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“Best dinner I ever ate!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Circa 1886 Restaurant

Circa 1886 Restaurant
149 Wentworth Street, Charleston, SC 29401-1733 (Downtown)
843-853-7828
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Ranked #3 of 758 Restaurants in Charleston
Price range: $25 - $45
Cuisines: American, Seafood, Contemporary
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Restaurant details
Good for: Romance, Local cuisine, Special occasions, Entertaining clients
Dining options: Breakfast/Brunch, Dinner, Reservations, Late Night, Dessert
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Neighborhood: Downtown
Cross street: Smith
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.
Huntsville, Alabama
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
“Best dinner I ever ate!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 16, 2013

This place was pricey but, my husband wanted to go to try their signature antelope dish. Absolutely everything there was delicious. Highest of compliments to the chef! We were very impressed and will definately be repeat customers. As an added bonus, it was restaurant week in Charleston so, we ended up with a highly discounted bill. Be sure to have a reservation.

Visited September 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
OwnerCharmingInns, Owner at Circa 1886 Restaurant, responded to this review, September 26, 2013
Thank you for an incredible review. We are thrilled that your Circa 1886 experience goes down as 'the best dinner you've ever eaten.' You selected some of our favorite summer menu items. Hopefully you'll have the opportunity to visit Charleston this fall to sample our latest seasonal menu. We appreciate your recommendation. Thanks again!

Sincerely,
Richard Widman and Chef Marc Collins, Co-Owners
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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802 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    639
    95
    42
    21
    5
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Chicago, Illinois
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
“Amazing”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 14, 2013

We thought the food, the staff (a food runner was crunchy & short initially) the ambiance was great. The restaurant was busy but noise level was fine and we felt attended to. We were stunned that our waiter addressed us by Mr. & Mrs. The antelope with blueberries was bananas.

We debated whether to have the strawberry short cake for desert but noticed it came with honeysuckle ice cream. The honeysuckle ice cream sealed the deal. The warm, crunchy sweet shortcake, the strawberries, the honeysuckle ice cream: hands down, amazing. I was scraping the plate for any tiny drop of ice cream I could get.

It was so clear that Chef Collins cares about ingredients and sustainability. We had locally grown ghost chillies which we'd never even heard of before. They were an amazing accompaniment.

The restaurant sits next door to the Wentworth Mansion which is stunning. Because we dined at the restaurant we were invited to go up to the cupola for views over Charleston. Our dinner reservation was for 6 or 6:30pm and we ended up leaving at 9pm when the cupola closed. The restaurant staff took the initiative (can you believe it?!) to call over to the Wentworth Mansion to let the staff know they should expect us and to send us up to the cupola. WOW!!! We were so impressed with the professionalism, elegance and plain old southern hospitality. We would definitely go back.

  • Visited August 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Atlanta, Georgia
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Best Dinner Restaurant in Charleston and beyond”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 13, 2013

We ranked this restaurant not only the best in Charleston but thought it was better than restaurants that get the top reviews in the country. Outstanding service, food and atmosphere in this historic carriage house. It is part of Charming Inns and the restaurant and King Courtyard Inn know how to provide outstanding service. We will be talking about our meal here for years to come.
It was also our anniversary dinner and they made it very special and even had it written on our dessert plates. My souffle for dessert was exceptional.

  • Visited September 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
OwnerCharmingInns, Owner at Circa 1886 Restaurant, responded to this review, September 27, 2013
Wow, thank you for such a wonderful review. We are quite honored that you rank Circa 1886 as one of the finest restaurants in the country. Thank you for the feedback, and thank you for spending your anniversary here. We hope to spend many more celebratory occasions with you both.

Sincerely, Richard Widman and Chef Marc Collins, Co-Owners
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chester, Virginia
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Impeccable!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 13, 2013

We were very fortunate to visit Charleston during restaurant week. We selected three "fine dining" restaurants affording us three very nice experiences.
Circa 1886 has beautifully (understated) rich decor which allows for the focus of your dinner to be on food and service. The wait staff is excellent. Our questions were answered and suggestions made. We began with specialty cocktails--the wildflower cosmo is very good. Our appetizeers were delicious--the duck and foie gras polpette (three tasty "meatballs") and the Johns Island Tomato salad with a light balsamic dressing. Both the cod and the chicken dishes were cooked perfectly. Our desserts were yummy--the peach souffle and creme brulee. I had requested a glass of wine with dinner and it was brought at the same time as the entree (without reminding). That is waitstaff expertise at its finest.
Our server noticed we had arrived by taxi and called it when we were ready to leave.
This experience was a perfect ending to our visit to Charleston and certainly encourages us to return ---both to the city and this restaurant.

  • Visited September 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Charleston, SC
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
15 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Happy Birthday”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 13, 2013

My wife and I celebrated my Birthday and Restaurant week at Circa. The menu selections were fabulous and we always take the "game" selection which this week was antelope. Cooked to perfection on lime flared grits, there was no gaminess to it. We chose the "wine pairing" menu, and our waiter ,Jason, couldn't have been more knowledgeable. Topped off with a soufflé dessert the entire experience was exceptional. My expectations for this special occasion was far surpassed.

  • Visited September 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
OwnerCharmingInns, Owner at Circa 1886 Restaurant, responded to this review, September 26, 2013
Thank you for reviewing your special evening at Circa 1886. We're thrilled that you spent your birthday with us - and that you were able to enjoy Restaurant Week as well. If you are an antelope fan, you might be interested in attending our Wild Game Dinner on November 6th. We'll serve a five course dinner and each course features a different game meat. Thanks for a wonderful review and we hope to see you back soon.

Sincerely, Richard Widman and Chef Marc Collins, Co-Owners
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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