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
One of the best meals I have had since I have lived in Raleigh! We sat in the tavern and I loooved the atmosphere with the dimmed lights and exposed brick. The food was amazing, a lot of variety and cooked perfectly. The service was outstanding! And for everything that you get (atmosphere, service, delicious food, great drinks) the prices seem really reasonable. Much better experience than a Capital Grille or Ruth's Chris. My new favorite restaurant!
This place was amazing! The ambiance was beautiful, the food visually pleasing and absolutely delicious and the waiter (Alex) made the evening especially memorable (we were celebrating our 30th wedding anniversary). My wife and I would HIGHLY recommend this restaurant, especially for special occasions. They helped make it one of our best celebrations EVER.
The flavor of every dish was outstanding!@ Soup, scallops, paella, quail - this food is meant to be savored.
Atmosphere is Southern traditional/historic, in the mansion of Raleigh's mayor from the last 1800's.
Service is VERY attentive.
This is a more formal restaurant. For a more relaxed environment, the tavern in the lower level would be more appropriate.
As always Second Empire was a great place to celebrate a birthday. Superb food, elegant atmosphere, impeccable and friendly service. My wife and I have dined here many times. The menu is varied and the dishes are both beautifully presented and very tasty. Excellent and reasonably priced wine list. Upstairs is more formal and downstairs is more casual but the food and service excel in both settings.
Always a 5 star night at Second Empire. The experience at Second Empire is not comparable to any other restaurant in Raleigh, so many at the same price point. Beautiful ambiance, amazing food, superior staff.... our favorite special occasion or date night spot. Price point of 10-15 for appetizer, 24-35 entree. Bottles of wine can be found as affordable as 35 a bottle, but of course other fantastic choices at a higher price point. Loved sitting in the rocking chairs on the front porch after dinner.
We had friends visiting from Atlanta and we wanted to show them the dinner scene in Raleigh. We chose Second Empire because we have always enjoyed dining there and we knew our friends would like the food and atmosphere. One of our friends was a student from Johnson and Wales and she claimed this was one of the best meals she had ever enjoyed. Second Empire is clearly upscale, but the food and service quality make it worth the expense. Two thumbs up for Second Empire.
I have dined at Second Empire many times and consider it a great place to go for a special occasion. Typically the service, food, ambiance, and everything else is amazing. I'm not sure what happened this time with the service but it was a little slow and a few times we had to remind our waitress of previous requests. The food was as always amazing and I would still highly recommend the restaurant.
We have been to SE many times over the years but this is the first time we had an issue with the service. My wife ordered a vegetarian dinner and the waiter did a fine job explaining the options and placing the order. However, when our five meals were served, the kitchen failed to prepare her dinner correctly. She had to wait almost 15 minutes for her dinner to return and the rest of us were already half way through our dinner. Being a loyal customer for years and buying dinner for five, plus drinks at the bar, we expected SE to accept responsibility and comp the vegetarian dinner. Very surprised...
Our favorite restaurant in the Triangle! We often go there for special occasions, or just to savor the food and service which is as close to perfection as one can get. For the quality of the food it is very reasonably priced, and the broad selection of wines are not over priced either. Both levels of the restaurant are great, just upstairs is more formal appearance. You can order from either menu regardless of what level you're on. Don't miss it!
First time at the restaurant for a special occassion. Chef style restaurant. What a beautiful building! Service and food was very good. My wife had the fish plate, which she greatly enjoyed. I got the NY Strip which was good, but not overly special. I will try something different next time. Don't get me wrong, it wasn't a bad steak...just not exceptional. The soup and cheese plate was very good. Overall, I would highly recommend.
The atmosphere is always great. We had Jeremiah as our waiter and he did a terrific job. This was a 75th birthday occasion and we had Jeremiah as our waiter one year ago on our anniversary outing. The food presentation was outstanding and Daniel Schurr signed another menu for us. Great place to eat for those very special occasions .
2 things to mention.
Parking is an ongoing issue- as a female I would prefer valet as walking down dark streets to find parking is a concern.
Dinner with a girlfriend and we could not hear each other. A large party was in the center and while I was thrilled they were having a great time it did make conversation difficult.
Our reservation was for 8:30. Nice, quiet, and great ambiance. Probably need an additional light source if you have issues reading in low light. Special occasions include a custom menu with name and a message from the chef and signature. Very cool! Service started slightly slow but picked up early and didn't affect the rest of the evening. Courses were spread out evenly without feeling rushed. Amazing wine and cheese selection! The Eleven eleven pinot noir was so smooth and slightly fruit forward. Very knowledgeable servers. Filet mignon and rack of lamb were cooked to perfection and elegantly plated. Desserts are varied and my date's creme brûlée even had a candle on the side for her birthday.
Everything was delicious. I especially enjoyed my first course of monkfish with grilled octopus. OMG! A party in my mouth. I was less impressed with the rabbit dish. I didn't read the menu carefully and didn't realize the rabbit was minced and made into a sort of cake with the sweet potatoes in it. Perhaps the wait staff could reiterate that to patrons who order it to make sure that's what they want.
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