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  • Circa 1886

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Circa 1886
Circa 1886

Circa 1886 Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.circa1886.com
  • Phone: (843) 853-7828
  • Hours of Operation: Dinner: Monday - Saturday: 5:30pm - 9:30pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
  • Cuisine: Southern
  • Executive Chef: Marc Collins
  • Dress Code: Business Casual
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: 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

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Smith
  • Parking: Private Lot
  • Parking Details: Off-street parking next to restaurant
A word from 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. Continued
Foodspotting photos
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Overall
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Ambiance
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Food
Diner Reviews
  • "I've been trying out the fine restaurants of Charleston, and Circa 1886 is definitely my favorite. I've dined there three times now, and it's always been perfect. I love the quiet atmosphere, good service, and excellent drinks. But what keeps me coming back is the food surprises. Every time, the menu has included food pairings that are unusual, sometimes even sound bizarre---but that are absolutely wonderful together. The place is a delight."
    Dined on 7/9/2014
  • "During our weekend stay in Charleston we went to FIG, Circa, and Husk - Circa was by far the best dining experience and had the best food. We did the tasting menu with wine pairings. The wine pairings were a little weak, but other than that, everything was wonderful. We will definitely be going back,"
    Dined on 7/5/2014
  • "As out-of-towners it can be difficult to find a great restaurant, although after done online research, we decided on Circa 1886 due to the "old charm" it seemed to offer. The restaurant was incredibly beautiful and clean. The food was absolutely wonderful, and our server Charles was great!"
    Dined on 7/8/2014
  • "Circa 1886 is a beautiful carriage house, serving an impeccable delicious and very well done menu, matched by a very knowledgeable and service oriented staff. I will come back to it every time in Charleston."
    Dined on 6/26/2014
  • "Had a lot of hype going into this and heard great things. Had a couple of glasses of wine and some apps and an entree at the bar. The poached egg appetizer was definitely over cooked. The Antelope was ok didn't really have much seasoning and was a bit over medium more towards medium well. The bartender didn't seem interested in working that evening or even offer us water when we ordered food til I said something to my company about us not having water with our meal. I'll probably go back and actually sit in the dinning room next time hoping it lives up to what i've been hearing."
    Dined on 2/26/2014
  • "Circa 1886 is a special place with good food but not great, my wife and I dined there last Thursday. We found the food inventive and tasty but a bit over the top in its presentation. Her dinner had far too much happening with a pesto sauce then a thyme emulsion atop the entree. I had the antelope and this was wonderful, our starters were good but the scallop sashimi was overpowered by the watermelon. We enjoyed our dinner there but would not return."
    Dined on 6/26/2014
  • "My wife and I were in town, and wanted to find a very nice dining experience in Charleston. We settled on Circa 1886, and booked a table a few days before heading into town. The ambiance and staff were great and extremely knowledgeable. The food was fantastic. The chef here does a fabulous job. The winelist, while not mind-blowing by any means, was solid. Highly recommend this place for any occasion!"
    Dined on 6/27/2014
  • "I've been to Charleston twice & made a point of coming here each time. Very inventive cuisine- chef is excellent. Great service, lovely atmosphere. Highly recommend. Excellent choice in an already foodie town."
    Dined on 6/27/2014
  • "We stayed next door at the inn and decided to walk over for dinner. Very nice experience with good food and service. Torched scallop, 3 bean salad, strawberry/cream soufflé were standouts for us. Chicken Fried Halibut was on the main course menu and I asked the chef if he could instead just sear the halibut and finish in the oven: no problem for him and fish arrived just the way I wanted it with his sides (probably 2000 less calaries!). While not my top pick in town, we would eat here again on our next trip."
    Dined on 6/25/2014
  • "We took our 23-year-old recent college graduate here for his birthday dinner. Even though he is young, he is an appreciator of great cusine, especially of locally grown foods. He notices and revels in small details, and Circa 1886 saw to the smallest of them. The food, the service, and the ambience were all of top quality, and our evening was perfect. We'll be back the next time we have a special occasion in Charleston. Thank you."
    Dined on 6/26/2014
  • "Really enjoyed the chicken fried fish. What a treat. The entire evening was most enjoyable. The service was excellent."
    Dined on 6/25/2014
  • "Very much enjoyed the food! Andrew was a very attentive and informed (he did his research) server. Made us feel very welcome. The pace was a bit slow but we were celebrating and did not mind really dining versus the usual Chucktown turn and burn. As a chef myself I really appreciated some of the ideas, the pork was cooked perfectly and the flavors were on point. Thanks for making a special day really great for us!"
    Dined on 6/25/2014
  • "Food is eccletic, fresh from the farm with beautiful presentations. It is the best food we have eaten in a long time. We wished we were staying in Charleston another evening."
    Dined on 6/23/2014
  • "My wife and I recently had dinner at Circa 1886 and the food was fantastic! The appetizers and entres were all incredibly creative and clearly the work of a very talented chef. My appetizer was shaved scallops on cubed watermelon with a delicious drizzle that made the dish come alive. The monkfish entre was perfectly cooked and served with a unique medley of beans and sauce. We were so excited to see what was next! The atmosphere was very quaint and great for a quiet romantic meal rather than a large group."
    Dined on 6/23/2014
  • "The most wonderful place we have ever been. The "Chef Meal" with wine pairing is the most magnificent, fun and delicious meal we have ever had. It is interesting and fun to see what the Chef will make and what wine will be paired with it . This was our third year at Circa 1886 and we intend on going again next year when we visit Charleston and stay at the Wentworth Mansion"
    Dined on 6/20/2014
  • "Circa 1886 turned out to be the perfect post-proposal romantic outing that capstoned an amazing and memorable night. The atmosphere was amazing, the wait staff and hostess were awesome, the flowers I ordered were set out perfectly, the food was delicious, and the setting was perfect. I highly recommend Circa 1886 for any romantic outing! I will certainly be back."
    Dined on 6/21/2014
  • "Amazing food. Unique menu. Best dessert we've ever had in a restaurant. Service was wonderful"
    Dined on 6/21/2014
  • "Great food, dessert was my favorite part :) cocktails were also great!!"
    Dined on 6/20/2014
  • "This Restursnt was outstanding! The chef knows his stuff. Absolutely fantastic dinner and full of flavor! A must go Resturant!"
    Dined on 6/19/2014
  • "Service great. We got the recommended scallop shavings over watermellon app. Was a little odd at first, but companion ingredients and sauce made it better. I give it a B, it was a new menu they said so maybe they need to tweak. I had antelope and it was very good and as described, not as strong as steak and sweeter, just wish dish had more. Three slices of 1/8 to 1/4 inches for $36? $12 a slice. Not sure, maybe antelope is expensive to source. If so, I like steak when I go out and so would have picked that over this probably if I would have received more to eat. Chocolate desert was over the top good, my kudos to pastry chef. My wife's dish of chicken fried halibut was outstanding, wish I had gotten that."
    Dined on 6/14/2014
  • "Being number 2 on Trip Advisor I was looking forward to the energy and music of a Halls Chophouse type of place. This place is very quiet and the very young hostess was assertive beyond her experience and set a bad tone right off by recommending we wait 45 minutes for our reserved table in the bar area rather than eat in the bar immediately. We chose to eat in the bar, as we were hungry and had the crab cakes and antelope. The antelope was nice the crab cakes were not bad however Charleston has many places that serve good food. Just expected more from number 2 on Trip Advisor."
    Dined on 6/14/2014
  • "We were there for our anniversary while visiting Charleston. Excellent choice fot a romantic delicious dinner. Extensive wine list at reasonable to high pricing. Excellent and knowledgeable staff. The pork chop was delicious. They gave us a complimentary desert in honor of our anniversary. Highly recommend"
    Dined on 6/14/2014
  • "The food when comparing to other Charleston restaurants is a bit pricey and the portions are pretty meager. We expected to share the crab Mac app and though it was delicious was only about 4 bites and for $12. My wife had the pork and I had the beef shoulder. Literally we had about 4 bites each. Presentation fabulous. My beef was undercooked even for medium rare. The service was very good and knowledgeable. The Mansion is a great place. We thought we would get a little more vibrant ambience but it was very 'old fashioned'."
    Dined on 6/7/2014
  • "I came here for dinner on vacation with my mom and mother-in-law. We wanted a nice dress-up dinner, and Circa was perfect. The service was amazing, food was delicious, and it was quiet without being empty (we also had a 5:30 reservation, so it was early for a Saturday.) We liked how the servers were knowledgeable and attentive without being overbearing. They also had great recommendations for the entrees and desserts."
    Dined on 5/31/2014
  • "Our latest meal at Circa was wonderful, but we managed to sneak a peek at the new menu that will be launching soon and we immediately made reservations to try it. Some old favorites, but many new and tasty-sounding dishes, especially the starters. The dessert we tried will be on the new menu and we highly recommend it - the Heirloom Cornbread. Salty, sweet, and a hint of spice - perfect."
    Dined on 6/11/2014
  • "Excellent food and good presentation. It was so quiet you could hear a pin drop. This was fine with us this particular night but some May want a more lively place. I could have used a few more choices on the menu."
    Dined on 6/10/2014
  • "Can't find a thing to fault with this perpetually wonderful restaurant!"
    Dined on 6/7/2014
  • "Circa is located on the grounds of the beautiful Wentworth mansion. The menu is meant to enjoyed as a three course meal and the portions are a perfect size for diners to do just that - so order all three. We started with the crab mac n cheese which was excellent, not too rich with the perfect amount of crab flavor. Our entrees were the pork tenderloin and the snapper - both were perfectly cooked and beautifully presented. The desserts were also perfect - blueberry lemon icebox pie and the croissant donuts. The icebox pie was actually one the best desserts I've ever ordered, a perfect tart & sweet finish to the meal. The service was impeccable. Circa is not to be missed."
    Dined on 6/3/2014
  • "Circa 1886 is located behind the Wentworth Mansion, in the old carriage house. The mansion is now a lovely inn. We arrived a little early for our reservation, so we enjoyed a drink at the bar. We were seated promptly, at a table by the window. We looked out on the grounds behind the inn. The menu, (available online), is quite eclectic: beef, pork, salmon, duck, flounder, antelope. We asked our server for suggestions and he was most helpful. Our meal began with the asparagus salad. We ordered the antelope and flounder for our entrees. Everything was perfectly prepared and presented. For dessert, we ordered the Cornbread dessert. Yes, I said cornbread! It was the most creative, beautiful, and delicious dessert ever! Trust me, it is a MUST! "
    Dined on 6/4/2014
  • "Food, service, atmosphere all exceptional. Something on the menu for everyone from the most adventurous to the picky eater. Our concierge recommended we go into the inn & to the rooftop where the views were fabulous & romantic"
    Dined on 5/31/2014
  • "We are locals, but had never visited Circa 1886. A friend went there several weeks ago and gave you "high marks" so we thought we would give it a try for our anniversary. We were quite pleased. I had the antelope, med rare, and I talked about it the next day. Our server was quite friendly and proficient. We look forward to returning, with friends."
    Dined on 6/3/2014
  • "We tried circa 1886 a couple of nights ago and loved it. The service was first class with an exceptionally friendly waiter. The highlight of the evening was my wife's Mac and cheese appetizer followed closely by my loin of antelope "
    Dined on 5/30/2014
  • "This dining experience was spectacular! I selected for our 40th wedding anniversary, and was not disappointed. Been around the world and dined in many top end restaurants--Circa 1886 is second to none!"
    Dined on 5/31/2014
  • "The meal was excellent. My husband was thrilled with the antelope. My dish was very good. The only disappointment was the dessert."
    Dined on 5/28/2014
  • "Quaint atmosphere - elegant yet less formal dining experience in the carriage house of the historic Wentworth Mansion. "
    Dined on 5/30/2014
  • "Don't go here if you're in a hurry. Fortunately, we were looking for a restaurant where we could linger. The kitchen takes its time with preparation and it shows. Salads were crisp and not overdressed. Antelope entree (their signature dish) was outstanding. Salmon was overcooked but the rest of the dish was delicious. Save room for dessert; they all sounded good. We had the fried angel food cake (quite good) and the blueberry/lemon cheesecake (to die for). Service was very good, if a little pretentious. Atmosphere is slightly formal. Ask for a booth if you want a romantic dinner. Outdoor dining looked very pretty though may be too hot and humid much of the year."
    Dined on 5/29/2014
  • "fine dining,presentation of dinner was lovely. food was delicious"
    Dined on 5/26/2014
  • "This is easily the best restaurant in Charleston. The food is wonderful, the staff outstanding, and atmosphere perfect. This was a special occasion and I don't think we could have made a better choice for a romantic dinner in the area. "
    Dined on 5/27/2014
  • "Fantastic food which is absolutely fit for both foodies and non foodies. The food is prepared and served to perfection in a traditionally elegant dinning room. Try the crab mac and cheese, the Carolina flounder and finish off with the caramel banana cake or if you like meat go with the muscovy duck breast and finish off with the croissant donuts. Definitely a must go to restaurant in Charleston!"
    Dined on 5/25/2014
  • "I had high expectations and was not disappointed. One of the very best"
    Dined on 5/24/2014