From San Diego to Newport, NC
The Wife and I are BIG foodies. We are from San Diego and we love trying new places all the time. Since we moved to Newport we have been trying every place we could find and I got to tell you. This place was just amazing. I could go on and on about everything that was fantastic but I'll start with what went wrong. My wife ordered this parmesan lobster encrusted mahi mahi. It had great flavor but unfortunately it was overcooked. For desert we had Chocolate Chip Cheesecake and Vanilla Creme Brulee. Sadly, the Creme Brulee had not been cooked properly and tasted like scambled eggs. The Cheesecake, let me start by saying I really don't like chocolate that often but for some reason it sounded really good. It was and I still dream about it.
3/4/2013 4:00:00 PM
Great food at a great price
Great food at a great price with an incredibly knowledgeable waitstaff with excellent recommendations. No long wait for our orders to be served and everything was fresh made, no canned/bottled ingredients used. You have to try Circa 81, you will not be disappointed!
3/30/2013 5:00:00 PM
One of our Favorite Restaurants!
We are so fortunate to have this restaurant in Morehead City. It is not the usual fried seafood restaurant. Instead it is a gourmet diner's delight, with a chef who creates dishes that are full of flavor. This restaurant is also good for vegetarians as well as carnivores. Our favorites include the black bean quesadilla, the pot stickers, and for brunch, the Cuban Benedict, but we also often order the extraordinary specials, as well as one of their martinis or sangria. Yes, we love this place!
3/30/2013 5:00:00 PM
We have been droving past Circa 81 on our way home from Pine Knoll Shores for years. Finslly stopped one day. Out only regret was that we had done it sooner! Tapas are awesome and service is great! We' ve been back twice already. Lime and cilantro mussels are excellent as is the seared ahi tuna.
4/11/2013 4:00:00 PM
Every aspect of Circa 81 was
Every aspect of Circa 81 was what we were looking for; the ambience, the creativity and care put into each dish and each cocktail, and the owner and head chef made the rounds and connected with us and every table in the restaurant. Fabulous seafood, steak and desserts!
4/18/2013 4:00:00 PM
Great food and drinks!
Friendly service, really tasty tapas, and the Sangria was outstanding. Great way to have dinner in a very social way. We ended up book my daughter's rehearsal dinner here afterward. They do have a kid menu if you need it.
4/26/2013 4:00:00 PM
Great Food and Kind People
The food is absolutely delicious. The tapas work out well for date and it is very calm and quiet. I would definately advise anyone who has thought about eating at Circa 81 to go for it!!!
5/17/2013 4:00:00 PM
First timer to Circa 81. Food was excellent. We shared a number of different tapas and enjoyed all beyond expectations. Definitely will return.
5/18/2013 4:00:00 PM
So glad we tried this place! Made Opentable reservation but hostess had no record. Showed her the email. Was very friendly and sat us right away. Food was wonderful. Portions are very generous. Butternut squash gnocchi was the best. I could have eaten two more servings! Loved the Sangria! We will be back for sure!
6/8/2013 12:00:00 AM
With an interesting and creative menu, skillfully prepared and beautifully presented dishes, and excellent service, Circa 81 is one of our favorite restaurants!
6/8/2013 12:00:00 AM
Excellent -Best of the Beach!
From tapas to the meat & cheese board, everything was delightful. Well prepared and tasty. Service was absolutely excellent and there were a few GREAT wine selections. Very good value. This is now our NEW "go to" place when we are in Morehead City.
6/8/2013 12:00:00 AM
Great for Brunch
We had a wonderful meal during Father's Day. Their specials for the day catered to men (steak omelet, etc.) which we thought was a nice touch. We were looking for something quaint and diverse from any chain restaurant and this was perfect! Our two children were able to easily pick something off of the menu and they enjoyed their choice! Only thing that wasn't quite up to par was our waitress...she was only working with a few tables right next to us and she had a hard time balancing all of us. My plate came out 10 minutes after the kids and my husbands did. All in all it was a nice dining experience and we will be returning to try it again!
6/16/2013 12:00:00 AM
Circa 81 is a good catch!
Circa 81 has a good variety of entree's, small plates and large plates. They have a full bar, TVs if you want to keep up with the games, and friendly wait staff. I recommend it.
6/17/2013 12:00:00 AM
My Friends And I Are Always ThriSite.
With The Food Here! They Have Many Specials During The Week, Check Their Site.
The Lobster Encrusted MaHi Is A Table Favorite And We Always Enjoy The Seafood Mac. I Return repeatedly!
6/29/2013 12:00:00 AM
Delightful, delicious and fun. This is my new favorite restaurant !
6/29/2013 4:00:00 PM
Excellent-Worth getting to!
Excellent Mojito's and the lunch special options are fantastic. Loved the food, service, and the price was outstanding.
7/1/2013 12:00:00 AM
Enjoyed the menu variety. It was a nice variety, but not overdone. Some restaurants have too many varieties of food and end up loosening focus on making any of the items spectacular.
7/19/2013 12:00:00 AM
Overall this is a great restaurant. THe food was amazing and the service was great. THe only issue was that we made the attempt to have a "romantic dinner" and they sat a group of 6 right next to us. They were loud and ruined that experience for us. It is a smaller restaurantso understandable but I think they should separate larger groups from couples in order to provide a more intimate setting. the food was AMAZING!
7/20/2013 12:00:00 AM
Good Choice for a Night Out
Every time we come to the Morehead City area we struggle a little to find a restaurant we enjoy without spending a lot of money. This was a really nice find that I think we'll return to next year. Circa 81 did a great job with their tapas and after sharing 4-5 plates for every two people we all felt satisfied. I was especially pleased that they had decent vegetarian options, not something I have found at other places we've tried. I gave 3 stars for service as the wait staff mostly seemed a little awkward and uncomfortable with the guests. The hostess as well seemed a little new at her job. Nothing that makes it not worth the trip, though. Overall, a great choice.
8/1/2013 12:00:00 AM
No water views but has great food!
This is not a water front restaurant so you will not have spectacular views, but the food is amazing! The menu selections are organized by plate sizes or tapas. They have something for everyone and also have nightly specials. The restaurant is small so reservations are a good idea as it tends to fill up. Saw lots of large groups dining here as well as families with children - so lots of variety in the patrons.
8/3/2013 12:00:00 AM
She crab soup and black bean
She crab soup and black bean soup were great.
Loved the silo in and the duck.
Sweet potato quesadia was also great, but more like a dessert.
Gnocchi was good, but a little over powering on seasoning. We did not finish the serving.
We will go back.
8/11/2013 12:00:00 AM
Tucked away in unsuspecting place .
We had read reviews and wanted to try. We definitely were not disappointed. My husband and I ate in the bar and enjoyed all of our food. We ordered six tapas and although some were better than others, none were bad. The owner/manager very involved. And the hostess was so cute. Definitely will be back . . .
8/15/2013 12:00:00 AM
Just amazing food
Eveything we ordered was just amazing. Great cocktails, bar tender and wait staff. Will go back often!!
8/17/2013 12:00:00 AM
If we lived closer to Circa 81 my husband and I would try to go there at least once a month if not more. They have a great menu selection and everything we ordered from the Tapas menu was wonderful.
8/17/2013 12:00:00 AM
Wonderful surprise find at the beac
I took my parents here to celebrate their birthdays while they were in from out of town. We shared tapas and had a bottle of wine. The food had wonderful flavor and was not too heavy (at the beach, there's nothing worse than feeling overloaded)!. The interior was beautiful. I will definitely go back.
8/22/2013 12:00:00 AM
Our daughter used to work here, and she actually applied for a job here because the food and atmosphere were stellar. We still go to eat when we visit, and is just as good as ever! We always get the calamari because it's too DIE for. This time, we also tried the mussels, black bean quesadilla & gnocchi. All were so tasty & hot! Randi took great care of us.
8/30/2013 12:00:00 AM
We had 5 of us for a Birthday Brunch for a Family member, the service was outstanding and friendly, and eager to do anything for this special time for us, I just don't know any thing else to say but outstanding and a wonderful time we all had, THANK YOU
9/1/2013 12:00:00 AM
This was our first experience with open table. We travel to Beaufort quite a lot but had never dined at Circa 81. In three words, we loved it!
We have found a new dining experience in a familiar town!
9/26/2013 12:00:00 AM
Quiet Night Out
My wife and I visited Circa 81 for our anniversary. The restaurant was pretty empty (maybe 6 other tables) and very quiet. The service was very quick and pleasant. We both had a sampling of small plates and all were very tasty. The seared sesame tuna was cooked perfectly. The shrimp & grits was also very good.
Topped it off with a chocolate creme brule. A nice ending to a pleasant dining experience.
10/3/2013 12:00:00 AM
My family came to visit and we wanted to take them to a good restaurant. Circa 81 has consistently good food and service. Everyone loved the food and agreed that the service couldn't have been better. Highly recommend for lunch, brunch or any special occasion..
10/5/2013 12:00:00 AM
Worldly Tapas here...
Circa81 boasts a thriving menu of small, medium, and large plates. There is a large enough variety to please the palate of any customer. The issue is not finding something you like, but narrowing down all the choices into your perfect meal. They vary from traditional Spanish-inspired tapas to seafood, and rounding it out with vegetarian and farm to table options.
Definitely worth the trip whether you are staying inland or on the Crystal Coast. The chef is worth all the awards and accreditation he receives. If you are feeling up to it, try a few of the house specialty drinks - they are refreshing and definitely out of the norm of what you will find in other restaurants.
10/19/2013 12:00:00 AM
Frozen and confused............
Turn the AIR down in the corner booths please .................Great food but don't leave it up to the wait staff to bring the dishes out in the proper order ..........
10/22/2013 12:00:00 AM
We love tapas and Circa 81 has a nice selection of creative offerings. We anchored our choices with traditional cheese and Iberico plates. The bar is nice and the wine list is very good and reasonable. The service was friendly and attentive. Although the location is nothing special, the food and experience is special.
11/17/2013 4:00:00 PM
Always enjoy the tapas here
This is one of our favorite places to eat. We always do the tapas. There are always specials so that we are eating new things. Our favorites on the regular menu are the Shrimp and Grits, the tuna and the baked brie. Whenever we can, we go on Thursday nights for the $5 martinis - great fun. We have had friends that did the small plates with soup and enjoyed them very much. All in all this is a great place for dinner and we would recommend it to anyone.
11/21/2013 4:00:00 PM
Great Find - Thanks to Open Table
We have been to Circa 81 at more than 1/2 a doz times since discovering it on OT. We were there this past wknd and were commenting that what a great find this was. The food is always awesome and unique. The staff is professional and friendly. This last time we made a reservation for lunch even though we suspected that it was a quiet time and no real need for reservations. When we arrived they had the table ready for us with the menus already setup for us. None of the other tables were setup this way :-) made us feel most welcomed. We have tried different items on the menu and have yet to be disappointed! We have been there in the evenings and every once in a while we are fortunate to be there when they have a live jazz musician.
11/28/2013 4:00:00 PM
My husband and I were very lucky when we found this restaurant one Sunday night. Sangria Sunday, so we enjoyed a pitcher, and tried several tapas. Then we tried Tapas Tuesday with Buy 2, Get the Third One Free, and we always have the black bean quesadilla and the crab dip, but try a special for the third one. Never disappointed! A feast of flavors! (and the best Sunday Brunch also!)
5/28/2013 12:00:00 AM
Circa 81 has become one of our top favorite restaurant experiences. That's no simple feat considering the amount of travel my wife and I have experienced in 13 years of military service. Order 2-3 tapas plates and enjoy the incredible flavors. The atmosphere and service were also top notch.
6/21/2013 12:00:00 AM
Great night out with friends
A great place to go with friends or family so everyone can share with each other. Reservations seemed important as it was pretty full on the Friday night we went. They were very accomidating when we had to add a couple people to the reservation last minute even though Open Table said there were mo bigger tables available. we just called and they said no problem. Everything was excellent especially the pork belly tacos....they blew my mind. I think we ordered just about one of everything on the menu. The service was at a relaxed pace between rounds but it gave everyone a chance to actually talk. By far one of the best places we ate on our vacation.
7/5/2013 12:00:00 AM
Our favorite beach restaurant
This restaurant may not have an oceanview, but the food is the best in Morehead City. The tapas, the sangria, the Sunday brunch---everything is delicious. The owner, Clarke, often comes out to ask diners for their opinions. He uses fresh ingredients and creates interesting combinations. We often try his specials, but we also have some menu items that we never skip. We highly recommend this restaurant.
8/31/2013 5:00:00 PM
Great food with lots of options
Went to circa 81 with my wife, in-laws, and parents and everyone couldn't have been more pleased with the food, service, and just over all quality. Service was friendly and funny and the food is by far the best in the area. You can't go wrong by going here.
9/13/2013 12:00:00 AM
Creative, full of flavors
Circa 81 is one of our favorite restaurants. Clarke, the owner and chef, creates dishes full of flavors. If it is your first visit, try the dishes that are named with "Circa 81" and you will find his special combinations. We love Circa 81 French Toast, Circa 81 Benedict, and the Circa 81 Martini! Tapas are excellent too, with the Black Bean Quesadilla, any of Clark's special pork wings, the crab dip---truthfully, you can't go wrong. We tend to go to Sunday Brunch, and then for dinner we order a variety of his tapas, but I'm sure the dinner entrees are delicious too. Clarke's pork dishes tend to be my favorites. Enjoy!
11/2/2013 5:00:00 PM