Circa 1886, Charleston, 2/7 & 10/23

building – Wentworth Mansion, 149 Wentworth St, Charleston, SC 29401

Circa 1886 is the restaurant in the carriage house of the historic Wentworth Mansion.  Guests of the mansion are entitled to one entrée of their choosing for breakfast, however they also serve dinner.  We were scheduled to have dinner there but let it go when an opening became available at another place we wanted to try – so many good places to eat in Charleston.  We did stay at the Wentworth so we had breakfast there twice but skipped the other 2 days due to planned lunches.  After passing through the lovely patio the door opens into the cozy bar room.  The main dining room is a small but elegant space with double clothed large tables, well spaced and a few large booths along one wall.  Service was great and friendly and the food was good.  The pastries were a real surprise, being house-made, probably by Ashley Cardona the pastry chef.  It would have been easy to fill up on them.  I suspect dinner there would be very nice.


bar area
breakfast menu
Frankie enjoys fresh flowers on the table


Food 2/7/23

The fruit plate was a slice of pineapple, a couple of huge blackberries, a few red grapes and a peeled bit of grapefruit.  The pineapple was funky but otherwise, it was all fine.



The bread basket held a plain croissant, a chocolate croissant and a cinnamon croissant.  The chocolate was stuffed with hazelnut and chocolate.  It and the cinnamon were really good.

bread selection
butter and jam


Shrimp n’ Grits was made with sautéed shrimp, bell peppers, onions and bacon in a rich cream sauce served over Anson Mills Grits.  The shrimp were plump, juicy and perfectly cooked.  It was not that spicy but had a wonderful flavor.

shrimp n’ grits


Vanilla Bean Buttermilk Pancakes were served with pure maple syrup and applewood bacon (or housemade sausage).   The plate also held a handful of blueberries and blackberries.  I asked if they were thin or thick and the server reported on the thin side and she was right.  My preference is for thinner pancakes and these were a treat.  Lightly dusted with powdered sugar they had a good flavor and were wonderful with the sweet syrup.  The bacon was not overly crisp or wiggly but had fine flavor.  It was a delightful breakfast plate.

vanilla bean buttermilk pancakes, bacon


Food 2/10/23

The fruit this time was a slice of grapefruit and orange along with a couple of blackberries, a strawberry and a piece of pineapple.  They rated okay.



The pastry basket held a plain croissant, a chocolate croissant and an iced cinnamon roll.  They came with 3 types of jam and butter.  The iced roll was made with a dough similar to croissants, so it was flakey and buttery.  It had a crispy edge and soft interior.  It was really good.

bread selection
Frankie tried a roll


The Margherita Frittata contained spinach, tomatoes, caramelized onions, mozzarella and basil oil and came with house-made sausage (or applewood smoked bacon) and hashbrowns (or grits or oatmeal). The sausage was moist and flavorful and the frittata was nicely browned and tasty.  The hashbrowns were not as browned as I’d like and were made with small shreds of potatoes.  The two sauces were ketchup and hot sauce that combined into a sauce good to eat with it all.

Margherita frittata, hashbrowns, sausage


Biscuits and Gravy were made with two buttermilk biscuits topped with sausage gravy and served with two eggs any way, for which I chose over easy.  The eggs were cooked perfectly and so the runny yolk combined nicely with the gravy.   The biscuits were very tender but too crumbly and made it hard to eat.  The gravy was fairly thick but had a nice spice and was filled with tasty sausage.

Biscuits and gravy, eggs over easy
closer eggs
closer gravy and biscuits
Frankie had coffee


4 thoughts on “Circa 1886, Charleston, 2/7 & 10/23

    1. They were good but the pastries were better. The gravy had a nice thick consistency and was filled with sausage but the biscuits crumbled when you tried to get a forkful. Not sure why (probably cause I don’t cook) but it made them really hard to eat. Biscuits and gravy are a Texas standard and really range in flavor and texture. I like them with slightly spicy gravy like you’d have on a chicken fried steak – another Texas standard. Have you eaten at many places in Pittsburgh? We’re planning a quick visit there this spring and starting to research restaurants. Thanks for any tips!

      1. I’ve been there a lot over the years, but haven’t had a ton of memorable meals. For breakfast, they have a local mini-chain (maybe 5 or 6 locations) called Pamela’s that has great thin pancakes. I usually get banana-walnut.
        And we enjoyed a placed called Taiwanese Bistro Cafe 33 that is in the Squirrel Hill section of Pittsburgh the last time we were there.

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