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“Comfortable Old South” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Circa 1886 Restaurant

Circa 1886 Restaurant
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Ranked #7 of 895 Restaurants in Charleston
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $25 - $45
Cuisines: American, Contemporary
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Special occasions, Local cuisine, Business meetings
Dining options: Late Night, Dinner, Accepts American Express, Accepts Discover, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Free Off-Street Parking, Full Bar, Parking Available, Private Dining, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
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.
Green Bay, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
196 reviews
141 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 91 helpful votes
“Comfortable Old South”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 21, 2013 via mobile

The Wentworth Mansion is a little out of the way but worth the walk. The small rooms in the house make for a quiet, unpretentious evening. The service and food were both very, very good. My wife had halibut; I had bass (wreck fish) with a quail appetizer. The presentation and tastes were first class. We shared a peach and cream soufflé which was outstanding. Overall, we had a very pleasant evening.

Visited June 2013
Helpful?
Thank TravelerJohn48
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, June 26, 2013
Thank you for such an exceptional review. We are thrilled that you chose to spend an evening with us here at Circa 1886. We are glad that you enjoyed our new menu items like the halibut dish and peaches and cream souffle. Your recommendation is greatly appreciated. Come back and see us soon!

Sincerely, Richard Widman and Chef Marc Collins, Co-Owners
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,557 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Fort Valley, Georgia, United States
Level Contributor
13 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“We Felt So Special”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 20, 2013

When my husband & I made our reservation, we asked for somewhat secluded seating since we would be celebrating our anniversary. We sat in one of the booths in the carriage room. It was very cozy. As soon as our server, Christian, came to our table, he greeted us with "Happy Anniversary!" He was so wonderful the whole time. We mentioned that we would not be drinking alcohol, so instead of wine, he surprised us with a complimentary cheese plate before dessert (remembering that we had asked about it when ordering)! Each dish we received was beautifully presented and refined in technique & flavor. My absolutely favorite dish was the "Peanut Butter 'Pluff Mudd!'" Probably the best dessert I've ever had in my life! Overall, we had an unforgettable evening to top off our anniversary trip to Charleston!

  • Visited June 2013
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank BritWoo
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, June 26, 2013
Happy Anniversary! Thank you for taking the time to review your unforgettable experience at Circa 1886. We are thrilled that you enjoyed your celebratory evening and felt extra special. Your feedback about our entrees and desserts is appreciated as we just recently debuted a new seasonal menu. We hope you are able to return again soon!

Sincerely, Richard Widman and Chef Marc Collins, Co-Owners
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Indianapolis, Indiana
Level Contributor
197 reviews
134 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 96 helpful votes
“I wouldn't go out of my way”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 19, 2013

The restaurant is promoted as elegant and 'special'. I found it neither. The service is excellent but menu is too 'contrived' for my taste. Nothing is simple- everything is 'overdone'. That having been said, my lobster bake was delicious but it should be for $32. My companions enjoyed their meals so it may be just me but if you have a complex entree it shouldn't be accompanied by contrived sides which compete with the star item. Just a little too creative.
Ambiance is lovely and the drinks were great. The bartender graciously gave me the recipe for a delightful martini which I will be making for company but I was disappointed. Perhaps I was expecting too much but Charleston is noted for being a 'foodie' town and I enjoyed several other places more for less money.

  • Visited June 2013
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Sharon M
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, June 27, 2013
Thank you for your review. We appreciate your comments about our ambiance and accommodating staff. We are glad that you enjoyed our new Lobster Bake dish and are happy to read that your dining companions enjoyed their meals as well. We believe that Circa 1886 stands out among other fine dining restaurants in Charleston for its always unique and creative seasonal menus. We appreciate your feedback as we strive to deliver an excellent experience to each guest.

Sincerely, Richard Widman and Chef Marc Collins, Co-Owners
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Amazing!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 19, 2013

Circa1886 was an amazing experience. The atmosphere, service and food were top notch. This was my first visit and will not be my last. Try the antelope. :)

  • Visited June 2013
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Crowbos
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lexington, Kentucky
Level Contributor
8 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Creative value-added, outstanding service”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 14, 2013

June 8, 2013. We had a family get-together group of 18, ranging from 1 year to 71 y.o. The original plan (made 5 months in advance, because we knew that the Spoleto festival would be going on) was to seat us downstairs so that we could benefit from having the full a la carte menu, which would accommodate major Jewish food rules, plus gluten-free needs as well as omnivores, all with a desire for culinary adventure. However once we arrived, we decided that our group would not be a good fit for their serene main dining room (looks of horror on other diners' faces), and we were given a room upstairs, which required rapid set-up (we saw one guy almost running upstairs with large folding tables under arm) and extra work for the wait staff (when normally it is planned to increase staffing for a group event), all done with quiet, smiling efficiency. This restaurant matches up to its billing of an excellent place to dine. The food was delicious, with creative combinations and interesting special touches, including beautiful plating. Particularly liked by diners closest to me were the hearts of palm salad and fried oyster appetizers; lamb, beef, wild mushroom pot pie entrees; and key lime "pie" (more of a fantastic construction featuring key lime filling) dessert. The peaches N' cream soufflé drew one criticism: that the embedded peach pieces were too large and one didn't get enough peach flavor in the overall dish (but it was yummy nonetheless). The 3-to-8 year-olds were happy with chicken fingers and mac and cheese. The 2 infants had high chairs and were quietly happy with food the moms brought as well as tastes of a rich mushroom soup amuse bouche that the chef provided to start the meal. The wait staff was terrific. When we were served, somehow there appeared a troupe of servers so that we were all served at about the same time. They maintained an inobtrusive, efficient flow to the meal. Overall I would be happy to go back and dine as a couple downstairs. I really don't think one should bring young children to this place, unless they can be quiet and sit still.

  • Visited June 2013
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank Susan S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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