149 Wentworth St.
Charleston, SC 29401Neighborhood:
SouthernPrice: $31 to $50
- Dining Style: Casual Elegant
- Website: http://www.circa1886.com/
- Phone: 8438537828
- 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
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 photosSee all photos
Awards voted by OpenTable diners
- Diners' Choice WinnerBest Overall
- Diners' Choice WinnerBest Ambiance
- Diners' Choice WinnerBest Food
Circa 1886 - Best Restaurants in Downtown Charleston ›
Circa 1886 reviews from OpenTable diners
193 reviews since April 29, 2014
- Ambiance4.6Noise LevelQuiet
romantic (162)special occasion (157)fit for foodies (117)notable wine list (77)neighborhood gem (46)scenic view (15)great for outdoor dining (13)good for groups (11)late-night find (6)hot spot (5)great for lunch (5)great for brunch (3)kid-friendly (2)vibrant bar scene (1)Show More
- Wonderful placeOpenTable Diner Since 2011Dined on 8/23/2014This hotel was amazing! The food was incredible! Will come here again just for the desserts! Staff fabulous. Couldn't give a better teviewSpecial Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Good food, OK serviceCustomerDined on 8/23/2014The food was very good. Some combinations were unusual and some were better than others, but overall we really liked the executive and dessert chefs' creations. We had some ants crawling on our tablecloth and one made it into our dinner plate. I guess that happens in the south. What was disappointing is that we mentioned them to the gentleman waiting on us and showed him the one on our plate, and nothing was done. We mentioned them to the hostess as we were leaving as well to let her know about not seating other customers that evening there. Seeing bugs in Charleston is not surprising, but having a high end restaurant ignore them is disappointing.Special Features:
- Fantastic experienceNateVIPDined on 8/21/2014We thoroughly enjoyed dining at Circa. The food was exceptional, setting perfect and service outstanding.Special Features:
- what a place10yeardiningDined on 8/21/2014I booked place online, had no idea, just went by reviews, what a place, food was out if this world right down to the rolls, hope the chef can keep it up, very talented. when in charleston its a no brainer.Special Features:
- Excellent, Romantic, Quietprof555Dined on 8/19/2014Excellent service and outstanding food in a lovely atmosphere! I have enjoyed this place for several years. Try the antelopeSpecial Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Circa is a bit stuffy.DebandgreggVIPDined on 8/12/2014Charleston is a foodie town for sure with many great restaurants (e.g. Husk and SNOB). When compared to these great tasting and great ambience restaurants, Circa simply is not comparable. Our food was good, but not great; and, though it sits in another of Charleston's fantastically historic buildings, it is nonetheless a stuffy atmosphere. There are simply too many other great restaurants at this price-point, and therefore we will pass Circa on our next visit to town.
- Amazing!pattonjwDined on 8/9/2014This was one of the best meals I have ever had! The food was amazing and so was the service. I very highly recommend Circa 1886 and will be returning soon.Special Features:
- Great cuisineJazzmanVIPDined on 8/6/2014Food is great with unique menu. Had chicken fried halibut, really great. Unfortunately, an appetizer of deep fried sweetbreads was bland, suspect would have been far better sautéed. The foies was terrific, though small portion. Service was very friendly but slow and irregular with difficulty obtaining water refills and bread on table. Not up to Michelin star standards for sure. But overall, a fine meal in pleasant surroundings.Special Features:
- Is truly 5 starBergyDined on 8/5/2014The ambiance, service, menu and presentation make this restaurant one of the best. Couldn't have been more pleased.Special Features:
- FoodieVIPDined on 8/1/2014Seated 30 minutes after our reservation time- hostess neglected to tell us our table was ready. Food and wine seriously overpriced-appetizer substandard and when we said something our previously friendly waiter "disappeared" and a promised correction never appeared . Decor very good- one entree terrific, one satisfactory. The attitude seemed to be that we were tourists and they would not see us again soon so it doesn't really matter- bartender was an exception. Seeming indifference and inconsistency in food-esp at supposedly upscale restaurant -makes it hard to recommend
- Excellent service, unusual menuBiskit20Dined on 7/30/2014We dined here for our 20th anniversary. The service and atmosphere were perfect for the romantic evening I had planned. The wait staff was attentive yet not hovering, which was wonderful. The menu was a little eclectic for the style of restaurant we thought we were in. The chef's creations were pleasing to the eye and the flavors were exercises in polarities. Some of the combinations stretched the palate - not always in a good way. If you want traditional upscale southern cuisine this is not the place. Food may have been a little too contemporary for the surroundings. It felt he was trying too hard to be creative and it came off a little pretentious. All in all a good experience but not sure a return trip is in our future.Special Features:
- SensationalLaurieDined on 7/28/2014Food was amazing and service was excellent. I would recommend this to anyone visiting Charleston.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Still our favorite...cobracatDined on 7/28/2014We ate here last year and had to come back when we visited Charleston again this year; we were not disappointed. We had the crab cakes and the chicken fried halibut as our entrees. Both were excellent. As expected, the service was outstanding.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- My new favorite restaurantswbozzyVIPDined on 7/25/2014My wife and I went away for a long weekend in Charleston. We were looking for a very nice restaurant to enjoy a night out without the kids. Circa 1886 was the perfect choice. Everything was wonderful. Many unique and creative dishes that looked and tasted great.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Circa 1886... Circa Unbelievable!!”albert91Dined on 7/25/2014Staff is very friendly, polite and knowledgeable about the menu. Jason our server (fantastic!), recommended the Chef's dinner and wine pairing which was absolutely Unbelievable!!. Each course showed the talent and passion of the chef and its artistic presentation was second only to the breathtaking flavors of the course.( do not be shy to try the Antelope..It is Delicioso!! ) The selection of wines for the pairing were perfect for each course and the dessert (Strawberry Souffle) was the perfect closure to one of our best culinary experiences.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- A very good night outmjhpghDined on 7/24/2014Every time I visit Charleston on vacation, my wife and I take a night out away from the kids and find the best restaurant possible for just ourselves. This was one of the best experiences we have had. Service was helpful but not over bearing. Prices were affordable considering the quality of the food. The wine list provided plenty of choices within a broad price range. The setting was quiet and relaxed. The menu had plenty of choices that made the choice difficult. An appetizer, 2 meals, 2 desserts, and a bottle of medium priced wine for $140 was well worth it!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- The BESTtommybDined on 7/21/2014Probably one of the best overall dining experiences we have EVER had. Yes......it was that good.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Excellent MealExpatfromBahrainDined on 7/19/2014We enjoyed a most memorable meal. The setting, service and dinner were all outstanding. Recommendations by our waiter were all A+ - it was an excellent evening.Special Features:
- Amazing!!WonderfulVIPDined on 7/19/2014My husband and I were looking for a restaurant in Charleston we hadn't been to yet and always noticed Circa 1886. The service was awesome and the food surpassed our expectations! We felt very appreciative when the dessert came and they acknowledged our anniversary! It is definitely going to be one of our favorites!!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Solid StandardHalseyStreetGuyDined on 7/17/2014Charleston probably has more great restaurants per square meter than any city of its size in the country, and Circa 1886 is in the top tier. The cooking is adventurous, and the staff is superb. My only slightly negative observation is the room itself. It's a very quiet space, which in a town of noisy restaurants, is a nice change, but it's so quiet that you feel as if you're intruding on neighboring tables if you raise your voice too much. And the decor is dull. In a city with such a competitive restaurant scene, I worry that it's falling a few steps behind.Special Features:
- DeliciousdeloresdayDined on 7/16/2014The desserts here are fantastic and go beyond what I initially anticipated. Very filling and very tastySpecial Features:
- Great Evening!GratefulDined on 7/16/2014Outstanding! That is the one word I would use to describe the evening, the atmosphere, the services, and the food. The staff at Circa 1886 were excellent and they made our evening special. We celebrated our anniversary and the pregnancy of our third child. I was able to contact them and plan the evening out and the staff delivered with style and class! They were the best and everyone made it their duty to stop by and wish us congratulations on both the anniversay and the pregnancy. The food was excellent! I had the antelope cooked medium, and my wife had the pork chop cooked medium well. Both were seasoned to perfection! Everything from the soup to the desert was excellent. I highly recommend this restaurant to everyone.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Romantic birthdayHHJHDined on 7/12/2014We were very impressed with the unique combinations of flavors and beautiful presentation. Our waiter was fantastic!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- OutstandingTksnooksDined on 7/10/2014Outstanding food. Attentive and friendly service. The antelope entree and the croissant donut dessert were incredible. I highly recommend this restaurant.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Far from the madding crowdOpenTable Diner Since 2006VIPDined on 7/10/2014Circa 1886 may be Charleston's most civil restaurant. Far from the hustle and bustle of East Bay and King Steet, it is not part of a restaurant row. But that's what makes it so special. You can engage in conversation without shouting (what a difference), the food is imaginative and the service professional without too much fuss.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Always impressiveFineDiningFanDined on 7/10/2014We dine here several times a year. Try the chef's tasting menu with the wine pairings. You won't be disappointed! We've never had a bad dish. We've gone with friends, and there's something for everyone. They're always willing to accommodate dietary restrictions. Atmosphere is pleasant and relaxing, not stuffy.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- SupurbItsAboutTheFoodDined on 7/9/2014Creative menu with wonderful execution and and superior service that isn't too stuffy or intrusive. Overall, a truly delightful dining experience.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- OpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 7/9/2014Food was good but a little too "unique" for my taste.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Favorite in CharlestonTheophanuDined on 7/9/2014I'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.Special Features:
- Romantic Fine DiningSherylfayDined on 7/8/2014This was our second visit to Circa 1886 and it did not disappoint. The service was impeccable, the atmosphere elegant and the food delicious. The chef is clearly experimenting with textures and flavors and for the most part it was all quite successful. Particularly notable was a salmon sashimi appetizer that included watermelon, truffles, celery gelee and jicama. These all combined to form a tantalizing first course. Our main dishes were equally delicious: a lobster poached monkfish in a lobster bisque sauce was amazingly good, although the popcorn on top was unnecessary and distracting. The chicken-fried halibut was a surprising twist and quite good. This is definitely a special occasion restaurant & one of Charleston's best.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Excellent!!!Maryfaith84Dined on 7/8/2014As 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!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Best RestaurantGatorMomDined on 7/5/2014During 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,Special Features:
- ExcellentMontclairdesignmomDined on 6/27/2014I'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.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Circa deliciousnessCityOfComptonDined on 6/27/2014My 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!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Unforgettable eveningDomingoVIPDined on 6/26/2014Circa 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.Special Features:
- Good but not great!RichVIPDined on 6/26/2014Circa 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.Special Features:
- A Special Place for a Special DayOpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 6/26/2014We 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.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- OpenTable Diner Since 2011Dined on 6/25/2014Really enjoyed the chicken fried fish. What a treat. The entire evening was most enjoyable. The service was excellent.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- overall great experiencechefisch80Dined on 6/25/2014Very 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!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Nice dinner & accommodating cheffoodforthoughtVIPDined on 6/25/2014We 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.I would recommend this to a friend.