Charleston, SC (PressExposure) May 10, 2008 -- Summerâs bounty takes center stage on the new seasonal menu at Charleston restaurant Circa 1886. Executive Chef Marc Collins gives a modern nod to traditional southern summer favorites like butter and fava beans, tomatoes, cucumbers, melons and fresh tropical fruits, including mango, pineapple and banana.
Alongside menu mainstays like spicy grilled shrimp and Carolina crab cake souffle, Chef Collins brings a variety of interesting new dishes to the table. New first course selections include organic chicken with butterbean custard and molasses barbecue sauce, as well as foie gras with banana gelato, peanuts, bittersweet chocolate bread and Myerâs rum glaze.
Juicy melons dominate the seasonâs popular trio of soups, with choices such as cantaloupe, watermelon cucumber and honeydew. Maine lobster highlights a new summer salad dressed with avocado, tomato, candied bacon, popcorn shoots and bee pollen vinaigrette.
Chef Collins continues to introduce diners to âboutiqueâ cheeses this summer, with offerings that include White Top, a raw cowâs milk cheese from Meadow Creek Dairy served with raspberry preserves and almond butter; and Blue Log, a pasteurized goatâs milk cheese from Westfield Farm served with apple chip, sweet nâ sour mustard sauce and bulls blood greens.
The new menu offers eight featured entrees, including fresh catches like striped bass with artichoke potato cake, watercress, crawfish hollandaise and black olive cucumber pimento piccalilli, as well as grouper served with lobster butter sous vide, fennel pollen grits, grilled okra, red grapefruit and toasted coriander salad. The antelope loin is served with stewed southern beans, cast iron Vidalia onion, merlot peach jus lie and white cheddar waffle. Chef Collins is also offering a tomato tasting that includes yellow tomato pie, âmac nâ cheese,â bell pepper-stuffed plum tomato and an orange tomato shooter.
Fresh summer fruits, like strawberries, peaches and key limes, inspired five new desserts. Some of the selections include strawberry shortcake created with pound cake, vanilla bean mascarpone mousse and strawberry coulis; peaches and cream soufflÃ© served with toasted almond ice cream, amaretto anglaise and peach compote; and the tropical sampler, which lets guests enjoy key lime torte, passion fruit pot au crÃ¨me, coconut sorbet and island fruit relish. The menu also gives a nod to chocolate lovers with the chocolate hot and cold that includes warm flourless chocolate espresso cake, âhotâ chocolate semifreddo, double chocolate cookie, ganache and espresso anglaise.
Set inside the historic carriage house for the award-winning Wentworth MansionÂ® hotel at 149 Wentworth St. in Charleston, S.C., Circa 1886 is a AAA Four-Diamond, Mobil Four Star restaurant offering traditional southern cuisine with a modern twist in a sophisticated, historic setting. Executive Chef Marc Collins, named by Esquire Magazine as a chef to watch in 2001 and co-founder of the successful BB&T Charleston Food + Wine Festival, presents innovative southern dishes, which draw on the rich culinary history of Charleston during the time period when the Mansion was originally constructed. Collins also brings a French influence and a touch of 21st century culinary artistry to his creations. Circa 1886 has received numerous accolades, including the DiRoNA award for fine dining in North America, as well as the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence. The restaurant is open for dinner Monday through Saturday from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m., and prices range from $9 to $16 for first courses, $21 to $37 for featured courses, and desserts start at $9. For more information and reservations, please visit http://www.circa1886.com or call (843) 853-7828.