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Circa 1886: Culinary Heaven on Earth in Charleston, South Carolina

Posted by on August 13, 2012

Circa 1886 on Urbanspoon

Entrance to Circa 1886. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

Before we even tasted a bite of the sumptuous repast that awaited us at Circa 1888, we were fans of this lovely, historic restaurant based on our first sight of it.

Charmingly located in the original carriage house of the Wentworth Mansion, the building retains much of the historic character of the carriage house in the architectural details. Hardwood floors, an original fireplace, doors from the stable and romantic, arched booths along one wall which mimic the original carriage openings all contribute to an elegant dining experience.

In front of the restaurant is a beautiful terrace with plenty of tables and chairs and huge trees for shade – a perfect place to eat on a summer evening! The ambience is accentuated by the wonderful service you will receive – the restaurant has certainly earned the Forbes Four Star and AAA Diamond ratings they received.

The offerings focus on local products, high quality ingredients, and traditional Lowcountry flavors and dishes and you truly can’t go wrong with any choice on the menu.We were seated and greeted by our friendly waiters who were generous with their suggestions about what we should order.

Based on their suggestions, we put in our order and, in just a few seconds they surprisingly appeared with an amuse-bouche from the chef. You might not think that beef bouillon would be spectacular but this absolutely was. Rich, concentrated with a beef and mushroom flavor, it was an excellent start to our meal.

Best bouillon you will ever taste.

We then had the Trio of Cheeses Appetizer which is described as “Artisanal Cheeses with Traditional Accompaniments”. It came with several choices of equally delicious cheeses, crackers and a fresh jelly which combined into the perfect appetizer. We love cheese and especially love trying local, artisan cheeses so this was a great choice.

Perfect in every way.

There were so many wonderful choices on the menu for our entrée that we were truly torn but the “Cowboy Cut Rib eye with blue cheese sweet potato and pecan hash, garlic molasses glaze and creamed turnip greens” sounded absolutely wonderful. And it was. The steak literally melted in your mouth and the side dishes were the perfect blend of sweet and tart.

Fabulous, fabulous steak.

When looking over the menu, trying to choose what order I had noticed they offered strawberry souffle. I am a big fan of chocolate in any form for dessert but a light, fluffy souffle sounded wonderful. We had to order it in advance since they make each one fresh so we did so.

And then were so glad we did when they brought it out and set it on the table with a flourish. It came with a tiny little pitcher of some sweet cream to pour over the souffle and this added the final touch to make it the perfect dessert.

The perfect dessert!

 You are going to enjoy everything about Charleston, just like we did,  so spend time doing everything, seeing everything and just settling into that relaxed, southern mood only Charleston can provide. But, whatever you do, don’t forget to make time to visit Circa 1886.

I promise.

You will very, very glad you did.

Full disclosure: Our dinner was provided by Circa 1886 but as always, I will share my honest opinion about any travel experiences I have.

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2 Responses to Circa 1886: Culinary Heaven on Earth in Charleston, South Carolina

  1. Circa 1886 Restaurant

    Hi Jan: Many thanks for sharing your Circa 1886 experience. As far as your dinner choices go, you certainly made some excellent decisions. Glad you were also able to enjoy dessert: the Strawberry Souffle is heavenly. We look forward to your next visit to Charleston. Cheers!

    • Jan Ross

      We definitely did not allow enough time in Charleston and would love to come back and stay at one of your locations. I’ll be in touch!

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