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/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Full Bar, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Private Room, Wine

Restaurant Photos

Blackened Tenderloin
Pear Crisp Souffle
Cinnamon Rubbed Antelope Loin
Buttermilk Praline Panna Cotta
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
Niman Ranch Pork Chop With Peach Nectar Bbq Sauce
Trio of Sorbets
Miso Poached Wreckbass With Udon Noodles, Baby Bok Choy, Pork Belly, And Quail Egg

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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

4.7

service

4.8

ambience

4.7

value

4.3

noise

Moderate

94% would recommend it to a friend

Loved For

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

special occasion (169)
romantic (166)
fit for foodies (134)
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notable wine list (105)
neighborhood gem (54)
good for groups (14)
scenic view (13)
great for outdoor dining (12)
hot spot (7)
late-night find (4)
great for brunch (3)
kid-friendly (1)
great for lunch (1)
vibrant bar scene (1)
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The service was excellent, we were not r ...

 
 (South Carolina)
·Dined 3 days ago

The service was excellent, we were not rushed with our meal even through the restaurant was full. The food was very good, some items were lacking seasoning (salt and pepper) , but the cooked spinach was quite salty. The chocolate mousse was a delight to finish off the meal. The menu is a little limiting. There were no GF options for dessert, so my wife had to watch me eat mine.

Tags: special occasion, notable wine list
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food4
ambience4
service5
value3

Great meal. A culinary experience. A gre ...

 
 (Dallas)
·Dined 5 days ago

Great meal. A culinary experience. A great restaurant to put on your "must eat at list" while you are in Charleston.

Tags: fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
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food5
ambience4
service5
value3

This is our second trip to Charleston. W ...

vip
 (Philadelphia)
·Dined 5 days ago

This is our second trip to Charleston. We plan our dinner reservations in advance to ensure we get the best restaurants possible. We met a friend for dinner here Monday and enjoyed it so much (we had the tasting menu and wine pairings) we cancelled other reservations for Wednesday and returned to Circa 1886 AGAIN to dine! Both evenings started with a refreshing cucumber vodka cocktail. The shrimp and grits ravioli, lamb chops and salmon were wonderful. The chicken fried lobster was good and innovative but I think I prefer my lobster steamed with butter. My favorite was the deviled eggs appetizer and the pecan pie bread pudding. The ambiance was cool and relaxed in a beautiful setting and the service professional and attentive. I would highly recommend Circa 1886

Tags: fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Slow service. Mediocre food given the hi ...

 
 (San Francisco)
·Dined on July 17, 2016

Slow service. Mediocre food given the high prices. Disappointing overall.

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food2
ambience4
service2

We must have gone on an off night as we ...

 
 (South Carolina)
·Dined on July 16, 2016

We must have gone on an off night as we didn't really enjoy any of the courses from appetizers to dessert. Our server was not knowledgeable enough for the menu and wines. He was a little too goofy for this type of restaurant. Honestly I didn't like anything we ordered. We even did chef's choice. I had fried shrimp and grit, tomato and mozzarella salad, elk, trout, choc souffle. I did enjoy the wine we had. Of these items, the trout was the best.

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food2
ambience2
service2
value2

Amazing. Triedeverythingandeverythingwa ...

 
 (Charlotte)
·Dined on July 16, 2016

Amazing. Triedeverythingandeverythingwasperfect. A little hard to find, tucked in behind another building. They do have parking too.

Tags: fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, late-night find, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

We enjoyed the chef's five course dining ...

 
·Dined on July 16, 2016

We enjoyed the chef's five course dining special with wine pairings for our celebratory dinner, and I could not possibly rave more over how superb our experience was. The "Shrimp 'n' Grits" Ravioli starter was my favorite course from our dinner, although it was quite difficult to pick out one shining star from this dinner. We also enjoyed a delicious tomato salad, perfectly cooked rainbow trout, delectable lamb, finished with the chocolate truffle souffle. The wine was excellently paired with each course, and our servers were exceptionally knowledgable about every aspect of our dinner. I highly recommend this restaurant to anyone in search of a delicious and unforgettable experience.

Tags: fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, notable wine list
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

I was there this past weekend for my bir ...

 
 (Miami)
·Dined on July 16, 2016

I was there this past weekend for my birthday and to say that this place was incredible is an understatement! It was an amazing dinner and I will definitely be going back there. Plus it helps that the staff was good looking.

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food5
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Our party of four was very happy with th ...

 
 (Columbus)
·Dined on July 14, 2016

Our party of four was very happy with the whole experience, because, as with any good restaurant, it was more than just eating out. Everyone of the staff that we met at Circa 1886 helped to make our wedding anniversary celebration one to remember.

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food5
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Food was excellent with some great surpr ...

 
 (South Carolina)
·Dined on July 14, 2016

Food was excellent with some great surprise offered by the chef. The only downside is that you don't expect in a restaurant like this one to receive the bill before you have done with your dinner. This is a "high standard" restaurant and you expect they waiter is asking first if you want anything else (in my case a coffee) before bringing to you the bill.

Tags: fit for foodies, romantic
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food5
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service4
value4

Had an amazing experience. The food was ...

 
 (Washington DC)
·Dined on July 12, 2016

Had an amazing experience. The food was incredible, the cocktails fantastic, and the service was great. Very relaxed atmosphere that made the fine dining experience fun. My husband had the antelope, and it really was as good as the servers tell you it is.

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food5
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The evening was pure magic. The location ...

 
 (South Carolina)
·Dined on July 11, 2016

The evening was pure magic. The location , the staff, and the food was superb. It was my birthday dinner and it was incredible special. It was also the evening I got engaged!

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food5
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service5

Absolutely amazing! This restaurant wou ...

 
 (South Carolina)
·Dined on July 11, 2016

Absolutely amazing! This restaurant would easily compare to high end places in New York or Paris but without being at all pretentious. Highly recommend!

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food5
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service5

Beautiful restaurant with a unique and g ...

 
 (South Carolina)
·Dined on July 10, 2016

Beautiful restaurant with a unique and great menu.

Tags: fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Poor parking if you pay more than $100 f ...

 
 (South Carolina)
·Dined on July 9, 2016

Poor parking if you pay more than $100 for food, the most expensive place in Charleston, ended up paying $170 for 2 persons.

Tags: romantic, special occasion
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food3
ambience5
service5
value2

I've been acquainting myself with Charle ...

 
 (South Carolina)
·Dined on July 9, 2016

I've been acquainting myself with Charleston restaurants for the past three years. Circa 1886 is the one I keep coming back to. It is, quite simply, wonderful. Good atmosphere, great service, and absolutely fantastic creative menus. The dishes I've had at c. 1886 usually have unusual/unexpected flavor combinations---that always work fantastically well together. It's an adventure eating there.

Tags: fit for foodies, special occasion
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food5
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One of the best dining experiences I've ...

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

One of the best dining experiences I've ever had! The food was phenomenal, the service was impeccable (Thanks for taking good care of us, Austin!) and the ambiance was perfect. I can't say enough about this restaurant. Of course I love a good meal, but I expect more. I expect the entire experience to be exactly that. An experience. And Circa 1886 does not disappoint. We were greeted immediately by the hostess and, because we were early, we were referred to the bar for drinks until our table was ready, which was shortly thereafter. The service we received from both, the hostess and the bartender was perfectly hospitable. Then our waiter, Austin, offered the perfect amount of small talk/polite socialization, menu suggestions and options for my youngest whose palate seriously limits his food choices. What impressed me the most though about the service was the flow of our waiter and each server assisting him throughout the evening to ensure optimal service was achieved. Everything was presented and served timely and everyone was always attentive to our needs, but also gave my family the space to enjoy our meal together without interrupting. The chef even sent out a few complementary tastings which is always a welcomed surprise! It made for such a nice and memorable evening.

Tags: fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, scenic view, neighborhood gem, hot spot, notable wine list
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food5
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We had the antelope and everything about ...

 
 (South Carolina)
·Dined on July 8, 2016

We had the antelope and everything about the meal was delicious! Our server was knowledgable and attentive. We had a wonderful experience!

Tags: fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

Absolutely fabulous......so glad we were ...

 
 (South Carolina)
·Dined on July 7, 2016

Absolutely fabulous......so glad we were able to have dinner here.

Tags: fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
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food5
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service5
value5

Best meal in Charleston! I've lived in t ...

 
 (South Carolina)
·Dined on July 7, 2016

Best meal in Charleston! I've lived in the area for 5 years but this was our first time at Circa 1886. After such an outstanding experience, this is our new go-to for special occasions. While a bit pricey, it's definitely worth it for the exceptional quality and flavor. Each and every course was outstanding, cooked to perfection, and immensely delicious. My husband and I split the Shrimp and Grits Ravioli appetizer which was such a creative take on a Lowcountry staple. I had the Chicken Fried Lobster which was incredible and my husband had the antelope. I finished with the Chocolate Truffle Soufflé and he had the Peach Ice Cream Sandwiches, both of which were delectable and so beautifully presented. The wine list is extensive and wonderful and the service thoughtful and attentive. I'll be recommending this to friends and family.

Tags: romantic, special occasion, notable wine list
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food5
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Everything from service to the "freebie" ...

 
·Dined on July 6, 2016

Everything from service to the "freebie"appetizers were beyond OUTSTANDING!!!

Each of our entrees & desserts were FABULOUS!

Kudos to Sean(our waiter)& the entire staff for their professionalism & attention to detail.

Tags: fit for foodies
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food5
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We make it a point to go to Circa whenev ...

 
 (South Carolina)
·Dined on July 6, 2016

We make it a point to go to Circa whenever we are in Charleston. The place is great, from ambiance to quality of food. It always has some unusual menu items worth trying. A truly great dining experience.

Tags: romantic, special occasion, notable wine list
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food5
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This is sort of top of the town dinning. ...

vip
 (Cincinnati)
·Dined on July 5, 2016

This is sort of top of the town dinning. Your going to drop some coin, but the every dish we have experienced was excellent. Did the 5 course with pairings. You won't be disappointed. Take a walk through the inn; a trip back in time.

Tags: fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, notable wine list
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food5
ambience5
service5
value3

One of the best restaurants in Charlesto ...

 
 (South Carolina)
·Dined on July 1, 2016

One of the best restaurants in Charleston. Great food, service and outstanding attention to detail. Very friendly atmosphere.

Tags: special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Hospitality and desert was probably the ...

 
 (South Carolina)
·Dined on July 1, 2016

Hospitality and desert was probably the best I've ever experienced. That being said, the food was only good vs. spectacular. Traditional dishes (like seafood ravioli) were done in a way to be different, or edgy. Sometimes, the best dishes are ones that are not overly complex, but instead, more direct, to the point, delicious as they are in their original state. In other words, the chef was trying too hard to make a statement vs. let the food speak for itself.

Tags: romantic, special occasion
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food4
ambience5
service5
value4

Server recommended the deviled egg for a ...

vip
 (Raleigh)
·Dined on July 1, 2016

Server recommended the deviled egg for appetizer; expensive ($12) for one egg and with other options, would chose something else. Beautiful setting next to bed and breakfast with professional staff. Menu is arranged for three course meal.

Fried lobster was unique dish, probably would have preferred it not fried, but dish was good. Deserts are a must and the chocolate soufflé was awesome.

Tags: romantic, special occasion
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food3
ambience4
service5
value2

Visiting Charleston as part of a tour of ...

 
 (Portland)
·Dined on July 1, 2016

Visiting Charleston as part of a tour of the south to visit relatives. Restaurant located in the carriage house of a large mansion in Charleston which now functions as a hotel. We were able to go to the widow's walk on top of the mansion for a superb view of Charleston before dinner. Dinner was very good. Service was attentive. Would recommend 1886 to others visiting Charleston.

Tags: romantic, special occasion
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food5
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service4
value4

Circa 1886 was a delightful experience s ...

vip
 (Washington DC)
·Dined on July 1, 2016

Circa 1886 was a delightful experience starting from its convivial and highly capable bartender (his Outta Not cocktail is excellent) and extending to the excellent wait staff. The food preparation was on point. I had the chef's signature antelope steak which was perfect in every way-- tender, flavorful and medium rare as I had requested. The chicken fried lobster was interesting and well-prepared. The "shrimp and grits" ravioli appetizer almost stole the show. The foie gras duet was ok, but not worth $22. We shared the sweet and spicy corn cake for dessert and we're pleased that it was moist and flavorful.

For those who want ambiance that is intimate and want to actually converse, Circa is both well appointed and has low sound levels. It is located in a carriage house of a former mansion giving it a distinctive historical flair.

Overall 1886 was a great dining experience and we look forward to returning. (One suggestion is to bring aight jacket or wrap as my guest found it to be a bit chilly.)

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food5
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Great restaurant for a romantic date nig ...

 
 (Washington DC)
·Dined on June 30, 2016

Great restaurant for a romantic date night. I recommend it for couples and friends.

Tags: romantic, special occasion, hot spot, notable wine list
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food5
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service5
value5

The food was average they had only 5 spe ...

vip
 (Orlando)
·Dined on June 30, 2016

The food was average they had only 5 specialty coctails and they were not good at all. I tried 3 out of five and only could drink one. The chef needs to do better as this place is way over rated as I am a foodie and eat at places all around the world and found this was way overstep. They also need to invest in a good bartender that has love for what they put out.

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food2
ambience4
service4
value2

We celebrated a 50th anniversary at Circ ...

 
 (South Carolina)
·Dined on June 28, 2016

We celebrated a 50th anniversary at Circa 1886 and couldn't have been more pleased with this restaurant. They gave us a beautiful, private room for our party of 10, which made this special occasion even more memorable. The service and food were both outstanding. I would highly recommend Circa 1886 for any special occasion--you won't be disappointed!

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, notable wine list
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food4
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One of the best meals we've ever had. Tr ...

 
 (Raleigh)
·Dined on June 27, 2016

One of the best meals we've ever had. Truly a world class experience. Dishes were creative yet simple and delicious. I had antelope for the first time and it was prepared better than any steak I've ever had.

Tags: fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
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food5
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Amazing tasting menu experience. We did ...

vip
 (Tampa)
·Dined on June 27, 2016

Amazing tasting menu experience. We didn't want to know what was coming with each course and we weren't disappointed. Lobster bisque was wonderful. Chocolate soufflé was divine. We had a great evening.

Tags: fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot, notable wine list
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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

This was our second visit to Circa 1886, ...

 
 (Indiana)
·Dined on June 24, 2016

This was our second visit to Circa 1886, the previous one some 4-5 years ago. We were again seated in the middle of the room, this time in the back dining room. The seating arrangement led to a feeling like we were on display for all of the patrons seated against the walls. It was even difficult to have a conversation with my wife without feeling like everyone else was listening. The service was impeccable. On to the food. Certainly, the food is exceptional. However, when it is explained that the courses are portioned correctly for a 3-course meal, heed their words. My entrée was comical in portion. Neither of us remember the portions being so small during our last visit. Something changed in the last 4-years and, unfortunately, not for the better. Still a very nice place, but there are many other better values in fine dining in Charleston.

Tags: special occasion
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food4
ambience3
service5
value2

Husband and I had 1 night in Charleston ...

 
·Dined on June 23, 2016

Husband and I had 1 night in Charleston and wanted to try somewhere new. Had a very nice dinner. Fried chicken lobster and Lambchops and ended with Strawberry shortcake. Good service. Enjoyed the views from the Cupalo in the mansion.

Tags: romantic, special occasion
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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

Meal was delicious and service excellent ...

 
 (Philadelphia)
·Dined on June 22, 2016

Meal was delicious and service excellent. $12.00 FOR ONE AND 1/2 DEVIL EGG WAS A LITTLE TO MUCH.

Tags: special occasion, notable wine list
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food4
ambience5
service5
value4

The food and service are excellent. This ...

vip
 (New York Area)
·Dined on June 22, 2016

The food and service are excellent. This old and charming mansion in a cooking school makes for a memorable date experience.

Tags: fit for foodies, romantic
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Unpretentious elegance. Attentive but no ...

 
 (Washington DC)
·Dined on June 21, 2016

Unpretentious elegance. Attentive but not obtrusive. Food was excellent. Went for an anniversary dinner during our vacation and when back in Charleston it will be on the things to do list again. Worth every penny and every bite!

Tags: fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, notable wine list
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

The restaurant is located in the carriag ...

 
 (Richmond)
·Dined on June 21, 2016

The restaurant is located in the carriage house behind the hotel. Comfortable setting, bar drink specials at 5pm. We tried the tasting menu with wine flight. Fantastic food and wine pairings.

Tags: romantic, special occasion, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

Comfortable surroundings. Limited menu ...

 
 (South Carolina)
·Dined on June 20, 2016

Comfortable surroundings. Limited menu but dishes were elegantly presented and delicious. Entree portions were fit for a gourmand. Chef's gift tastings were unusual and delightful. Our server was knowledgeable, attentive and personable. Our only complaint is that we were seated adjacent to a group of four adult men who acted like teenagers with loud talk (incessant) and roaring laughter. Our quiet anniversary dinner experience was diminished by the din

Tags: romantic, special occasion, notable wine list
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food4
ambience4
service5
value4

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