When we walked into the restaurant we were stepping into an old world bar area to the left and the dining area to the right. They had our table ready as soon as we walked in. The room had booth seating that gave the appearance of being very romantic and private because it was framed in almost like an entryway. All the tables had white or silver table cloths with low lighting and candles in the middle with a single flower.
Being that we were at Circa 1886 for New Year's Eve we didn't have a choice of the menu. All of the plates were preset and we were just there to enjoy the ride, and oh what a ride it was. The menu was inspired by different countries all starting with the one that would have New Years first based on the time zone. I felt that each plate was well thought out and nothing was too standard. For instance, Greece was on the list and yet the plate was anything buy ordinary Greece type food. Each plate had a twist that was absolutely outstanding.
The presentation of the plates were remarkable pieces of art and the flavors were clean and unique to the countries. There were a couple of plates that I didn't like, but I don't feel like it was because of the execution rather my taste in food and textures. For instance I really didn't enjoy the Banana Coconut Soup (Amuse Bouche) or the Kobe Beef Salad (raw Kobe), but it was because of the texture and taste not because of the quality or lack of flavor. I did however love the plate from Greece, Spain and the Caribbean. All of those dishes were incredibly true to their culture and were flavored perfectly. I can honestly say that the Duck “Paella” (from Spain) was the most incredible thing I've ever tasted in my life. I will probably seek out duck on every menu from this point forward in hopes to find something as amazing as this dish.
I can tell you that the next time I'm in Charleston, SC I will definitely be adding Circa 1886 on my list of places to eat again. While I would love to try some of their regular menu items, I'm going to be honest and say that I'd be going back in hopes to have some of the worlds best duck again. If it wasn't on the menu I'm sure I could find another amazing specialty that the chef has to offer. Circa 1886 was everything and more than we could have hoped for in saying goodbye to 2014.