Circa 1886

A globally influenced menu done with Charleston charm
Located behind the historic Wentworth Mansion, Circa 1886 offers classic Charleston charm. The extensive wine list complements the local cuisine on the menu, which is created by talented chef Marc Collins using regional ingredients.

Try the Carolina crab cake soufflé, a cheese course made from Appalachian raw cow milk’s cheese, or the catfish with lobster and white cheddar grits. Desserts are traditional and rich, from gingerbread pudding with orange blossom honey ice cream to sweet potato butterscotch soufflé.

The classic presentation of each dish adds an elegant flourish to the meal. The staff is also polished and friendly.
Our Inspector's Highlights
  • Built in 1886, hence the name, the restaurant retains much of its original character, including the wood-burning kitchen fireplace, stable doors and heart of pine floors.
  • Though it is only open for dinner six days a week, the moment you put that first bite of lobster and white cheddar grits in your mouth, you'll know it was worth the wait.
  • Tucked inside a nineteenth century carriage house on the historic Wentworth estate, this Four-Star restaurant emits an air of elegance and Southern charm.
  • Chef Marc Collins puts a healthful, distinctive spin on classic Lowcountry dishes—you’ll notice less butter and cream than is usually found in Southern fare, alongside whole grains and fresh, local ingredients.
  • The incredibly knowledgeable staff exude Southern charm and a mastery of Circa 1886’s seasonal menu. Servers are more than happy to help you navigate the wine list to find the perfect pairing for your meal.
Things to Know
  • Keep in mind that the Four-Star restaurant is closed Sunday, so you'll need to plan accordingly.
  • With dinner offered Monday through Saturday from 5:30 to 10 p.m., your taste buds really can't afford to miss out on this luxury Charleston restaurant.
  • When you venture in for dinner at Circa 1886, you'll certainly want to dress to impress. While gentlemen aren't required to wear jackets or ties, plenty of your fellow diners will be donning that trusty sport coat.
The Food
  • The three-course prix-fixe menu is updated monthly to ensure each ingredient is at the peak of freshness. This also means that you’ll most likely get to try something new each time you visit.
  • Starters might range from a fresh wedge salad with radishes and a poppy seed dressing to a heritage pork belly served with yuzu apple butter and fried peanuts.
  • While the menu changes with the seasons, some dishes are just so popular that they return frequently—if the chicken fried salmon is among the offerings during your visit, order it. You won’t be sorry.
  • Those in-the-know return often for pastry chef Scott Lovorn’s incredible confections. One of the most popular offerings is the peach crisp soufflé, a crispy streusel served with brown sugar ice cream and a vanilla-peach anglaise.
The Drinks
  • A small menu of specialty cocktails puts a slight twist on classic sips. Try the Mansion Mule made with Rittenhouse Rye, basil cordial, lime and fresh ginger beer.
  • A small section of “wines by the ounce” allows you to taste vintages that might otherwise put a major dent in your wallet. Try the Caymus cabernet or take a sip of Opus One.
  • The ever-evolving wine list features more than 325 bottles, carefully selected to pair perfectly with Circa 1886’s seasonal cuisine.
  • All of the Charleston restaurant’s wines are stored in the original cellar of the Wentworth Mansion.
Business casual
Outdoor seating
Private dining
Getting There
149 Wentworth Street, Charleston, South Carolina 29401