Circa 81 Tapas & Cocktaileria
Circa 81 also offers take-out and catering - just contact us for more details.
Christmas with friends
Great dining for special occasions (we went for both Christmas Eve and New Years Eve) or a good casual lunch.
We have been to Circa 81 Tapas & Cocktaileria a number of times. This was our visit on a holiday. We were there New Year's Eve and the restaurant was packed. They were a bit delayed in sitting us and service was a little slower than normal, but it was well worth the wait. The food was absolutely fantastic! I had the brussel sprouts and the lamp chop. Both were amazing! My husband had the brussel sprouts as well and had the rosemary beef. I highly recommend this restaurant for a delicious lunch or dinner. The menu is original and a good break from the typical seafood fare you find in Morehead.
We’ve been coming here for years, especially on Holidays, our food was barely room temperature with every course. I mentioned this to our waiter and he acted offended. We never as much received an apology. The taste was delicious, the presentation was impeccable, however it was pretty much cold.
We choose this restaurant every time we go out. Service and food are AMAZING!!
We eat here every time we visit the coast, sometimes twice. We love the food. Extremely creative. Great staff also.
Awesome place! We’ll be back for sure!
We made resos and we're immediately seated by the hostess in a great spot. Our server was very knowledgeable of the menu, specials and wines. Service was outstanding and timed perfectly. Circa 81 just might be one of the top 3 eateries in Eastern NC.
Delightful as always
Has become our neighborhood go-to when we've had a busy day and want to relax with good drinks and thoughtfully prepared and presented, tasty food. Service is friendly and helpful.
Although the establishment is not known for vegan fare, our wonderful chef was accommodating and prepared several vegan options for us on our 26th anniversary. We were not disappointed. Would definitely go back again!
Wonderful birthday dinner! Food was amazing, service was great and the drinks were fantastic. Highly recommend for any occasion. In addition to many other small plates, we enjoyed the special feature which was the most perfectly cooked beef wellington. Amazing!
Each plate that came to our quiet table was like a piece of art, especially in terms of taste. Even a simple sangria had the perfect delicious balance of ingredients, as did every dish. Our waitress was very knowledgeable, precise with her words, explanatory, and very pleasant. She remembered it was our anniversary, and wished us well; this shows professionalism at one's job. Overall, this is our 3rd visit here, and we were not disappointed. It is worth the drive and every dollar.
Great place to eat, casual and clean. Easy to find. Enjoyed.
Took too long for service. Didn't even get offered any drinks. Bad when we made reservations.
We are locals so this is one of our top 3 restaurants we love! The food was phenomenal as always. I can never say enough about the quality of the food! It’s always perfect! Had a slight problem with our waiter. I believe he forgot to put in our cheese and meat tray (not the chef’s tour) as it took 40 minutes to come out. He was spot on everything else after that.
We've enjoyed this restaurant for several years. The quality is consistent. The menu is creative with something for everyone. Often the specials are unique and excellent. We recommend this restaurant to all our local friends. Looking forward to our next visit.
Awesome bar service and selection. Owner chatted with us. Dinner tapas were fresh, flavorful, and again the chef came to chat and be sure all was perfect. Will definitely return soon.
This is hands down the best place to go! The ambiance, food, and staff are all on point! Seriously don’t ever pass on this place. Everything is beyond excellent.
Great menu, food is excellent. A bit pricey for tapas. Tight seating but a nice indulgence for a date night.
Seated immediately by a friendly hostess. Had the NC Brown Ale--very good. Tapas were amazing--bacon wrapped dates stuffed with chevre, and chorizo/clams. We both had the beef tenderloin slices over a bed of mashed potatoes, with broccoli, carrots, and mushrooms--beef was cooked to perfection, very good meal. Highly recommend!
My wife and I dine out regularly and enjoy many good restaurants in our area. There are few restaurants, however, that have been able to put all the features together that define true excellence. Circa 81 has done this. They offer an interesting and varied menu that includes creative specials. For example, we shared a wonderful dish that included oysters in a delicious risotto. Every dish we’ve ever had a Circa 81 has been skillfully prepared and beautifully presented. The service is absolutely exceptional...knowledgeable, engaging, and skilled. While all of the staff is very good, we love Sonya and ask for her every time we dine at Circa...she is special. So, in summary, they’ve been able to get it all right...a wonderful menu with exciting and varied specials, a kitchen that prepares and presents every dish perfectly, and probably the best servers we’ve experienced anywhere (especially Sonya!).
We have been to Circa 81 every time we've been to the beach, several times a year. Always the Food and Service has been top notch. As we are in the area several times each visit, we eat at Circa 81 at least once, then try another restaurant coming to the conclusion we need to have all our dinners there.
The food is current, fun and executed with care by a talented kitchen. Clarke, owner, has given his chef the ability to create and use his imagination in the items on the menu. A very refreshing atmosphere where all can be proud of the outcome.
I have been involved in the Food and Beverage industry for more than 45 years and find Circa 81 a place we want to eat, always...
We LOVE Circa 81. It's a must do anytime we are in the area. The food is phenomenal. We've never had anything that we didn't like. My personal favorites are the brussel sprouts, the pork dumplings and the stuffed brie. We look forward to dining here again soon!
Great time and great food. Enjoyed two orders of the crab dip because the first order was so good we had to have more. Potstickers were yummy too. Sesame tuna had a bit too much sesame seeds and could have been a bit more rare. Vanilla and chocolate creme brûlée were fine as was the turtle cheesecake. Would definitely return in the future!
We were visiting Emerald Isle and a friend had recommended Circa 81. We took our two teenage boys and were worried that they might not enjoy the foods on the menu. However the menu was diverse we ordered 8 different plates (pork dumplings, beef, lamb special, stuffed Brie, asparagus, roast duck, taco special, crab cakes) and bread service, cocktails and dessert (cheesecakes, key lime pie and plain and chocolate creme brûlée. Everything was fantastic, our boys said it was their favorite meal of the trip. Book early the restaurant is very popular.
A fantastic creative meal! While the focus is tapas, the “large plates” are great as well, as my in-laws ordered from that portion of the menu. Do not miss the Chef’s Tour charcuterie!
Overall this was a great restaurant. We ordered starters, the she crab soup was served hot and it was delicious. Our group also ordered some small tapas to share. Pork dishes were very good; unfortunately the beef dish was very salty. Dessert choices that evening was four different cheesecakes, one other choice—but I cannot recall what it was. I am not a fan of cheesecake and other choice was not appealing. Wish they had a little more variety for selections. Friends ordered the cheesecake, they thought it was very good.
I would go back to this restaurant when back in the area.
Wonderful experience as always! Second year in a row we have celebrated our wedding anniversary here and will most likely continue to do so! I have celiac disease and there are so many options it is fantastic. Phenomenal service. Delicious food. Fabulous drinks.
Promptly seated. Menu updated since the last time we were here. Josh in the kitchen did an excellent job with the tapas we ordered (black bean quesadilla, baked brie, potato crisps, ceviche, the mixed grill). Paul C was excellent as our server. We’ll be back. :)
Our dining experience at Circa 81 was wonderful in every respect. The food was prepared perfectly, presented skillfully, and absolutely delicious. My wife and I shared the Baked Brie with Pepper Jelly as an appetizer. We each had the house salad. My wife had ranch dressing on her salad. I requested blue cheese. Our server said they might not have blue cheese dressing, but when the salad was served she told us the kitchen made some just for my order. My wife had the pork belly from the tapas menu and I had chicken served on pasta with asparagus and a Gorgonzola cream sauce. We shared a chocolate creme brûlée for dessert. Wow! Every dish from the appetizer to the dessert was exceptional. As great as the food was, the service may actually have been the high point of the evening. Our server, Jamie, was superb...knowledgeable, attentive, immediately responsive to our every need, and just a very engaging person. Simply said, Circa 81 is one of the best restaurants in eastern North Carolina.
Perfect, excellent food and service
Food was fantastic, especially the mixed grill. We'll be back!
Absolutely delicious tapas. Roasted duck was some of the best I've ever had. The cocktails aren't world class, but they also don't break the bank so drink up!
Fantastic experience again!!!
Always amazed at how they keep the all around five star experience fresh. The Server, Joe, was very attentive and personable with a great sense of humor. Hostess also continued to check on us throughout the meal. Usually a Hostess greets, seats, and says goodbye when you leave. On several occasions a Chef delivered our Tapas. Beautiful teamwork concept, no doubt instilled by Chef Merrell, Owner and Operator. Oh by the way, I should pay homage to the Bartender, as the drink are always inventive and awesome. Can’t leave without saying there must be new talent in the kitchen. The menu is become better and more varied. Hard to reinvent perfection. The special with the House made Gravlax was off the charts.
Our service and food was outstanding. We have visited Circa 81 on several occasions and have learned to expect a nice dining experience. Can’t go wrong.
The food was good, but the service was lack; waited too long for our food and waitress only checked up on us a few times.
Open table reservation had us seated on arrival! Great food great service and fun servers! Highly recommend