Circa 1886

4.8
3307 reviews
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$31 to $50
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Southern
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. 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.
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What 3307 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.8based on recent ratings
4.8
food
4.9
service
4.9
ambience
4.5
value
Noise · Quiet
97% of people would recommend it to a friend
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NS
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent dining experience. World class food and service.

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T
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 2food 1service 4ambience 3

We expected perfection. Was not what we expected. Both of our dishes were mediocre, and presentation was BAD. Would not recommend and will not return.

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D
Charleston
2 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I took my sisters out to Circa for my older sister's birthday. We ordered the Quail and the Foie Gras for our appetizers and for the main course I got the Bass, and my sisters got the Sea Scallops and the Piedmontese Beef. They were all divine! I have no complaints! If I have to pick a favorite I would have to say the Beef. It was perfectly cooked to a medium rare. To top it off they had my favorite wine, The Prisoner and we got the Mudslide souffle for dessert!

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m
Houston
16 reviews
Dined on March 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Absolutely lovely evening.

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M
Richmond
42 reviews
Dined on March 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Circa 1886 is fabulous! We had a large party, and it was handled very well. We had a private dining room. Service was great, and so was the food. It is on the premises of the Wentworth Mansion Inn, which is a Victorian gem! Can't speak highly enough of it!

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OT
Savannah
1 review
Dined on March 8, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 5ambience 3

It was not as we expected. Of our trips to Charleston, the bar for dinner has been set by Peninsula Grill.

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LR
Atlanta
1 review
Dined on March 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We rally should have waited to eat here our last night in Charleston! No where else holds a candle to this place , not fig nor husk or high cotton. We truly had the best meal and overall experience, and are looking forward to dining here every time we are in Charleston.

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S
Cleveland
4 reviews
Dined on March 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food, presentation and service were tops. Favorite restaurant in Charleston.

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KL
1 review
Dined on March 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My favorite place in Charleston! The staff went above and beyond to make our 10th Anniversary special. The food is nothing short of amazing

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OT
Orlando
1 review
Dined on March 6, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Wonderful welcoming service.
Our waitress Emily was perfect.

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OT
Charleston
14 reviews
Dined on March 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My wife and I had a great dinner there. Can't think of any negatives.

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OT
Charlotte
2 reviews
Dined on March 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Five stars.

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KC
1 review
Dined on March 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Celebrated 20+yrs of friends with some great friends here. It was a fun night and our server Denis was great. He had wonderful suggestions on wine and food. We were so happy. Everyone loved their meal.

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NC
1 review
Dined on March 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Absolutely outstanding! Could not have been better. A truly fantastic dining experience.

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JH
Charleston
1 review
Dined on March 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This lovely restaurant was just perfect for a romantic dinner for me and my husband. The food is delectable, and our waiter Dennis was so charming! We went back for a second evening and he remembered what we liked and added special touches. We will certainly go back.

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OT
Charleston
1 review
Dined on March 2, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

Excellent entrees and desserts

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OT
1 review
Dined on March 2, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 3

Timing was off as it took longer than usual for water and other drinks to be served and a full hour before the first food (bread) to be served. Overall the food was delicious and the restaurant had a romantic element to it. I’d recommend going to friends & family, but plan to take your time in a very quite environment as music was played at super soft levels.

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BT
Savannah
17 reviews
Dined on March 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My wife and I loved Circa, from start to finish! Great food, ambiance and service. We will definitely be back. One of the best restaurants in Charleston, and that is quite an achievement.

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D
Baltimore
12 reviews
Dined on March 1, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

We had a wonderful evening. The service was fantastic; the deserts, less so. We had the ginger marinated pork tenderloin and the antelope loin. Both were cooked perfectly. The deserts may have been prepared properly, but both were flops (literally and figuratively). The sweet potato brûlée was heavy handed on the sweet potato and lacked the velvety texture of a true creme brûlée. The soufflé, well it simply wasn’t a soufflé. It resembled a chef’s toque that had collapsed sideways. I think the chef was trying to defy both chemistry and physics. The ramekin was too small to accommodate the batter when it puffed up and the final consistency was disappointing.

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BW
Jacksonville
24 reviews
Dined on March 1, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 4ambience 5

This may not be a fair review. It’s based off of the tasting menu and not the regular menu items. Everyone around seemed to be enjoying their meals from the regular menu, but the tasting menu left something to be desired.

We did the 5 course tasting menu at Circa 1886 with the wine pairings. The meal started with some salmon carpaccio. It was severely under seasoned and lacked flavor. The next course was the best of the night by a wide margin. It was an amazing gnocchi. I would eat this dish every night. Next up was the scallop dish. All of the flavors were muddled and didn’t go well together. The final savory course was the pork belly. We were really excited for it, but the pork belly was severely over cooked and dry. I’ve never had a dry pork belly. The dessert was a mud slide soufflé. It was our 2nd favorite dish of the night behind the gnocchi.

My advice would be to order from the main menu. I don’t think the tasting menu is the way to go here.

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l
Charleston
17 reviews
Dined on March 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Stunning experience on every level. This was our first time having the chef’s menu and pairings. We may never be able to choose menu items again as the choices and pairings were perfectly executed. Thank you for always exceeding expectations

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OT
Milwaukee
1 review
Dined on February 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our server Emily was excellent! Food was wonderful! Wine was delicious!

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OT
Charleston
2 reviews
Dined on February 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Not soon enough

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OT
Charleston
1 review
Dined on February 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Impromptu date night

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CB
Louisville
1 review
Dined on February 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Relaxed experience with a fantastic adventure in food. Service was seamless and they were there when needed.

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MK
Atlanta
2 reviews
Dined on February 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Pricey, but a marvelous dining experience. I had an unusual entree which I probably wouldn't have tried in most other establishments. I would definitely return and will recommend to friends or others who may visit the area.

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PH
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on February 25, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 5ambience 5

Beautiful restaurant and ambiance and service-/ food was not that impressive

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G
Houston
2 reviews
Dined on February 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Welcoming service at every stage from the front door, bar and at the table. Excellent menu and the meal was beautifully presented and tasted even better.

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TG
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on February 22, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Every course was excellent, service was spot on. My wife and I had a booth which provided a nice private space for conversation. Our waiter had impeccable timing - never hovering, but always there just as we finished a course, ran out of bread, etc. Speaking of - bread was phenomenal. If I was forced to find a negative, the atmosphere is a little more formal than my wife and I prefer, but not to a point of being stuffy. Would definitely come back on next trip through Charleston.

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TD
Chicago
4 reviews
Dined on February 22, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Incredible service from the hostess yo the bartender to the wait staff. Amazing meal in a romantic setting. Perfect evening!

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TS
Philadelphia
6 reviews
Dined on February 22, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Our server was fantastic! She made us feel welcome and relaxed ☺️ They made sure we enjoyed our anniversary dinner and it was an amazing time!

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D
Savannah
12 reviews
Dined on February 21, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Excellent service and staff.

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OT
Charleston
10 reviews
Dined on February 21, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We have been there twice. Charles, the new wine list manager, was our waiter the first time and he was there again. He typifies how professional and amazing the service and food.
We loved it and will be back.

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OT
Western NC
3 reviews
Dined on February 21, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fabulous service, amazing food. Denise took great care of us.

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AT
Charleston
16 reviews
Dined on February 21, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Delicious dinner Thursday night, served by Dennis. The cuisine is creative and service excellent. We had dinner with another couple and enjoyed the foie gras, fish and mushroom casserole. No time for the soufflé' but have previously enjoyed that as well.

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W
Philadelphia
66 reviews
Dined on February 21, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 5ambience 5

It is a pretty space and the service was top notch. Unfortunately, the food was mediocre. My Kobe carpaccio had very little meat and so much hearts of palm that I could hardly taste the meat. Way too much of very bland hearts of palm that overwhelmed the carpaccio. My wife’s duck liver was good but not the best. My snapper was done well,moist and firm but it’s flavor was overwhelmed by the spicy sides, including tasty but powerful bacon lardons, so much so that I couldn’t enjoy the fish. My wife’s pork was done well but the “scrapple” served with it was tasteless and had the consistency of mush. Being from Philadelphia the scrapple was the worst we ever had, just forget it! The wine list was adequate but the bottle we were told was very good by the waitress was poor, at best. We sent it back and they replaced it with a different and good one. Apparently the wine “expert” agreed with us about the wine but the question remains, how did it get on the list in the first place. Too many other great restaurants in town so won’t go back.

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OT
Charleston
2 reviews
Dined on February 20, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The service exceeded my expectations! Definitely worth the visit.

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KS
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on February 19, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Very fine restaurant with great service and very nice servers. Would go again in a heart beat.
Dinners were very well presented and conceived. Nice wine list.

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EH
1 review
Dined on February 18, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The experience at Circa 1886 was sensational from the beginning to the end. Entering the restaurant through the Wentworth Mansion and grounds was a stunning entrance. The table and room were beautiful, the staff were all extremely inviting and helpful, and the food was out-of-this-world delicious. We went to every recommended restaurant while we were in town for the weekend, and most were fabulous, but this was the very best all around. The "Spirit Less Libations" were some of the best mocktails I have had (I had three from the menu). Our appetizers were both well presented and groan-worthy tasting (the quail and the foie gras), our mains were outstanding (scallops and trout) and the desserts (bread pudding and keylime pie) were to die for. If we get back to Charleston, Circa 1886 will be on the top of my list.

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OB
Philadelphia
27 reviews
Dined on February 18, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Circa 1886 is a throwback to a time where service is professional but unobtrusive, the food is simple yet elegantly served, and where diners can actually talk to each other (the absence of people using their cellphones was striking. The food portions are modest, but satisfying, and are very well prepared. This can be a special occasion site for sure, but should be chosen for just about any other reason as well. A bit off the tourist track, it is in a residential area, but not hard to get to from the city center. Treat yourself and go.

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