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Circa 1886 Restaurant

Travelers' Choice award winner
$$$
Downtown
American, Seafood, Contemporary
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149 Wentworth Street, Charleston, SC 29401-1733 (Smith)
843-853-7828
Website
Today
5:30 pm - 9:30 pm
Open now
See all hours
Hours:
Mon - Sat 5:30 pm - 9:30 pm
Dining options: Breakfast/Brunch, Dinner, Reservations, Delivery, Late Night, Dessert
Description: Chef Marc Collins draws inspiration from many cuisines around the world to...
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.
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Good for:
Casual Elegant
Romance
Local cuisine
Special occasions
Entertaining clients

TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 870 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 686
    Excellent
  • 110
    Very good
  • 48
    Average
  • 21
    Poor
  • 5
    Terrible
Rating summary
  • Food
    4.5 of 5 stars
    Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
    Atmosphere
    4.5 of 5 stars
Most recent review
Unique and creative entrees in a quietly elegant setting

We've been to the Circa several times, and it is always a new, yet pleasing experience. This time, we were celebrating a special birthday with friends, and we'd requested a "quiet" table for 4. They reserved a booth for us, which is such a wonderful space. We started the meal with drinks... read more

5 of 5 starsReviewed March 27, 2015
AnnWilmingtonNC
,
Wilmington NC
Good for:
  • Casual Elegant
  • Romance
  • Local cuisine
  • Special occasions
  • Entertaining clients
  • Breakfast/Brunch
  • Dinner
  • Reservations
  • Delivery
  • Late Night
  • Dessert
Add Photo Write a Review

870 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Wilmington NC
Top Contributor
59 reviews 59 reviews
34 restaurant reviews
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 27, 2015 NEW

We've been to the Circa several times, and it is always a new, yet pleasing experience. This time, we were celebrating a special birthday with friends, and we'd requested a "quiet" table for 4. They reserved a booth for us, which is such a wonderful space. We started the meal with drinks, perfectly mixed, followed by the kobe beef carpaccio,... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes
Williamsburg, Virginia, United States
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 27, 2015 NEW

We ate here in celebration of our anniversary and could not have chosen a better restaurant for the occasion. David attended to our every need and the food was as tastefully prepared and presented as anywhere we have eaten recently. We highly recommend this restaurant which is located off the "beaten path"

Was this review helpful? Yes
Charleston, South Carolina
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 26, 2015 NEW

This was a surprise birthday celebration for my wife and 13 friends in the Tack Room. The event staff were extremely helpful in making the arrangements for the garden for drinks, the room for dinner, the menu, the wine selection. The server was one we have had previously and thought he was terrific. Our friends who are far more into... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes
Roscoe, Illinois
Top Contributor
53 reviews 53 reviews
37 restaurant reviews
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 24, 2015 NEW

We did the tasting menu... excellent all around. The wine pairings were really good too. Started the night at the bar, and the bartender knows what he's doing. Started with beef carpaccio. Amazing. My favorite dish of the night. Bacon and egg salad was a big favorite. Scallops were incredible... being from Illinois, the freshness of the seafood just blows... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes
OwnerCharmingInns, Owner at Circa 1886 Restaurant, responded to this review

Thank you for your wonderful review of Circa 1886 Restaurant. Choosing the tasting menu is always a great way to explore the chef’s cuisine through many artfully prepared dishes. I am thrilled to read that you enjoyed your experience so much. We look forward to your next visit. Sincerely, Richard Widman and Chef Marc Collins, Co-Owners More 

Charlotte, North Carolina
Top Contributor
141 reviews 141 reviews
127 restaurant reviews
58 helpful votes 58 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 24, 2015 NEW

We recently visited Charleston and had reservations here on our first night. The ambiance was wonderful and our server couldn't have been more amiable or professional. Bread service was okay--we were offered the choice between a squash roll and a rice flour roll. Both were pretty standard, but the orange essence butter was amazing. A gift from the chef was... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes
OwnerCharmingInns, Owner at Circa 1886 Restaurant, responded to this review

Thank you for reviewing your evening at Circa 1886 Restaurant. We are delighted to read that you enjoyed a fantastic dinner with us. While we are glad that you enjoyed your dinner, we are sorry that your experience did not exceed your expectations. We appreciate the positive compliments as well as your comments on the food items that you did... More 

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Top Contributor
89 reviews 89 reviews
61 restaurant reviews
35 helpful votes 35 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 23, 2015 NEW

I know this is a high ranking restaurant, but my bill was $86 without any alcohol and the salmon was dry and overcooked. It was accompanied by a few vegetables. I could have eaten 3 lovely meals elsewhere for the $86.

Was this review helpful? Yes
OwnerCharmingInns, Owner at Circa 1886 Restaurant, responded to this review

I am very sorry to read that you were displeased with your dinner at Circa 1886. We sincerely apologize that the salmon was not prepared to your liking. We strive to provide a five-star experience in all areas, so I am sorry to hear that your experience did not meet your expectations. We take customer feedback very seriously, so we... More 

Nashville, Tennessee
Senior Contributor
41 reviews 41 reviews
25 restaurant reviews
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 21, 2015 via mobile

The dining room is beautiful, very elegant, but not at all fussy with a nice bar and small outdoor garden. The menu is varied and all looks wonderful, so we were glad to have noticed the small print saying "tasting menu" at the bottom of the menu. They also have an extensive wine menu - once we determined we were... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes
OwnerCharmingInns, Owner at Circa 1886 Restaurant, responded to this review

Thank you for choosing to spend an evening at Circa 1886 Restaurant. I am happy to read that you enjoyed the tasting menu. It is certainly a great way to enjoy a wide variety of Chef Collins’ cuisine. Your notes about our service and décor are greatly appreciated. We always strive to deliver top-notch experience, so I am sorry to... More 

Tucson
Top Contributor
162 reviews 162 reviews
71 restaurant reviews
86 helpful votes 86 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 18, 2015

This well regarded restaurant occupies the carriage house of the incredible Wentworth mansion which is now an upscale hotel. There are a couple of very romantic looking rooms which, although only partly occupied and remaining so during our time there, were bypassed to seat us in a room with the classic linear arrangement of two tops. Okay. I'm all right... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
OwnerCharmingInns, Owner at Circa 1886 Restaurant, responded to this review

Thank you for reviewing your recent dinner at Circa 1886 Restaurant. We are pleased to hear that you enjoyed the food and service when dining with us. Thank you for your comments about the lamb and the scallops. I apologize that your dinner was disturbed by the hardwood floor in the wine room. I am sorry that we did not... More 

Middle of America
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
19 restaurant reviews
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 16, 2015

Well... we had high expectations. Perhaps they were too high. The building is stunning and the service was excellent; attentive and friendly. The food's presentation was lovely... but we weren't impressed with either of our entrees. The catfish was actually bad: Burned tasting and unappetizing. The lamb was good- but far from great. The pear souffle on the other hand-... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes
OwnerCharmingInns, Owner at Circa 1886 Restaurant, responded to this review

Thank you for reviewing your experience at Circa 1886. I am pleased to read your comments about the pear soufflé. We are honored that our dessert ranks as the finest dessert you have eaten in the whole world! I sincerely apologize that you were displeased with the catfish. The Fried Catfish is a new menu item that has received great... More 

Boston, Massachusetts
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 16, 2015

My friend and I were planning a girls food tour of Charleston and happen to come across Circa as we were staying at the John Rutledge in and they have a tasting menu for guest of our Inn. I am so happy we decided to make this our first nights meal - it was perfect. We had a 3 course... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes

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Restaurant Details

Location and Contact Information

  • Address: 149 Wentworth Street, Charleston, SC 29401-1733
    (Smith)
  • Location: United States  >  South Carolina (SC)  >  Coastal South Carolina  >  Charleston>  > Downtown
  • Neighborhood: Downtown
  • Phone Number: 843-853-7828

Price and Cuisine

  • Average Prices: USD 25 - 45
  • Cuisine: American, Seafood, Contemporary

Restaurant Characteristics

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Good for: Romance, Local cuisine, Special occasions, Entertaining clients

Description

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.
Open Hours
Monday
5:30 pm - 9:30 pm
Tuesday
5:30 pm - 9:30 pm
Wednesday
5:30 pm - 9:30 pm
Thursday
5:30 pm - 9:30 pm
Friday
5:30 pm - 9:30 pm
Saturday
5:30 pm - 9:30 pm

Questions & Answers

Here's what previous visitors have asked, with answers from representatives of Circa 1886 Restaurant and other visitors
2 questions
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Norman, Oklahoma
14 days ago
Sacramento, California

See all questions (2)

Questions? Get answers from Circa 1886 Restaurant staff and past visitors.
Posting guidelines
Typical questions asked:
  • Do you have gluten-free options?
  • Is there a dress code?
  • Do you allow dogs on the outdoor patio?