Nearby points of interest
Nearby points of interest
About Circa 1922
Circa 1922 is home to tapas-style dining and wine bar in historic downtown Wilmington. Regionally-themed sharing platters are a popular new addition to the menu allowing guests to sample several tapas offerings. A 12-bottle custom cruvinet keeps our wines by the glass consistently fresh and true to taste or choose from an eclectic international selection of wines by the bottle. After-work tapas specials, weekly sushi specials and a 3-course prix Fixe menu make Circa 1922 a popular downtown destination.
Wilmington, NC 28401
Tapas / Small Plates, International
Hours of Operation:
Dinner: Sunday - Thursday: 5:00pm - 10:00pm, Friday & Saturday: 5:00pm - 11:00pm
$30 and under
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
Live jazz piano standards Friday & Saturday evenings from 8:00pm - 11:00pm
Market Street parking deck located directly behind Circa 1922. First hour is free, $1 for each additional hour. Special rates for weekday evenings. $5 after 9:00pm on weekends. On-street parking is free after 6:30pm and all day on Sundays.
Private Party Facilities:
Semi-private upstairs dining room accommodates up to 65 guests. May be utilized for either hors d'oeuvres receptions or sit-down dinners. Private parties are offered a 4-course limited menu. Customized menus are also available.
Private Party Contact:
Greg Lightcap: (910) 762-1922
Banquet, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Entertainment, Farm to Table, Full Bar, Indoor Smoking Area, Private Room, Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine
Circa 1922 Ratings and Reviews
I think I was in a more casual mood the day I ate here, and I was left feeling out of place. Circa 1922 is nicer than the surrounding eating establishments, which is fine, just keep in mind when considering it. Very nice decor and great menu options. I had a delicious cocktail along with the surf n turf sushi roll.
Loved the old building atmosphere and 1920's feel. We were seated in the raised area at the back where the ceiling is not as high and heavy drapes (pulled back) separate it from the main floor, and I think that lent a more intimate and definitely quieter ambience. The food was terrific, the wait staff excellent, live piano music - jazz standards - the Saturday night we were there.
It was a Saturday night, sat downstairs. Noise level was high, combination of people and piano music. Waiter was great. Two ordered the halibut special, one ordered the filet and the third in our party ordered Shrimp and Grits. When the food was delivered we all looked at each other and laughed, large plates with very small portions. It reminded us of the ad on the TV. Price was too high, will probably move on and try other downtown restaurants.
We arrived for our reservation and were seated promptly. The place was busy and very noisy and there was a piano player which was unnecessary with it being so busy as it just added to the noise and made it harder to hear my wife. The waiter came over and filled water glasses. My wife asked about ginger ale. The waiter said they did have ginger ale but seemed offended that she wanted something other then alcohol. Considering that she's pregnant that wouldn't exactly be responsible. He brings the ginger ale and we ordered escargot to start. He went to put that in and said he'd bring bread. Some time passes and the escargot comes out. No bread. We ate the escargot, part of which was gritty, and again he said he would bring bread. Several more minutes pass and he returns with bread and stays long enough for our entree order. My wife ordered through lobster gnocchi and I ordered the filet. Quite some time passes with our waiter promising twice that it was coming right out. It finally comes and is lukewarm. The filet as tender but dry. The beans on my wife's dish were undercooked and the lobster was overcooked and rubbery. I ate a piece myself. Once that course was cleared we ordered the chocolate cake for dessert. The menu described it as colossal and it was a huge piece of cake. The taste was good but with no ice cream or sauce of any kind it started to choke you. Overall the service as rather slow and the food was average with the chewy lobster being the biggest let down. The portion sizes are small on everything except the cake. Escargot $12, lobster gnocchi $20, filet $24, cake $10. Ironically the cheapest item was the biggest portion. They were busy but over 2hrs for two people to get three courses, two of which were shared, is definitely slow. I'd rather go back to favorites like Roko and RX.
The waiters are very knowledgable, and will work with sensitivities and allergies. My wife is Gluten intolerant and the Chef/Waiter altered her dish to match her needs. Very kind.
The food is exceptionally well composed without being snooty. The portions are reasonable for the price and quality level. The building is a 100 year old bank, and the restaurant has kept much of the architectural detail of its predecessor. Including safe doors.
The mood is romantic and subtle. The dress attire is casual to upscale. No need for a jacket though. Not really a great place for kids, and to be honest loud and unruly kids will ruin the night for a lot of people. We dropped our 2 kids off at Giggles (15 minutes away) for 2 hours for $36. Well worth the added expense and courteous to those trying to enjoy their night out.
We have had the Mussels, Beef Pinchos, and California Roll for appetizers. The cornmeal grouper special was amazing, the duck melted on your tongue, the Paella was fresh and deliciously rich, and the shrimp and grits was as french southern (Andouille sausage instead of Tasso ham) as you can get. I have only had it once better, and that was in New Orleans. Even this rendition would be equal with the addition of a bit more heat (spice). The Creme Brulee is fantastic and the full size is easily the perfect end to the dining experience for 2, or 1 really hungry person (they have a mini size).
The drinks are original, but probably the only knock on the experience. They were weak of both flavor and alcohol (Rum Runner and Lavender Martini). That being said, my Knob Creek was served generously.
I easily give this establishment 5 stars. We have been there on 2 occasions, and never have I left without a smile on my face, a pleasantly full belly, and a happy pallet. We live 2 hours away and will make every effort to eat there as much as we can.
Circa 1922 is one of our favorite spots for dinner before a show @ Thalian Hall or Cape Fear Stage. The atmosphere is just right, and there's something on the menu for just about everyone. Only drawback this time was that both the duck confit and flounder special were quite salty. But we love the place and wiill surely return.
Reservation was for 7:30 and we waited until 8:00 to finally get our table. Would have gone elsewhere but it was a Saturday night with at least an hour wait everywhere. Food was just okay, nothing special and definitely not worth what we paid for it. Will not be going back that is for sure.
Circa 1922 is one of our favorite places to eat in Wilmington and our last meal there was the perfect example of why. From the first course to the dessert and the cocktails in between we enjoyed a truly excellent meal with fabulous service that made our Valentine's Day dinner just perfect! We especially enjoyed the pickled shrimp, the smoked trout salad and the Potato Gnocchi, thanks for a wonderful evening!
We went for Valentine's Day and were expecting a nice meal. We were told the day of our reservation that there was a limited "chef's menu". Our table was crammed into what I consider an aisle and right in front of the main entrance. The wait staff were constantly bumping into my wife while trying to service the table behind her.
Our lobster bisque was cool. My wife's filet was supposed to be medium well, came out bright red in the center. By the time it was prepared properly, my dinner was finished.
Our waiter was apologetic and the assistant manager came over after I asked for her, she apologized but didn't do much else.
Paid $189 including tip for a Valentine's dinner that my wife and I watched each other eat separately.
Disappointed. Been here before and loved the place. This time we came back to celebrate our anniversary and my wife was extremely excited that Duck Confit was on the menu. Unfortunately it was some of the driest confit I have ever experienced. As a chef and restaurant owner, it was frustrating. However, we all have off nights. Hopefully this was just one of those for Circa 1922. Lighting could be turned up just a bit - We and another couple sitting near us were using our phone flashlights to read the menu. Both groups of us are a bit older than many that were there. But very difficult to enjoy if you can't read what is being offered. HOWEVER, our server was fantastic. Great personality and very professional.
The decor and pianist are wonderful and a fantastic welcome into the restaurant. The kitchen seemed a little slow when we were there on a Saturday night at 8pm. If this is typical, plan to spend at least 2.5 hrs there. The tapas and entrees were tasty, but the colossal creme brûlée was a disappointment. (If you're going to have dessert, go for the bananas foster!)
Four of us shared eight tapas. (We probably could have eaten a little more, but were going to a dessert wine tasting after, so didn't want to eat too much.) They were all delicious, as were the drinks. Fried calamari with a wasabi/sweet sauce and escargot in Pernod cream were the highlights for me. Our server was excellent and we thoroughly enjoyed our evening.
This was our first time dining at Circa. Drinks were well made and wine selection was decent. My husband and I both started with the wedge salad which was wonderful--one of the best I've ever had. I had the beef cheeks with barley and puffed barley; the contrast in textures was really interesting and the beef cheeks were delicious and succulent. Husband is not around to get his input, but he enjoyed his dinner and said he would go back.
Six of us enjoyed dinner together before an evening at the Wilmington Jazz Festival. Food, drinks and service were excellent. Wanting a light meal, I ordered the beet salad and the lobster and avocado (chilled) tapas plate. Fresh, light, perfectly seasoned- and gorgeous, they were. All 3 men in our party ordered the Eggplant, and finished every bite. We enjoy dinner at Circa 1922 each time we are in Historic Wilmington, and I think we will do so forever! Keep doing things as you are, Circa 1922- it makes your customers happy.
Price Fix Menu was a great deal, salad,entrees and perfect sized dessert. There were a variety of entrees to choose from for $24. Wednesday was half price bottles of wine made it an even better deal. Service was outstanding and timing on each course was perfect. It was a little conversationally challenged and rather dark. All of us at the table had to use our flashlights on our phones to read the menu. Food was tasty and well seasoned and perfect temp. when arriving at the table.
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