About Circa 1886
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.
Hours of Operation:
Dinner: Monday - Saturday: 5:30pm - 9:30pm
$31 to $50
AMEX, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
Off-street parking next to restaurant
Banquet, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Corkage Fee, Full Bar, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Private Room, Wine
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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
Our overall experience at Circa 1886 was ...
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 :(
Service was excellent! My wife and I to ...
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!
Great find! In a quiet neighborhood jus ...
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.
The experience was incredible. I ordered ...
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.
We celebrated our anniversary in Charles ...
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!
All of the food was amazing and rather f ...
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!
Randy was absolutely fantastic!! The lig ...
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.
Felt like it definitely was a fine dinin ...
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.
This off-the-beaten path restaurant is s ...
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.
If you do not go to Circa 1886 when you ...
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!
I brought my wife here for our last two ...
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!
We visited Circa 1886 as part of our lad ...
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.
My wife and I had dinner at Circa 1886 i ...
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.
I had read that Circa 1886 was accommoda ...
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.
My husband and I visited during our vaca ...
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!
We went to Circa 1886 of celebrate my bi ...
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.
We celebrated my husband's birthday at C ...
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.
We celebrated our daughter's and so on l ...
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!
Possibly the best dining experience in m ...
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.
We were in Charleston for one night and ...
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.
Overpriced & not good food! Had the Ch ...
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!
Circa 1886 is tucked away in the corner ...
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.
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