was fantastic. Always checked in at a good time, but not too often. He was very attentive to our table. The food was incredible. The chef's specials for the day were exquisite and a fun treat! For our main course, I had the salmon for my dish and it was perfectly cooked! The antelope was also very delectable. I wish I had discovered this sooner being that we are leaving Charleston soon :(

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Fit for Foodies, Special Occasion, Tasting Menu
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food4
ambience4
service4
value4

Service was excellent! My wife and I to ...

 
 (South Carolina)
·Dined 5 days ago

Service was excellent! My wife and I took our 2 sons and our 1 daughter in law to Circa. Food was amazing! We do not drink alcohol so no comment on this. This was our second time dining there and plan to make it at least twice a year for special occasions. It was a wonderful evening with our family! Very quiet and easy to talk to each other instead of yelling across the table as some of the more high end Charleston restaurants require due to the noise level. I would highly recommend Circa 1886 for any occasion or special date night with your spouse!

Tags: Special Occasion, Good for Anniversaries, Quiet Conversation, Romantic, Neighborhood Gem, Good for Birthdays
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food5
ambience5
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value5

Circa 1886 is an excellent restaurant wi ...

 
 (New England)
·Dined 5 days ago

Circa 1886 is an excellent restaurant with a creative menu, delicious food, a beautiful dining room, and fantastic service.

Tags: Quiet Conversation, Good for Groups, Great for Outdoor Dining, Good for Birthdays, Romantic, Historic, Fit for Foodies, Good for a Date, Special Occasion, Business Meals, Good for Anniversaries, Creative Cuisine, Happy Hour
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

Food was excellent service was great.

 
 (Fayetteville)
·Dined 5 days ago

Food was excellent service was great.

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food5
ambience5
service5

Great find! In a quiet neighborhood jus ...

 
 (South Carolina)
·Dined 6 days ago

Great find! In a quiet neighborhood just far enough away from the loudness of East Bay St., King St., and the bar scene. Excellent drinks, entrees, & desserts. Their dessert presentation surpasses all other Charleston restaurants.

Tags: Fun, Special Occasion, Good for a Date, Good for Birthdays, Worth the Drive, Pre/post Theatre, Quiet Conversation, Neighborhood Gem, Historic, Good for Anniversaries, Handcrafted Cocktails, Fit for Foodies
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

The experience was incredible. I ordered ...

vip
 (Baltimore)
·Dined on August 22, 2016

The experience was incredible. I ordered the tasting menu. Fried trout and tomato salad were excellent. Service was super and tentative. We will recommend this to our friends. Other places get the hype. This place gets it done.

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food5
ambience5
service5

We celebrated our anniversary in Charles ...

 
 (Savannah)
·Dined on August 19, 2016

We celebrated our anniversary in Charleston and this was a wonderful evening out. Everyone knew it was our anniversary. The staff made us feel so special and kept bringing out things that were beyond delicious! I think it was one of my favorite meals ever!

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Romantic, Vibrant Bar Scene, Special Occasion, Great for Outdoor Dining
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food5
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All of the food was amazing and rather f ...

 
 (South Carolina)
·Dined on August 18, 2016

All of the food was amazing and rather filling. The service was superior and our server was extremely knowledgeable of all the food and drink. I will definitely recommend Circa to anyone looking for a very special and classy evening!

Tags: Special Occasion, Romantic, Notable Wine List
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food5
ambience4
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Randy was absolutely fantastic!! The lig ...

 
 (South Carolina)
·Dined on August 15, 2016

Randy was absolutely fantastic!! The light brightness could of been turned down a bit sooner than it was- around 9pm; was a bit too bright. The noise level was very tolerable until a large table sat down next to ours.

Tags: Special Occasion, Romantic, Notable Wine List
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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

One of the best meals we've ever had. Un ...

 
 (New York Area)
·Dined on August 15, 2016

One of the best meals we've ever had. Unlike many a restaurant, this one has nothing to learn from the Manhattan dining scene.

Tags: Special Occasion, Fit for Foodies, Romantic, Neighborhood Gem
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food5
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value5

Felt like it definitely was a fine dinin ...

 
 (South Carolina)
·Dined on August 15, 2016

Felt like it definitely was a fine dining experience. Restaurant has an upscale feel. Staff excellent and service outstanding. Even though there were ample choices available, I found it difficult choosing something I really wanted. Our choices included deviled eggs, shrimp and grits ravioli, salmon, chicken fried lobster, and chocolate soufflé. Ravioli was great, but anything with the usual fried chicken coating will taste about the same. Food was good but ate at a much less expensive restaurant the day after and found the meal to be as good or better.

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food3
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service5

Outstanding food, service, and ambience. ...

 
 (South Carolina)
·Dined on August 14, 2016

Outstanding food, service, and ambience. The occasion was a birthday--and the dessert dish for the honoree included a personalized birthday greeting!

Tags: Special Occasion, Romantic
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food5
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service5
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This off-the-beaten path restaurant is s ...

 
 (Washington DC)
·Dined on August 13, 2016

This off-the-beaten path restaurant is set in the carriage house of the Wentworth Mansion. Beautiful gardens welcome guests, providing a very quiet and private atmosphere. Inside, cozy dinning rooms allow for an intimate evening. My wife had beef, which was delicious and I tried a chef specialty of chicken-fried lobster. It was wonderful.....a southern touch on a classic dish. From the food presentation and attentive wait staff to the ambience and local dishes, we were very glad to have included Circa 1886 in our visit to Charleston.

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food5
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Great atmosphere and beautifully made fo ...

 
 (New York Area)
·Dined on August 12, 2016

Great atmosphere and beautifully made food. Wonderful service with a wait staff who was friendly and did not rush my husband and I out.

Tags: Scenic View, Notable Wine List, Romantic, Special Occasion
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food5
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service5
value5

If you do not go to Circa 1886 when you ...

 
 (South Carolina)
·Dined on August 12, 2016

If you do not go to Circa 1886 when you are in Charleston, SC you wasted your trip. There was not a thing about this restaurant that I could complain about if I tried. I came in with high expectations for my experience and Circa completely met and exceeded those. Our waiter was patient, friendly, warm and the perfect host for our dinner. He was knowledgeable without being arrogant. He worked to figure out our comfort level with the fine dinning experience and then approached us at our experience and expectation level. He was perfect. And that was all before I had one bite of food or a sip of wine, but Oh. My. Goodness. Ever bite of food was perfect. The chef is a master of his craft and I am afraid I will never have a dinning experience that equals that evening. The serving sizes are perfect to enjoy appetizers and desert as well without leaving and feeling like you are thanksgiving day stuffed. We left the restaurant happy, satisfied and content. I felt like maybe I was a little bit high not because of too much wine but from the experience in general. It was beautiful and magical and wonderful!

Tags: Special Occasion, Romantic, Notable Wine List, Fit for Foodies
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food5
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service5
value5

I brought my wife here for our last two ...

 
 (Atlanta)
·Dined on August 11, 2016

I brought my wife here for our last two anniversaries. The restaurant and our waiter really went over the top to make the occasion special - from complementary chef-special soups, to celebratory champagne, to "Happy Anniverary" written in chocolate on our dessert plates! At the end of the evening, the head chef and pastry chefs signed our menu (it was printed special with "Happy Anniversary" at the top) and we took it home. I can't imagine a better place for an anniversary dinner!

Tags: Special Occasion, Romantic
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food5
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service5
value5

Classiest restaurant in Charleston! From ...

vip
 (San Francisco)
·Dined on August 10, 2016

Classiest restaurant in Charleston! From start to finish, I could not ask for better hospitality

Tags: Special Occasion, Fit for Foodies, Romantic
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food5
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We visited Circa 1886 as part of our lad ...

vip
 (New York Area)
·Dined on August 10, 2016

We visited Circa 1886 as part of our ladies-only trip to Charleston. The chicken-fried lobster was insanely delicious-a wonderful way to prepare a lobster tail. The wine list was extensive and the wait staff was attentive without becoming annoying. The only comment I have is that the dining room in which we were seated was seriously quiet (and as a librarian, I know quiet!) so we felt a bit reserved as we tried to hold a conversation. This seems to be an outstanding venue for a romantic dinner so I would encourage diners to keep that in mind. Otherwise, it was a wonderful meal in a charming location.

Tags: Notable Wine List, Fit for Foodies, Special Occasion, Romantic
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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

This was a fantastic meal, the best we h ...

 
 (New York Area)
·Dined on August 9, 2016

This was a fantastic meal, the best we had while in Charleston for 5 nights. Service was excellent. Everything was done to perfection.

Tags: Neighborhood Gem, Special Occasion, Fit for Foodies, Notable Wine List, Romantic
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food5
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My wife and I had dinner at Circa 1886 i ...

 
 (Philadelphia)
·Dined on August 9, 2016

My wife and I had dinner at Circa 1886 in celebration of our 30th wedding anniversary. We informed the restaurant of this in advance and they made it a dining experience to remember. Our server, Charles, greeted us warmly and was extremely attentive to us throughout the evening. We both took advantage of the 3 course meal for $49 as guests of the Wentworth Mansion and it turned out to be a bargain. Each course of the meal was outstanding; my wife had the spaghetti squash entree and I had the salmon and they were both spectacular. The restaurant had received excellent reviews and for good reason, as this was truly an amazing experience.

Tags: Notable Wine List, Romantic, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

I was expecting to be blown away but it ...

 
 (Milwaukee)
·Dined on August 6, 2016

I was expecting to be blown away but it was just above average. The service was what really made the evening. Atmosphere was very generic.

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food4
ambience3
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I had read that Circa 1886 was accommoda ...

vip
 (Charlotte)
·Dined on August 6, 2016

I had read that Circa 1886 was accommodating to Gluten allergies, so I made a reservation 3 months in advance for our anniversary trip and stated my allergy needs. (Others had said the pastry chef made fantastic bread and desserts for them). We had some wonderful cocktails at the bar then were seated. I was happy to see the menu clearly noted a symbol for GF meals. I noticed there were no dessert options. Our server had already given her "spill" on the talented pastry chef, so I asked if they had GF option for me tonight since they were aware of my reservation, and it was a celebration. She said, we have a sorbet option. REALLY?! That's a cop out. I let her know my disappointment and said I was not interested in that...I asked could they at least use a mousse from one of the other desserts and some fresh fruit to make a real dessert? She came back and said no, but they would work on something. In the end, the pastry chef made a wonderful flourless chocolate cake that he had a recipe for, why this wasn't executed at the beginning is beyond me. Why there isn't a go-to GF dessert on the menu everyday is beyond me. I appreciate the staff turning the night around, but it shouldn't have taken me expressing disappointment to do this. I never saw a manager, or got an apology from anyone other than the server either.

Would I dine here again?! Yes....the smoked poisson leg was phenomenal, my husband oohed and ahhed over the deviled eggs as well. I loved the GF bread that was provided (thank you for that). We both had the elk loin and it was superb. Portions are not huge here, but they are right sized for our appetites. The wine menu was also great, with plenty of exciting bottles to choose from.

The attention to detail and communication between the front and back of the house needs to improve here, but it would not prevent me from returning in the future.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Neighborhood Gem, Notable Wine List, Romantic, Special Occasion
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food5
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service3
value5

Great food, impeccable service in a deli ...

 
 (Charlotte)
·Dined on August 6, 2016

Great food, impeccable service in a delightful location.

Tags: Special Occasion, Romantic, Fit for Foodies
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food5
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service5
value5

Dinner was excellent. Highly recommend.

 
 (New Mexico)
·Dined on August 6, 2016

Dinner was excellent. Highly recommend.

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food5
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service4

My husband and I visited during our vaca ...

 
 (South Carolina)
·Dined on August 4, 2016

My husband and I visited during our vacation after researching the best restaurants in town. We tried the 5 course tasting menu and it did not disappoint! Fabulous service, amazing food, and great wine selection. Truly a gem!

Tags: Kid-friendly, Fit for Foodies, Good for Groups, Romantic, Special Occasion, Notable Wine List
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food5
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We went to Circa 1886 of celebrate my bi ...

vip
 (South Carolina)
·Dined on August 4, 2016

We went to Circa 1886 of celebrate my birthday (a big one) and also our son's birthday. We also used a $50 Open Table coupon. The meal was memorable, the food was beautifully prepared and presented, creatively conceived, tasted heavenly, and frankly each individual dish was not that expensive. Our son anticipated his antelope for days before the dinner, and it did not disappoint him!!! I decided on the vegetarian dish, the spaghetti squash, and the blending of unusual tastes and textures were just delightful! Everyone enjoyed every part of their meal. The setting and atmosphere at Circa 1886 is very special, the only downside of going to this restaurant (as any restaurant downtown) is finding a parking place!!! But it is well worth it.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Romantic, Special Occasion
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food5
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value4

Very good. Nice room. Good service, know ...

 
 (South Carolina)
·Dined on August 4, 2016

Very good. Nice room. Good service, knowledge able. Quiet conversation is possible.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Romantic, Special Occasion
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food5
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We had a delicious meal. Chef recommend ...

 
 (Chicago)
·Dined on August 3, 2016

We had a delicious meal. Chef recommend 3 course. We had 2 courses and that was good for us. Delicious fried lobster.

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food5
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This was one of the best meals we had. F ...

 
 (Atlanta)
·Dined on August 2, 2016

This was one of the best meals we had. Food and service were beyond expectations. So much thought and care went into everything that was prepared. It was incredible.

Tags: Romantic, Special Occasion, Neighborhood Gem
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food5
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Wonderful for a special occasion! Enjoy ...

vip
 (South Carolina)
·Dined on August 2, 2016

Wonderful for a special occasion! Enjoyed the special samples sent from the chef!

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food5
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service5

We celebrated my husband's birthday at C ...

 
 (New York Area)
·Dined on August 2, 2016

We celebrated my husband's birthday at Circa 1886. I didn't expect that they would make the celebration feel special...but they truly did! Sean was gifted with a birthday menu signed by the chef, and we were given an extra dessert. The food was delicious, the best meal we've had in Charleston. The whole experience was great.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Romantic, Special Occasion
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food5
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service5
value5

Service could have been better. But o ...

 
 (Virginia)
·Dined on August 1, 2016

Service could have been better. But overall a good dining experience.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Special Occasion
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food4
ambience5
service3
value4

We celebrated our daughter's and so on l ...

 
 (South Carolina)
·Dined on July 30, 2016

We celebrated our daughter's and so on law's wedding night with family. Thy gave us a lovely private room and included special little tastes of chef's specials. Brian, our waiter, was excellent! He knew the food, was friendly and engaging and knowledgable about the chef. We were hoping the chef had a restraint near our daughter in myrtle Beach or Wolmington! Next project? 😀 This was just the perfect experience! Thank you! Thank you ! Thank you!

Tags: Great for Brunch, Fit for Foodies, Good for Groups, Romantic, Special Occasion, Late-night Find, Neighborhood Gem, Notable Wine List
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food5
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Possibly the best dining experience in m ...

 
 (Charlotte)
·Dined on July 30, 2016

Possibly the best dining experience in many years. I really don't know what could have been better. Great food, service, setting. Wife and I enjoyed every minute. The only negative was lack of valet parking but who cares. It was a wonderful evening in Charleston.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Excellent food and service. Highly recom ...

 
 (London)
·Dined on July 29, 2016

Excellent food and service. Highly recommended.

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food5
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service5

We were in Charleston for one night and ...

 
 (South Carolina)
·Dined on July 28, 2016

We were in Charleston for one night and had heard great things about this restaurant and expected it to be a fine dining experience. Far from it. We entered and the hostess just showed us the table instead of seating us. We ordered the tasting menu and the server not once showed us any of the wines that we had and couldn't tell us about each wine at all- if I didn't ask for a year and vineyard we wouldn't have gotten that out of her either. The shrimp ravioli first course was good. The rest I could have made at home. An heirloom salad that literally just consisted of tomatoes and a few mozzarella balls on the plate, the rainbow trout didn't taste or smell fishy but it wasn't anything special, and we got one small piece of a lamb chop that had literally just one bite of meat on it finished off our meat course. The chocolate soufflé was well done as our dessert course. For the price of 110 a person I would never come back considering the lack of service and attention and very mediocre food and wine pairing.

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food1
ambience2
service1
value1

Overpriced & not good food! Had the Ch ...

 
·Dined on July 28, 2016

Overpriced & not good food! Had the Chicken fried lobster(their specialty) - unique but the lobster was tuff(due to frying) I love a great Soufflé' ----BUT what a mistake - over cooked- no chocolate taste except in the chocolate sauce (which was from a bottle) We are foodies----and so disappointed in the food. Great building though------- So many other great restaurants in Charleston-They so need to step up there game! If you want to go here for the building- just have a drink!

Tags: Romantic
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food1
ambience5
service2
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Circa 1886 is tucked away in the corner ...

 
 (South Carolina)
·Dined on July 27, 2016

Circa 1886 is tucked away in the corner of the Wentworth mansion property. It is in a Charleston neighborhood you would not really notice. The restaurant is in the old carriage house of the historic mansion (evidently now converted into a hotel). The restaurant is a pleasant respite from the usual downtown Charleston venues. It seemed that you could arrive in more or less casual attire, but unlike most of touristy Charleston this venue seems to call for pants. Again, it is a nice respite - quite, secluded, even romantic and so is in contrast to most of downtown Charleston.

Everything feels upscale about this place - the dress, the service, the venue. However the prices are not that much higher than most of the better, more casual, louder places downtown.

The food here was really good too. My wife has the chicken fried lobster (sounds like an abomination, but it was done very well). I had the trout - which was grilled to perfection. Great wine list.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Romantic, Special Occasion, Neighborhood Gem, Notable Wine List
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food5
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value3

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