Cape Fear Foodie: Circa 1922, Wrightsville Foodie Events, and Dia de los Muertos


Hello again my Cape Fear Foodies, I must apologize for the lack of content over the last few weeks. Between prepping for a wedding that I officiated back in West Virginia, and planning and executing a Halloween party (where I regretfully offered to make all of the food) my opportunities to search out new restaurants and old favorites have been few and far between.

However, I have a quick checklist to go over today. For one, I was able to squeeze in a lovely meal last week at Circa 1922 in downtown Wilmington. Tomorrow night (Thursday, Nov. 3) is the annual “Hops and Harvest Beer Dinner” at the Blockade Runner in Wrightsville Beach, and then on Saturday is the popular “Taste of Wrightsville Beach” event. And today is Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead), and the perfect excuse to search out your favorite Mexican restaurant. We will go over all of that and more, but first, let’s talk about Circa 1922.

Impressive night at Circa 1922

Situated along Front Street in downtown Wilmington, Circa 1922 is a throwback to the early 20th century with some excellent modern eats. The interior is dimly lit, with rich, dark wood tables and booths, exposed brick walls, a pressed tin ceiling, a beautiful bar, and tasteful artwork. It’s perfect for a romantic date night or an intimate gathering with friends and family.

The evening I went was somewhat spur-of-the-moment, and a friend and I decided to dip in for a late dinner. We started off with a glass of sangria with a lovely balance of fruit and spice.

Then we decided to split a huge Caesar salad with bread crumbles, freshly grated parmesan, and fried anchovies on top. I love a good Caesar salad and typically make one or two a week at home, but this one was exceptional. The dressing was the perfect blend of savory, citrus and pepper, while the fried anchovy gave the entire dish an extra twist.

For our main course, we shared an order of the Seafood Paella. It’s a dish that I rarely pass up when I see it on a menu, and Circa’s rendition did not disappoint. The paella was filled with a bevy of seafood, from scallops and shrimp to calamari and mussels, then stuffed with chorizo and that signature rice. Each bite was an explosion of flavor and my friend, who had never tried paella before, was simply blown away.

Of course, Circa has so much more to offer than that. They have no less than a dozen small plates to choose from, ranging from Pistachio Tortellini to Sesame Tuna Tataki. For entrees, there are a number of seafood options available like Seared Sea Scallops or Salmon En Croute, plus dishes such as Braised Short Ribs or Filet Mignon.

You can even order from the “Prix Fixe” menu, which includes a 3-course meal complete with salad, entrée, and dessert for $38. That’s a solid deal especially when the quality of food here is so good.

All in all, I have to say for a quick visit, it was a memorable one, and there is a reason why so many people in town say this is one of their favorite spots. It may be one of yours too when you give it a try.


Circa 1922 is located at 8 N Front St, Wilmington, NC 28401

Wrightsville Foodie Events

“Hops and Harvest Beer Dinner”

If you like to eat, enjoy a drink, and love the beach (I know, that covers just about all of you) then Wrightsville Beach is the place to be this week. Two events should be on every foodie’s radar, starting with Thursday night for The Blockade Runner’s “Hops and Harvest Beer Dinner.” I had the pleasure to go last year (I will be there again Thursday from 6 - 9 p.m.), and the culinary team at East Oceanfront restaurant puts together a delightful menu of five courses with perfect pairings by Hi-Wire Brewing. This year’s menu features creations like a Shrimp Empanada and Cherry Coca-Cola Braised Pork Short Ribs, along with some other delicacies. You can buy tickets here, and I hope to see you there.

“Taste of Wrightsville Beach”

The 9th annual “Taste of Wrightsville Beach” kicks off this Saturday (Nov. 5) from 5 - 8 p.m. at Bluewater Grill. It’s one of the more popular events on the fall agenda and features more than 35 restaurants, beer, and wine-tasting stations. Judges select the best of the best, while you can choose the People’s Choice, and who has the best beer and wine. Plus there is live music at this beautiful waterside setting, what more can you ask for? Tickets can be bought here, and you can count on a recap of both events next week.

And finally, it’s Día de los Muertos.

The Day of the Dead, the famed Mexican holiday that has quickly gained steam in the United States. It’s a time to remember and honor those who have passed on, and if you don’t have a colorful ofrenda set up at home, why not raise a glass and enjoy some food in memory of a loved one at your favorite Mexican restaurant? I have covered a handful of great locations across Port City, but I am trying something new this year and will have that review coming in the next week or so.

Do you recommend a restaurant? Or know of a best kept secret that you want the rest of the Cape Fear to know about? Shoot me an email at and I would love to feature your selection. Cheers!