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

4.8

noise

Moderate

95% would recommend it to a friend

Loved For

Best Service
South Carolina
Best Ambiance
South Carolina
Romantic
South Carolina
12 More
Special Occasion
South Carolina
Southern
South Carolina
Best Overall
Charleston
Best Food
Charleston
Best Service
Charleston
Best Ambiance
Charleston
Best Value
Charleston
Fit for Foodies
Charleston
Notable Wine List
Charleston
Romantic
Charleston
Special Occasion
Charleston
Southern
Charleston
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special occasion (182)
romantic (179)
fit for foodies (150)
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notable wine list (110)
neighborhood gem (59)
good for groups (14)
great for outdoor dining (13)
scenic view (13)
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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Newest
1905 reviews
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food4
ambience3
service5
value2

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

Dined 5 days ago

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
food5
ambience4
service5
value4

Husband and I had 1 night in Charleston ...

Dined 5 days ago

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
food4
ambience5
service5
value4

Meal was delicious and service excellent ...

Dined 6 days ago

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
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

The food and service are excellent. This ...

vip
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
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Unpretentious elegance. Attentive but no ...

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
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

The restaurant is located in the carriag ...

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
food4
ambience4
service5
value4

Comfortable surroundings. Limited menu ...

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
food5
ambience5
service5

Fantastic the food is amazing the servic ...

Dined on June 19, 2016

Fantastic the food is amazing the service is amazing. Great atmosphere.

food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Phenomenal dining experience. To start, ...

Dined on June 18, 2016

Phenomenal dining experience. To start, one of the best mixologist I've come across in a while. Shrimp N Grits Ravioli - Black Truffle, Yellow Curry, Caramelized Bacon, and Caviar Deviled Eggs - Wild Boar - Chicken Fried Lobster - Pecan Pie Bread Pudding - Chocolate Truffle Souffle`. All done to perfection. Salute!!

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

This is a remarkable and elegant restaur ...

Dined on June 18, 2016

This is a remarkable and elegant restaurant, perfect to celebrate an anniversary or any special occasion. I wish there were more than five stars to rate the service, because I've never been treated better. Our server was gracious, amiable, and such a consummate professional. He greeted us with congratulations for our anniversary, helped us choose a wine, and offered suggestions for dining options. I felt catered to the entire evening. The food was varied, unique, and delicious. It was also served beautifully, with magnificent touches that made it almost too lovely to eat. They even wrote "Happy Anniversary" on our dessert plates. Overall, this is one of the finest dining experiences we have ever had, and I would recommend it highly.

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

Circa was not a "find" on our part, as y ...

Dined on June 17, 2016

Circa was not a "find" on our part, as you will read about it when doing any research on where to eat in Charleston. That said, the great reputation it has is well deserved. The service was great- hostess, waiter, and manager were all friendly and welcoming. I had antelope and my wife had fried lobster- both were terrific. The wine list, both by bottle and glass was really good. Put it on your list- you won't be disappointed.

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

Traveling to Charleston on a vacation, I ...

Dined on June 17, 2016

Traveling to Charleston on a vacation, I first checked out restaurants online. I saw the pictures, read reviews and checked out the menu for Circa 1886. I booked it on open table well in advance. I was more than pleasantly surprised. The night was a total success..the service, the ambiance, the food, that attention to detail were all excellent. I would recommend Circa 1886 to all and I cannot wait for my return trip to Charleston and to this wonderful restaurant.

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

This was the second time we have dined h ...

Dined on June 17, 2016

This was the second time we have dined here. The first time several years ago was with two other couples and we had a wonderful experience. This time was just my wife and myself and we had an equally wonderful experience. The food was excellent, as before, and the service was professional yet personal and attentive. The pacing of service was perfect, as we felt neither rushed nor neglected. A perfect setting for a romantic dinner.

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

This is the best overall meal I've ever ...

Dined on June 16, 2016

This is the best overall meal I've ever had! The extras the chef provides are delicious and the service is fantastic! A must when in Charleston!

food5
ambience5
service5
value5

The Best Food in Charleston The Best Am ...

Dined on June 15, 2016

The Best Food in Charleston The Best Ambiance The Best Server Celebrated our 25th Wedding Anniversary and just loved EVERYTHING about the whole experience:-))))) Thank You Chef Mark Collins! Thank You Server Austin!

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

Superb meal at Circa. All 7 of us agreed ...

Dined on June 15, 2016

Superb meal at Circa. All 7 of us agreed best meal in Charleston over the years of Visiting. Great service as well.

food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Outstanding! Fried lobster, antelope, l ...

Dined on June 14, 2016

Outstanding! Fried lobster, antelope, lamb chops no the chef's 5-course menu were loved by all!! The restaurant is historically beautiful!!

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

Food was very good. Service was wonderfu ...

Dined on June 13, 2016

Food was very good. Service was wonderful. Wine and cocktails great!

Tags: fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
food5
ambience4
service3
value5

The experience I had at Circa 1886 was m ...

Dined on June 11, 2016

The experience I had at Circa 1886 was mostly good. The food was FANTASTIC. I had the Lamb and my Wife had the Chicken fried Lobster. Both dishes were full of flavor and presented in a creative fashion. The negatives, our server lost interest in us when we did not order alcoholic beverages. Also In our reservation, the phone confirmation , and when we arrived I told the restaurant, We were there to celebrate a special birthday. I had expected A "HAPPY Birthday" on the desert plate as I had seen in photo's. But nothing was done to make it special. But the food was great, and that's really what you go for anyway.

Tags: special occasion
food5
ambience5
service5

Highly recommended the chef's tasting me ...

Dined on June 9, 2016

Highly recommended the chef's tasting meal with the wine pairing. A excellent balancing of wine and food.

food5
ambience4
service4
value5

Highly recommended!

Dined on June 8, 2016

My husband and I had a wonderful dinner date at Circa 1886. The food was delicious and beautifully presented. We had questions about an appropriate wine selection to share (our entrees were salmon and antelope). The sommelier came and spoke with us and helped us make a choice. We felt very comfortable and we were treated very nicely - the atmosphere is somewhat formal but not stuffy - the staff are friendly and very accommodating. We would love to dine here again the next time we visit Charleston :)

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

I chose the place after seeing pecan pie ...

Dined on June 8, 2016

I chose the place after seeing pecan pie bread pudding on the menu. It did not disappoint. The chicken fried lobster was wonderful. The waiter also brought us a taste of a couple of items compliments of the chef. The waiter also called very reasonable transportation for a short ride back to our hotel-too short for a cab. The peninsula of Charleston is very walkable but the restaurant is in a residential neighborhood with older sidewalks that were not easy for my dinner companion to maneuver on foot.

food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Great restaurant - beautiful view - great service.

Dined on June 8, 2016

Everything about this place was great and we had a wonderful evening there. We really loved the ambiance, food and especially our waiter Charlie - best waiter we ever had. We will be back!

Tags: romantic, special occasion, scenic view, notable wine list
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Excellent in every category

Dined on June 6, 2016

One of the best meals we have experienced. We eat out a lot in downtown Charleston at mostly high-end restaurants and can, without hesitation, rank this one at, or near, the top of the list. It is quiet, unlike another favorite - Hall's Chophouse, the service was outstanding and the food was very well prepared and presented. My wife had the chicken fried lobster and I had braised wild boar. Simply superb! We will be returning.

Tags: fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, notable wine list
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

Circa is a gem

vip
Dined on June 3, 2016

This is one of the best restaurants in the city; definitely in our top 5. Made to order drinks are outstanding, the food is excellent and the service is some of the best in the city. Anyone visiting should try it as you will get a good picture of the outstanding restaurant scene in Charleston. Forgot to mention, the deserts selection is beyond compare.

Tags: romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
food2
ambience4
service4
value2

Good atmosphere bad food

Dined on June 3, 2016

If you're looking to find a romantic dining experience and that's it then this is the place to go. However the food itself is a miss. For appetizers we got the deconstructed shrimp and grits ravioli. These were good. Howeve, for the entrees we got the lamb and salmon. Our dishes did not suite our tastes. Elements of the dishes were underseasoned. My lamb was served cold. Our dessert was the pluff mudpie which turned out pretty decent. It was good to try this place once however I am not coming back and would not recommend coming here unless you are trying to impress a date with the romantic setting (and the hefty bill).

Tags: romantic
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

cirica 1886

vip
Dined on June 2, 2016

Great dishes, wait staff, and dinning environment . Truly a memorable dinning experience.

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

As per usual, fantastic experience. Brou ...

Dined on May 31, 2016

As per usual, fantastic experience. Brought my cousin while she was in town visiting, and she's fallen in love with you guys too. Our server was knowledgeable and attentive as well.

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, scenic view, neighborhood gem, hot spot, notable wine list
food4
ambience4
service5
value4

Circa 1886 wins

Dined on May 31, 2016

if this place is not on your list, add it, if it is not in your top five, change the way you are grading

Tags: fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, notable wine list
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

Memorable anniversary

Dined on May 30, 2016

Circa 1886 is a tremendous restaurant with exquisite food quality, original offerings, superb service and a beautiful setting. It feels like you're dining in somebody's private home. The staff is very friendly and accommodating . We celebrated our wedding anniversary here and it was a fabulous meal. In addition to the traditional southern entrées they were unusual things such as antelope and boar. We are both good and free but Raible to have a fabulous cheese plate for dessert and excellent gluten-free rolls were offered

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

Always A First Thought For Us In Charleston!

Dined on May 30, 2016

Been here several times and never disappoints. Firstly the ambience. It sits behind a large historic hotel, in a quiet part of the neighborhood and in fact, the restaurant was once the carriage house/livery/stable even if big enough to be a small home. There are lovely crepe myrtles in a walled garden feeling setting so if you wish to eat on the patio while the lamps are burning, it truly feels old world. Inside there are these "apse" dining booths which if one has a party of say 4 or more, positively intimate and festive. We find ourselves eating on the patio every time though just for the above mentioned. This time the maitre'd was kind enough to set up an entire table for us out there and light all of the lamps, and wish I could recollect his name as he's always on point and an extremely gracious host. He might be the GM but not entirely sure. I would term the food as "high end" but more true invention than pretentious or "fashionable." High points for creative and abundance of flavor. Its also a 3 course place and as the desserts are made to order, you want to know what you're having early and trust me, you will want dessert! My date had a steak that was Kobe like, but we feasted too fast to even ask! One of the best steaks ever. We had the appetizers of various delicacy eggs, and one was a wasabi that was delish and of the three, my favorite was the deviled egg with caviar. Incredible. We also did the shrimp and grits their style and packed with flavor. I chose the chicken fried lobster and yes, you read that right and it came with I believe pickled cauliflower on some bed of grits and really was quite amazing even if not my usual direction but glad I jumped for it with no regrets! Desserts. We shared both a chocolate souffle which came out piping hot with a side of chocolate and a homemade raspberry gelato (?) with some mint leaves and the flavors knocked us down! The other was a chocolate truffle something or the other with lots of goodies on the plate!

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, scenic view, notable wine list
food4
ambience5
service5

Wonderful ambiance. Excellent service.

Dined on May 29, 2016

Wonderful ambiance. Excellent service.

food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Romantic Charleston

Dined on May 28, 2016

Circa 1886 provides an enchanted evening. A most elegant restaurant and one of Charleston's best. Wonderful ambience and personal sevice. The good is creative and delicious prepared in innovative fashion with flavors that wow you. And heavenly desserts to end the evening. We have made this an annual event when visiting Charleston from Boston.

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

We dine at Circa for special occasions s ...

Dined on May 25, 2016

We dine at Circa for special occasions such as a visit from a life long friend. We almost always order the Chef's Tasting menu and have never been disappointed. This dinner was no exception and included two dishes with lobster that were outstanding. We had a lobster risotto as well as chicken fried lobster which were not only creative but delicious. We have requested Randy as our Server the last few visits as he makes the experience all the more memorable with his attentive service and outgoing personality. Highly recommend this venue!

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

Charleston has A LOT of really good rest ...

vip
Dined on May 25, 2016

Charleston has A LOT of really good restaurants, but Circa 1886 is right at the top of the list. We sampled some of Charleston's best and this was our favorite. The food was spectacular, the wine was great, and the service impeccable. The restaurant is on the grounds of a grand mansion, which is also pretty cool. This was also our priciest dinner in Charleston . . . But worth it!!

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

Excellent service and food, a little pri ...

Dined on May 24, 2016

Excellent service and food, a little pricey but very enjoyable.

Tags: fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, notable wine list
food4
ambience4
service5
value3

Bread pudding desert was out of this wor ...

Dined on May 24, 2016

Bread pudding desert was out of this world.small portion meals but great. Ryan our waiter was excellent and took the time to explain the specials and other items on menu

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

A superb restaurant serving wonderful fo ...

vip
Dined on May 24, 2016

A superb restaurant serving wonderful food. A very extensive wine list and excellent service. We don't live in South Carolina but we plan to be back to Circa 1886.

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

Our waiter was very knowledgeable in reg ...

Dined on May 21, 2016

Our waiter was very knowledgeable in regards to the menu and the Charleston events and things to do. The Chicken Fried Lobster was unlike anything I have ever had before and as a frequent diner to fine dining restaurants the atmosphere definitely unique. The walk through the Wentworth Mansion sets the tone for a special occasion or celebration and really does take you back to 1886. I would definitely come back the next time I am in town.

Tags: romantic, special occasion
food1
ambience4
service5

Neither my husband or I enjoyed our meal ...

vip
Dined on May 20, 2016

Neither my husband or I enjoyed our meals. The food was grossly under seasoned. Is the chef deciding to cook his food in what he considers a "healthy" way, and not using salt? And there was no salt or pepper on the table. If you can't cook salmon, should you call yourself a chef?

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