Located in the original carriage house of the historic Wentworth Mansion in downtown Charleston, Circa 1886 has long reigned as one of Charleston’s finest restaurants. For more than a decade, Executive Chef Marc Collins has worked with a network of local farmers and fishermen creating a special kind of culinary magic, elevating even an ordinary night out to spectacular new heights.
The unique menu takes guests on a journey through the belly of South Carolina Foodways from its humble beginnings, multinational influences, and what that means for modern-day cuisine. Fused together from this rich history, the flavors come together to tell a beautiful story.
TripAdvisor Travelers’ choice “Best Fine Dining Restaurants in the US” 2021
Architectural Digest “The Most Romantic Restaurants in the World” 2020
USA Today 10 Best Readers’ Choice award 2021
Forbes Four-Star Restaurant, 2006-Present
AAA Four Diamond Award, 2004-Present
Executive Chef Marc Collins
Although his childhood dreams of becoming an Air Force pilot were sidelined due to less-than-perfect vision, Marc Collins quickly found his focus and footing in the culinary world. At age 16, he worked as a chef apprentice aboard Paradise II, a private yacht with a presidential history, an experience that inspired him to pursue a culinary degree at the Pennsylvania Institute of Culinary Arts.
A series of cooking jobs included a post at the Erie Country Club in his hometown, where he served under Executive Chef David Spadafore, a Gold Medal Winner in the Culinary Olympics held in Frankfurt, Germany. In 1991, Collins moved to San Antonio, where he worked at La Mansion Del Rio under French chef Guy Collinet and, later, at La Louisiane, a restaurant specializing in fine French cuisine and Cajun Creole cooking. At 23, he took his first chef position at the Fairmount Hotel, an AAA Four Diamond hotel restaurant. In 2001, he was recruited to helm Circa 1886 in Charleston and continues to do so to this day. In 2005, Marc had a budding idea for a food and wine festival to be hosted in Charleston, spotlighting the city’s amazing array of talent and ingredients. Thanks to his dedication and countless hours of preliminary planning meetings, that vision became reality in 2006, when the first annual Charleston Wine + Food launched. Today, the festival is a prominent annual event, featuring more than 160 chefs and authors from Charleston and across the country, and comprising dozens of food and wine events. To honor his critical work in founding the festival, he was the namesake and first recipient of the 2010 Charleston Wine + Food Marc Collins Chef Award.