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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
  • Email: circa1886@charminginns.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
  • "We were here for our honeymoon and it was PERFECT! The food blew us away. The staff were very attentive, but at the same time they left us alone. The portions were generous and creative. My husband had the antelope and I had the artichoke and beans. A must visit for anyone in town, and we will be back upon our return to the city!!!!"
    Dined on 4/10/2014
  • "Wonderful restaurant to dine at for our last evening in Charleston with great friends. Excellent service, food and ambiance. Nice wine list, cocktail selection and desserts. The doughnuts were terrific. Will go again!"
    Dined on 4/12/2014
  • "The service and ambience is top shelf. We enjoyed every aspect of our meal...."
    Dined on 4/12/2014
  • "We had a table of 5 people all ordering different items, everything was delicious! I had the antelope, which was new to me. Very good, cooked beautifully and exactly how the waiter described... much like beef, slightly sweeter, not gamey. One of our diners has celiacs and most items on the menu were already gluten free and they would have accomodated as necessary in other areas."
    Dined on 4/9/2014
  • "This was a great dining experience for me and my wife and the cost was $200 with a nice bottle of Cabernet. The owner hasa 45 dollar fixed price for appetizer entree and dessert. We thoroughly enjoyed the meal.... Especially the antelope and the cheeses one of us chose as a dessert. The blue cheese was pleasantly salty a bit and it is from Vermont. I can't remember the name. All the cheeses were great and the crackers and fruits and acid and sweet sides made for a great finish with our wine."
    Dined on 4/11/2014
  • "We dined here to celebrate my daughters pregnancy with her husband. The food was delicious and inventive. We all felt the menu was diverse enough that everyone could find something. The service is impecable! The feeling is that you are a special guest in a relaxing and upscale environment. We really enjoyed the evening."
    Dined on 4/10/2014
  • "Classic setting in carriage house of huge adjacent mansion B&B. formal setting with fast efficient service, food however is fully up to date. wonderful asparagus salad. we had excellent fish entrees - flounder and salmon. i especially liked the seaweed salad under sushi rice for my sake marinated salmon. my wife loved her donut inspired dessert."
    Dined on 4/9/2014
  • "Celebrated our anniversary @ the Wentworth Mansion's carriage house in a romantic booth. Circa is elegant & charming with very professional waitstaff & service but not stuffy. Fois gras w/ tiny linger torte made us Californians very happy with antelope & filet in between perfect chocolate soufflé made this our favorite Charleston experience. Amiable waiter Jason also guided us to a wonderful lunch spot in town @ Cru (on the corner of Motley:) just a small house with hard working young people & fresh delicious food - reservations necessary!"
    Dined on 4/9/2014
  • "The staff was very attentive and the food was great, great way to spend our last night in Charleston, thank you"
    Dined on 4/7/2014
  • "prepared and the taste was beyond our expectations. Overall a most memorable dining experience for my wife's birthday dinner."
    Dined on 4/3/2014
  • "Whenever my wife and I come to Charleston, we always go to Circa for at least one meal. We have yet to find food better or more innovative anywhere in the city. The chef is a master of his craft. If you had told me before sitting down I would love the honeydew seaweed salad with my salmon, I would have laughed your face. It was incredible. He perfectly mixes an incredible array of flavors and then adds hard/soft and hot/cold contrasts. It is very impressive. The waitstaff is also excellent. They can answer any questions about the menu. They explain how your dish is prepared and are very attentive without being burdensome. In short, Circa, to me, is the must do restaurant in Charleston and sets itself apart by a wide margin."
    Dined on 4/5/2014
  • "Charming location, walkable from our hotel off King Street. Gracious welcome. Quiet seating area. Exemplary service. And the food was so exquisite that my typically reserved dining partner interrupted the flow of conversation at regular intervals to exclaim over the exacting preparation of each dish. This meal is already a classic treasured shared memory. Thank you!"
    Dined on 4/5/2014
  • "Circa 1886 will not disappoint. Consider making a reservation to secure your opportunity for a memorable dining experience. The menu and chef's selections are fabulous!"
    Dined on 4/2/2014
  • "My first time at Circa 1886 but it surely will not be my last. The service was excellent as was the food. We were not rushed through dinner which enabled us to enjoy the food, wine, and the beautiful surroundings."
    Dined on 4/5/2014
  • "Sometimes you find a restaurant where there is a a great chef and excellent food, but the service regimen hasn't kept up with the cuisine. Circa 1886 is that sort of place. Beautiful room behind the Wentworth Mansion. Very good food. I had an asparagus salad that was almost perfect with the spears just slightly cooked. I had antelope for my main course and it was excellent. My wife had equally good luck with her picks. The problem was the service. Not surly or unpleasant just poorly trained. We waited some time at the front before anyone arrived to greet us. The waiter was friendly but didn't know much about the food or about the wine. Numerous miscues detracted from fine food."
    Dined on 4/2/2014
  • "From the time we were seated until we left, our experience was positive. The waiter was attentive without being obtrusive and the food fabulous. The Zinfandel that the waiter recommended to go with the duck was the perfect compliment. The flounder was perfectly prepared. This is definitely a restaurant to repeat when we are in Charleston."
    Dined on 4/2/2014
  • "Circa 1886 was a great choice for my husband and me to celebrate his birthday. We highly recommend Circa 1886."
    Dined on 4/1/2014
  • "The recommendation didn't lie. Great place with wonderful food."
    Dined on 4/1/2014
  • "I travel for a living and have dined in all the great cities in the US. This was the best dining experience "Evah"! We splurged on the Chef's Tasting Menu with wine pairings and were not disappointed. Every course was superb in presentation, every combination of favors was intelligent and fresh, each course was refreshingly innovative, and the wine pairings were delightful. Our waiter, Jason, was warm, informative, non-intrusive, and fun! An unforgettable dining experience in all the right ways."
    Dined on 3/28/2014
  • "Good dinner but not fantastic. Atmosphere was a little stuffy for my tast."
    Dined on 3/29/2014
  • "We had reservations for 8:30 which was the only time available thru Open table. We were already in the neighborhood and went in at 6:15. The place was empty, but we were turned away. We returned at 8:30 and there was no problem."
    Dined on 3/28/2014
  • "My wife and I were in Charleston for our 5 year anniversary and booked Circa 1886 for our first night out. I had mentioned in my reservation request that this was our anniversary trip and we were met at the door with a smile and a congratulations. After a very brief wait for a table, we were escorted to a romantic booth and proceeded to enjoy a truly wonderful meal. We had the assistance of a knowledgeable staff to assist with the wine pairing as well as to provide guidance and suggestions for our stay in the historic city. I give the restaurant full marks for food, especially for the price-for-quality realm (high end food at mid-high price), and service. Superb way to start a romantic weekend!"
    Dined on 3/26/2014
  • "Best good of three nights in Charleston! Beautiful, romantic, would definitely go again! Pastries were the highlight! We took a bike taxi from the hotel and it was delightful! A must try while in Charleston!"
    Dined on 3/29/2014
  • "Our second trip to Charleston and Circa 1886. Service remained exceptional. Appetizer's and entrées arrived hot, exploding with flavors and pairing tremendously well with the wines selected. The antelope and beef tenderloin were fabulous. Try the Chateau with them, a true gem. The rabbit confit, pork tenderloin and Carolina flounder were equally delicious. As for appetizer's, the gas house egg proved an excellent experience. The foie gras, seared to perfection with cross cuts, surpassed that served in Pro chocolate soufle stole the show (the grenache a dessert in itselfi), impressing everyone at our table. The surpirse dessert was the croissant donuts, which melted in your mouth. Toast first withPerrier- Jouet Rose, a rare find."
    Dined on 3/28/2014
  • "What can I say beyond that this was arguably the best dining experience of my life. Great value, great food and great fun!"
    Dined on 3/24/2014
  • "This Charleston restaurant has classic southern charm. Everything about the dining experience was superb. Friendly, knowledgable staff, great customer service, and excellent food. It has wonderful ambiance and soothing music. One of the best dining experiences I have had in the US and/or Europe."
    Dined on 3/22/2014
  • "We found Circa 1886 online, and luckily was able to make reservations via open table. The restaurant was beautiful and tucked away from the hustle and bustle of the main section, but not so far away that it was tiresome to get to. the food was amazing, with good portion sizes. The butter they served with the rolls was surprisingly delicious. They recommend ordering desert when you order your meal, and it was totally worth it! Really recommended if you are looking for a romantic night out."
    Dined on 3/15/2014
  • "We chose to celebrate our daughter's 18th birthday at Circa 1886 & we weren't disappointed. This was our 2nd time dining at this lovely restaurant & it delighted us again. The spring asparagus salad was bright & fresh. My husband's pecan-crusted flounder was perfectly cooked. My duck breast was excellent. Our daughter's beef was so tender & serving it over grits was a lovely change. For dessert we shared the heavenly chocolate soufflé. Every aspect of the meal was well-executed from the young waiter who provided us w/ the warm, feathery rice rolls w/ citrus butter to the waiter who carefully cleared the table. Our server, Jason, was a consummate pro who was familiar with the menu & added his charming personality to a wonderful meal."
    Dined on 3/21/2014
  • "We had and excellent dinner and the dessert was delicious too.i loved the atmosphere and loved the old fashioned back ground music (which I wish was a tad bit louder). Loved it !!!"
    Dined on 3/21/2014
  • "Service was excellent, food was very good - the ambience wasn't as good as i expected."
    Dined on 3/21/2014
  • "Variety of creative and delicious entries including an outstanding vegetarian dish that was not pasta dominated. Highly recommend."
    Dined on 3/19/2014
  • "My wife and I visited Circa for our anniversary and the dinner was everything I had hoped it would be. The food was fabulous. Everything was prepared perfectly, the service was outstanding. I would recommend this restaurant to everyone who wants to spend a romantic evening out."
    Dined on 3/15/2014
  • "The restaurant is located next to the Wentworth Mansion. It is a very quiet and out of the way place. The service was outstanding with our server explaining the menu in detail. All of her advice was spot on. They work as a team so that someone is always refilling beverages or offering to bring another cocktail. The food was simply awesome starting with a squash soup compliments of the chef. We enjoyed an asparagus salad and crab mac & cheese appetizers followed by the Broken Arrow Antelope entree. Our server was absolutely right on with her recommendation and it was very flavorful. Dessert was the Bittersweet Chocolate Souffle which was awesome. We enjoyed a wonderful meal at a very comfortable pace with simply excellent service."
    Dined on 3/15/2014
  • "Circa 1886 was a perfect place to celebrate my mother's 80th birthday. The food is adventurous, locally grown, and delicious. We loved the chef's surprise appetizer, too."
    Dined on 3/10/2014
  • "Went with a group of friends--4 couples. We were seated at a large table in a room by ourselves! Very quiet, intimate. Win was outstanding. Great selection. My food was wonderful-- gave it 4 stars because my husband said it was a little too unusual and portions too small (I did not agree). Desserts awesome. Do not skip dessert."
    Dined on 3/15/2014
  • "Very good service and nice ambiance. Met expectation as it should for high end restaurant but nothing mind blowing."
    Dined on 3/14/2014
  • "We came for restaurant week and everything was fantastic. Some restaurants treat their RW menu as a throw-away, but Circa 1886 had a phenomenal menu, our service was impeccable, and every bite was delicious. This is a beautiful restaurant in the heart of downtown and has a lovely, quiet atmosphere. We will definitely be recommending this restaurant and will be visiting again soon."
    Dined on 1/17/2014
  • "Having researched many restaurants for our trip to Charleston, I chose Circa 1886 for our final evening, as it also coincided with our anniversary. We were provided with a dining experience to remember! Our request on open table for a quiet table was met, and we were seated at a lovely booth. The two gentlemen who attended to us throughout the evening were extremely friendly, knowledgeable about the menu, and helpful when we were making our selections. Each course was exceptional, both in the presentation, and the flavour. My partner and I each enjoyed an appetizer, entree, and dessert. With our desserts, the words, Happy Anniversary, were written on the plates in chocolate....a lovely touch! We highly recommend this restaurant!"
    Dined on 3/13/2014
  • "My husband and I dined at Circa 1886 during our first visit to Charleston. It was a great experience. The restaurant is in a former carriage house of the beautiful Wentworth Mansion. Tables are well spaced, the food is delicious and we felt very welcomed and cared for during the entire meal. We would definitely return."
    Dined on 3/10/2014
  • "We LOVED our food and experience. The severs were very attentive but not overbearing. The food, including dessert, was perfection, very unique and sophisticated. The chefs have prepared a varied menu with delicious flavor combinations. The atmosphere/decorations make you feel like you are in old, plantation Charleston. We will DEFINITELY be going back!"
    Dined on 3/4/2014