Circa 1926 has finally flung open its doors after an extraordinarily long time in the planning. I first made mention of Circa in a column in the Orlando Sentinel almost exactly a year ago. (At the time (December 14, 2007), the owner was expecting to open by the end of the year!) The restaurant takes over the former Park Avenue Grill location.
Circa’s chef is James Slattery, who, until recently, was the executive chef at A Land Remembered at Rosen’s Shingle Creek. Slattery told me by phone today that his menu is “classic American but with my twists.” He says he’s offering things like crabmeat Rockefeller and a special frogs leg entree. A macaroni and cheese dish is one of the most popular items, he says. Another item is a veal stuffed with prosciutto, sage and goat cheese.
I stopped by Circa the other night just to have a look-see. The front dining room with the bar is very nice. The bar top is a translucent alabaster. The dining room chairs look a little odd with the chair covers — sort of reminds me of seats at a wedding reception.
The back dining room is quieter and more formal. The upstairs is designed to be like a South Beach club, with furniture made for lounging. When I peeked upstairs, I saw a man playing a harplike instrument, but the place was pretty empty. And it was a Saturday night.
But Circa hasn’t done any advertising yet. And Slattery says the official grand opening won’t be until next month. They’re still working out some issues with the serving staff, he says.
And they don’t have a Web site up and running yet either, but once they do the address will be circa1926.com. (The name was chosen because it’s believed the building was build about that time.)
In the meantime, if you’d like to make a reservation — they’re open every day for lunch and dinner (brunch on Sunday) — you can call 321-972-3927.