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
The food was good, but not up to the quality of previous visits. Portions were smaller and prices higher. The room was so dark that it was difficult to read the menu. The waitress was not very attentive. My husband says that he has had better shrimp and grits for less money at a local restaurant, and we do not live near the ocean. My salmon was very good, but the sauce under it was tasteless and the vegetable underdone.
Food selection was outstanding as was the service. The Charcuterie selections were great. Our entrees were nicely prepared and very flavorful. The food presentation was also very nicely done. The large platter creme brûlée was spectacular. Have not been able to find this large thin layered creme brûlée anywhere else in all our travels. This was the reason for driving to and staying in Wilmington.
We've been disappointed in the quality of food and snarky aloofness of servers the last few times we have dined at Circa. A couple of folks in our party were frustrated that a restaurant of the purported caliber of Circa 1922 offers "milk" as opposed to cream or half-n-half for their coffee. One additional comment about serving coffee: perhaps it is considered "high brow" to pour coffee from a height of 18" or more, but it is disconcerting to many customers due to concern of splattering. Maybe we were overly cautious since the server had spilled water while filling our water glasses at the beginning of the evening. We wouldn't object to the prices if the food quality and service were improved. At the level of each of them at this point, we feel that the restaurant is overpriced.
Overall, a quite nice family dinner. We had several tapas and a cheese platter, all of which were well received by adults and teenagers alike. The ambiance in the two-story restaurant née bank is quite comfortable though the music was a bit loud for a short while. Very good location near Wilmington center and waterfront.
Attendance at your restaurant was due to a girl's get-away weekend and I must say your establishment was charming in its ambience with fabulous wine, Smith Madrone Cabernet, and delicious food. Our waiter Bill was the best as he was so helpful and accommodating with a marvelous sense of humor. He's a definite keeper! If there would be one suggestion I would make, it would be to have a Jazz pianist. The piano music being played on Saturday evening was too much of a snooze, and if you want to attract even more individuals , try jazz.
I love this restaurant! Every time I come to Wilmington it is a must stop for dining on my list! I had my rehearsal dinner at Circa back in 2014 and my friends and family keep wanting to come back!
My recent visit was with co-workers that had never been before. They enjoyed the cocktails, appetizers, entrees , and desserts that they ordered. They all told me that they understand why it's a must stop when I'm in Wilmington and now they will add it to their list too!
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.
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