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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.