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Circa 1886 is Southern Fine Dining Done Differently

By Elisha Neubauer

When it comes to the south, they've always been recognized for their food. But, when most people think of southern food, they think of heavier dishes, such as biscuits and gravy or fried chicken. At Circa 1886, they've spun southern food on its axis, creating a lighter, healthier addition to the southern food repertoire.

Considered to be a fine dining establishment, Circa 1886 draws its inspiration from historic southern dishes. The concept is then blended with in-season and local pairings, creating a healthful, distinctive spin on classic Lowcountry dishes. What does this mean? These classic dishes have been prepared with less butter and cream, and are served with whole grains and locally fresh ingredients.

"The result is satisfying dishes that retain their bright, bold flavors without the large amounts of fat found in many restaurant dishes," stated Linn Lesesne, VP, Sales & Public Relations for Circa 1886. "The menu changes seasonally, approximately two times per year with constant updates."

In addition to the healthier, lighter meals available at Circa 1886, several creative menu options are another pull to repetitive customers. "Chef Collins has antelope on every menu and guests return often just for this dish," Lesesne told us.

"We are well known for our delicious and creative desserts as well." These desserts include such heavenly creations as Pluff Mudslides, made with White Espresso Bavarian Cream, Pluff Mud Pie, and Bailey's Pot au Crème; Sweet and Spicy Corn Cake, crafted from Corn Espuma, Avocado Lime Sherbet, Prickly Pear Gelée, Salty Caramel; and Peaches n' Cream Ice Cream Sandwiches, created by pairing Peach Vanilla Ice Cream, Almond Cookies, Fresh Peaches, Oat Streusel.

Putting the excellent food aside, Circa 1886 has one other draw for those who are looking to experience a new form of fine dining. "We are located in a historic carriage house which is unique in Charleston," explained Lesesne. "Or guests can dine al fresco on the patio."

The fine dining southern-style restaurant has been garnering quite a fair bit of attention with the community. They have earned a high ranking on travel and review sites, such as TripAdvisor, thanks in part to their consistent food and service, they've been featured in such publications as The Post and Courier, USA Today, and the Charleston Eater. Other notable recognitions include being named one of the Top 100 Most Romantic Restaurants in America for 2016 by OpenTable, Top Romantic Restaurants Worth Travelling For by FlipKey, and Best Fine Dining Restaurants in the United States by TripAdvisor.

Circa 1886 operates under a very specific food philosophy, which they proudly state clearly on their website. "From our Plantation Rice Bread Rolls made in house daily, to the selection of local fresh seafood, to Pastry Chef Lovorn's incredible desserts, Circa 1886 promises one of the best restaurant experiences in Charleston, the region we call home."

For more information feel free to check out their website at

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About The Author

Elisha Neubauer is a freelance editor, ghostwriter, book reviewer, and author. She is...

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