Circa 1886, Wentworth Mansion’s restaurant is a Charleston classic that blends traditional Lowcountry cuisine with modern fine dining. We had breakfast and dinner here, and both were delightful meals I will remember for a lifetime. Everything from the service and atmosphere to the care the staff took to ensure my dietary needs were respected made this a great dining experience. This seasonal restaurant is excellent for vegetarians, those who cannot eat gluten, or those who want a more elegant dining experience.
Location: Charleston, SC
Address: 141 Wentworth St
Charleston, SC 29401
Food Type: Brunch & Dinner
Dining Experience: Indoor & Outdoor
Price: $50+ per Person
Dress Code: Resort Casual +
Special Diets: Pescatarian, Gluten-Free (not GF-dedicated)
Awards: AAA Four Diamond, South Carolina’s Most Romantic Restaurant via Yelp,
#4 Best Hotel Restaurant in the US by USA Today, & Many More
Ambience of Circa 1886
This highly acclaimed restaurant (see their impressive list of accolades here) is a delightful find in Charleston. Even in one of the best culinary destinations in the United States, Circa 1886 stood out to us because of its use of locally sourced, seasonal ingredients, attention to detail, and ability to accommodate dietary needs. Circa 1886, set inside what was once stables but now stands as a testament to elevated dining experiences, is intimate without being fussy while simultaneously encouraging diners to have an unforgettable evening.
We appreciated that the restaurant does not encourage young children to dine here, making it a place for adults to indulge in fine wine and outstanding cuisine sans les enfants. If you’re looking for a sophisticated restaurant for date night or simply looking to try something new in Charleston, Circa 1886 is a wonderful option, in my opinion.
Our dinner here was truly delightful. They offer two tasting menu options, both of which can be made vegetarian, but I opted to order from their standard menu. I started off with the Shrimp N’ Rice Grits made pescatarian by substituting the ham gravy with vegetable gravy. This was SO tasty and rich.
Robin went with the 64ºC Storey Farms Egg, which was toasted brioche, crème fraiche velouté, smoked trout roe, pea shoots, bee pollen, and honey. He said this was very creamy, and the egg itself was perfectly cooked, while the trout roe added a touch of saltiness that pulled this appetizer together.
I selected the Cornmeal-Crusted Flounder for my main course with sea island peas, vanilla tomato raisins, crab rice cake, and collard green sauce. The flounder was perfectly crisp on the outside while buttery and flakey on the inside, making it delectable.
Robin selected the Pan Seared Grouper with ginger butter, baby bok choy, smoked salmon wanton, and tomato lemongrass broth. His favorite part was the tender and flavorful wontons in the fragrant lemongrass broth, which neither of us had ever seen on a menu before. This is a fantastic dish for pescatarians!
For dessert, Robin went with the Buttermilk Pie served with poached apples, almond cream, and apple celery sorbet. This wasn’t gluten-free, so I didn’t try it. But, he said, it was phenomenal. It smelled great!
We thoroughly enjoyed our meals at Circa 1886. One of my favorite things about traveling is trying new flavors. This was no exception. We had a wonderful evening. During our two-hour dinner, we were more and more impressed with each course that came out. They have a very impressive wine list, too!