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“Beautiful option, good food, service was a little slow”

Circa 1886 Restaurant
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Ranked #7 of 938 Restaurants in Charleston
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $25 - $45
Cuisines: American, Seafood, Contemporary
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Restaurant details
Good for: Special occasions, Local cuisine, Romantic
Dining options: Dinner, Breakfast, Late Night, Delivery, Reservations
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.
Reviewed August 10, 2013

I chose this place to entertain three important clients. The building was beautiful and had that old Southern charm to it. While the menu was good, we all found the food to be just ok. I wasn't disappointed and certainly liked my meal but I won't run to go back if that makes sense. We had a larger party and there was only one other family eating in the restaurant however, our service was very slow. I couldn't figure out why that was but overall and good meal, not a great one.

Thank dwstonesifer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
OwnerCharmingInns, Owner at Circa 1886 Restaurant, responded to this reviewResponded August 22, 2013

Thank you for sharing Circa 1886 with your clients. Our entire team is committed to delivering guests with a flawless, five star dining experience in all areas. We are sorry that our food and service fell short of your expectations. Your feedback is greatly appreciated and we certainly hope that you will visit again in the future.

Sincerely, Richard Widman and Chef Marc Collins, Co-Owners

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1,247 - 1,251 of 1,737 reviews

Reviewed August 9, 2013

My wife and I had the pleasure of traveling to beautiful Charleston to visit dear friends living nearby. They recommended Circa 1886 as one of their favorite restaurants in a city known for its fine dining, and now we know why. We were served drinks in the early evening on the open air patio and it was a wonderful start to a great dining experience. The food was superb in every way (my pork shoulder entree was especially memorable) and I also had a chance to sample a little bit from my wife's and friends' plates, too. I can honestly say that I could have enjoyed every item on the menu (and, since we've been invited back to Charleston to visit, I'll happily revisit that menu, too!). As others have noted, the service is top notch as well. Needless to say Circa 1886 more than deserves its reputation.

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Thank MichaelKohlhaas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
OwnerCharmingInns, Owner at Circa 1886 Restaurant, responded to this reviewResponded August 15, 2013

Thank you for your excellent review. We take great satisfaction in knowing that our menu selections and service team exceeded your already high expectations. We are thrilled to have created such a memorable experience and look forward to welcoming you back.

Sincerely, Richard Widman and Chef Marc Collins, Co-Owners

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Reviewed August 9, 2013

This is a beautiful restaurant, in a beautiful setting. We were kindly greeted and seated quickly in the small dining room. Our servers were initially very attentive and helpful. After sharing the quail for an appetizer, which was delicious, I ordered the pork shoulder while my wife had the bass. The pork seems like a wonderful idea, and the presentation was terrific, but somehow they managed to turn one of the most naturally moist and tender cuts of meat into a dry, chewy mess. The bass was the better option but was perhaps a little bland. The souffle for dessert was delicious, but the peaches werent particularly tender which was a bit odd. Overall, it was a pleasant enough dining experience, but by the end of it we were ready to cut our losses but unfortunately the aforementioned attentive service had all but disappeared. I really hope we were just there on a bad night because it truly is a beautiful place.

2  Thank Gregory C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 8, 2013

From beginning to end I was impressed by the service and food. The waiter was an expert and very knowledgeable in the food prep. The selection from the menu was varied and gave each of us a chance to order something we wanted. One ordered Flounder, another Antelope, also Lamb and Beef Tenderloin. The desserts were over the top and very impressive in there presentation. I will remember this as my finest dining experience. My water glass was refilled at least 6 times. Great job by the staff. Circa 1886 Wow.

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1  Thank Lovethebeach100
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 6, 2013

Dinner at Circa 1886 was the best meal we had in Charleston. It is in the coach house of the Wentworth Mansion, which is beautiful. It is off the beaten path but well worth the walk or cab or pedi-cab ride. There is a nice small quiet bar when you enter, the restaurant is understated elegance, great service, and wonderful unusual food. My husband had the beef tenderloin, it was to tender and delicious with outstanding mashed potatoes beautifully presented. I had the pork shoulder with barley, it was good as well. But the desserts were incredible, my husband a very light Key Lime Pie, and I had one of the best desserts I have ever had, the Chocolate Bar with Peanut Butter Mousse.............YUMMMM!!! We were very pleased to celebrate our one year wedding anniversary here, it was delicous and comfortable. In seeing the menus of other "nice" restaurants actually the prices here were not as high, and it was great!

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Thank A P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
OwnerCharmingInns, Owner at Circa 1886 Restaurant, responded to this reviewResponded August 8, 2013

Happy anniversary! We are thrilled that you spent this special evening with us and had such a memorable dining experience. Thank you for the thorough review and detailed remarks about our summer menu selections. The Pluff Mud dessert has been a hit this summer - we can't think of a better way to wrap up a celebratory meal. Come back and see us soon!

Sincerely, Richard Widman and Chef Marc Collins, Co-Owners

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