Nearby points of interest
Nearby points of interest
About Second Empire Restaurant and Tavern
Located in downtown Raleigh’s historic Victorian Dodd-Hinsdale House (circa 1879), Second Empire combines history, atmosphere, exceptional service and gourmet cuisine for an unforgettable dining experience. Second Empire Restaurant and Tavern features our award winning Contemporary American Cuisine in two dining atmospheres. Upstairs enjoy the ultimate dining experience in an elegant yet relaxed atmosphere of charm and grace. Downstairs in the Tavern and beautiful Atrium room enjoy a lighter fare menu and more casual environment. The Capitol Room, Raleigh Room, Pine Room and Atrium Room are available for private parties seating up to 55 people or various combinations of rooms for parties up to 300 people. Second Empire is very proud to be the recipient of the DiRoNA Award (Distinguished Restaurants of North America), the AAA Four Diamond Award (Raleigh’s only restaurant with this award) and the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence since 1998.
Raleigh, NC 27603
Contemporary American, Southern, French
Hours of Operation:
Dinner: Tuesday - Saturday: 5:00pm - 10:00pm
Please note under special requests if you prefer tavern/ atrium seating instead of the formal main dining room.
Harrington St./ Edenton St.
$31 to $50
AMEX, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
Parking is available on the surrounding streets & our private lot in the rear of the Restaurant. Additional parking is also located behind the Restaurant in the Reynolds Building parking lot.
There is a public parking lot across from Second Empire on Hillsborough Street owned by the City of Raleigh & is available for parking, however, there is a $3.00 parking fee that must be paid online. If you do not pay you will be towed.
Private Party Facilities:
Second Empire Restaurant and Tavern offers four private dining rooms for day or evening receptions and/or dining. We offer our Pine Room which seats 40 people, the Raleigh Room which seats 25 people, the Capitol Room which seats 25 people and the Atrium which seats 50 people.
Private Party Contact:
Nicolle Roberts: (919) 829-3663
Banquet, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Chef's Table, Corkage Fee, Full Bar, Non-Smoking, Private Room, Wheelchair Access, Wine
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Second Empire Restaurant and Tavern Ratings and Reviews
Compliments to the chef and the hostess staff.. the meal was outstanding, and the service, notably Matthew, were incredible as well. They accommodated us for our anniversary by putting us in a beautiful window table, and we received a signed menu from the chef. The experience was incredible, and one of the most memorable meals we have ever had.
Lovely meal overall. Tasty appetizers bursting with flavor (duck salad and foie gras that just melted in my mouth), a substantial wine list, and hearty, expertly-cooked entrees. The chef even whipped up a vegetarian dish for one of our guests that turned out much tastier than expected. My only qualm is that our server was clearly under the influence of some kind of amphetamine, but in all honesty, his attention to detail more than made up for it.
Our family of 4 chose this restaurant for dinner to celebrate our daughter's graduation from NC State University. We were looking for excellent food, beautiful ambiance, quiet dinner conversation and impeccable service. We were not disappointed! From he time we walked into the restaurant, until we left, we were impressed. Chris - our server - was amazing. The restaurant even personalized a dinner menu with a congratulatory message for our daughter and signed by the chef. Appetizers, main courses and dessert were the best we have ever had. Chris also offered our daughters a tour of the kitchen. The venue, an historic home, was tastefully decorated. We all loved this restaurant!!!
Excellent service from Alex. Very accommodating to a vegetarian in the group. Two fish entrees were outstanding, salad apps quite good, wine list extensive. A little pricey but you feel pampered. Desserts were only weak part. Overall we had a very satisfying meal and enjoyable evening.
We chose Second Empire to celebrate our daughter's college graduation. We have dined at Second Empire in the past and just knew that we could not choose a more beautiful, delicious and exceptional restaurant to celebrate such a momentous occasion. Thank you to Chef Daniel for a handwritten, signed copy of the evening's menu as a wonderful remembrance of the evening!
It has been about two years since I visited Second Empire so it was nice to dine at this fine restaurant once again. The food was very good but it wasn't as good as previous years. It is still one of the better restaurants to dine in Raleigh. Raleigh-Durham area has a lot of fine restaurants so the culinary food bar is set very high. I would go back to Second Empire for an anniversary or for a business meal. I thought the Filet Mignon was succulent and very tasty but some of the sides just weren't as good. Very good restaurant but a few years ago it was a great restaurant.
The Tavern at Second Empire was an amazing experience, not only was the level of service and food exceptional but the price point was approachable and extremely value driven because of the quality of food and portion size. And nicest part of sitting in the tavern vs upstairs is you can order from either menu, which was a nice treat.
A really lovely meal and very spirited and friendly hostess. Also, a surprisingly interesting cheese course. I'm not from the south originally and have until Saturday night found the restaurant's name off-putting. However I was so pleased to find that neither the staff nor the cuisine was stuffy, in fact the opposite. It took a longer time than I would image at that hour of the evening to place our orders, but otherwise an excellent experience. Very pleasant wait staff, and a quiet space to have conversation.
Wonderful food and service, as always. We opted to eat in the Tavern this time and enjoyed the evening. The Barramundi was delicious and the wine was excellent. The Bailey's chocolate dessert was a bit of a disappointment--okay, but nothing special. You can't go too wrong at Second Empire.
We loved our experience at Second Empire restaurant. This is a dining experience for anyone who loves quality, innovative, interesting, meal choices. The flavor profiles were creative and all of our meals (3) were beautifully presented and delicious.
This is not a dining experience for children. The menu offerings and specials are very sophisticated and the setting is conducive to an intimate adult experience.
Our waiter/sommelier, Matthew, was well versed in the evenings offerings, as well as, the wine pairings for each course.
Matthew happily recommended appropriate changes to one of our partie's meal that was not conducive to an allergy she had.
I highly recommend Second Empire Restaurant. I cannot speak to the Tavern having never eaten there and the menu is quite different.
Perfect location for our 43rd Wedding Anniversary. Every aspect of the occasion was perfect. Starting with our waiter, Alex, who was extraordinarily attentive and knowledgeable our evening was remarkable. The food was the highlight of event and we weren't disappointed.Looking forward to going back again.
We selected Second Empire to celebrate our 11th anniversary. The food and service were impeccable! Unfortunately, there was a wedding earlier in the day and the reception was held in the bar. We heard very loud 80's music playing throughout our meal. It definitely spoiled our romantic meal.
The house is beautiful, the food wonderful, and the service fine, but our experience was ruined by the incredibly loud dance music coming from the basement wedding reception. The music was thumping our table. The level went down a bit, then a bit louder, then back down. But our anniversary dinner meal from the fine chef was ruined by allowing crappy dance music to be played so the upstairs diners could hear every word of every song. Not the atmosphere I wanted, and not what they told me they normally have. Since I live 3 hours away I won't really have a reason to come back and give them a second chance.
The food was excellent, as was the service staff. However, there was a wedding party in an adjacent room that raised the noise level in the dining room above what I expected for a restaurant of this quality and price point. I believe hosting the wedding party also negatively impacted the service in that the wait staff appeared short-handed, and we had to wait longer than what was probably normal for dessert to be served, for example. However, our particular waiter (Michael) was outstanding.
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