About Second Empire Restaurant and Tavern
Raleigh, NC 27603
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.
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 deposited in the box located on the South side of the parking lot. If you do not pay you will be ticketed $30.
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 48 people, the Raleigh Room which seats 30 people, the Capitol Room which seats 24 people and the Atrium which seats 55 people.
Private Party Contact:
Marilyn Akers: (919) 829-3663
Banquet, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Chef's Table, Corkage Fee, Full Bar, Non-Smoking, Private Room, Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine
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Second Empire Restaurant and Tavern Ratings and Reviews
The food and atmosphere is always top no ...
The food and atmosphere is always top notch! Our waitress was the only thing not top notch. We ended up having a 3.5 hour meal, but mostly because she wasn't attentive. But, we'll go back...just won't sit at her tables.
Our dining experience was wonderful. ...
Our dining experience was wonderful. Three of the four of us had never been here before and our server did a masterful job from relating specials of the evening to allowing us time for conversation. The food was delicious -- especially the salmon dish and the accompaniments.
We had an excellent dining experience at ...
We had an excellent dining experience at Second Empire. The menu had great variety and everything we ordered was wonderful. Duck and lamb chops were both perfectly done and beautifully presented. Banana layer cake was also good. Fairly pricey, but definitely worth it!
My favorite Raleigh restaurant! We've d ...
My favorite Raleigh restaurant! We've dined here with friends three times, most recently 12/31 and 1/13. I recommend that you ask to be seated in the Tavern (do this when you make a reservation), as the ambiance is more casual and "bistro"-like. My friends and family have been delighted with everything they've ordered, except that on 2 occasions we've found the Lamb Chops to be disappointing. I had them on an earlier visit, and was not impressed with flavor or texture, and the sauce is different than what I would expect...kind of tomato-flavored. On the last visit, my husband said that the chops were tough in texture, and old-tasting. The favorite dish of our crowd is the Scallops, which have been consistantly superb (we do a lot of taste testing). I also highly recommend the Steelhead and the Ahi Tuna; both perfectly cooked and with a sauce that does not overwhelm. The menu changes frequently and offers many varied choices, from simple to fancy. Wine list is decent, and we feel that pricing of both wine and food is appropriate for this type of restaurant. I have told several people to try this restaurant (but to avoid the lamb). Service has been top-notch on all 3 visits.
We had an early dinner at Second Empire ...
We had an early dinner at Second Empire for New Year's Eve and really enjoyed ourselves. The staff is welcoming, polite and friendly (not pretentious). One member of our party is a vegetarian and the waiter had a couple of off menu options. She gave her dish an excellent review. They offer a nice wines by the glass menu allowing all of us to enjoy different types of wine with our meals. The restaurant is warm, comfortable and relaxing inside. This was our second visit to Second Empire and I believe will return.
From stepping through the door till we s ...
From stepping through the door till we stepped out at the end of our night
It was a very enjoyable evening
Food was amazing .. fillet steak so tender
From starter to dessert nothing was not taste worthy .. Service was impeccable ..
Not to over bearing .. but there when needed.
Will be going back again..
If there's a more elegant restaurant in ...
If there's a more elegant restaurant in the Triangle, I don't know where it is. The figurative definition of "class", fine dining, ambience, & exemplary service. Not a place if you're in the mood for boisterous partying, but perfect if you want to be assured you'll be well taken care of in a beautiful setting. Always prefer the downstairs Tavern which is a little more laid back. Many reasonably priced (for such high quality), wonderfully prepared & flavorful menu options-- but wish there were some healthier choices.
Great dinning experience. At the reserva ...
Great dinning experience. At the reservation they asked if it was a special occasion (yes, it was my Girlfriend's birthday). They congratulated her for the occasion, gave a menu signed by the Chef with her name printed on it. Meal was delicious and service excellent.
My wife, my daughter, and I visited Seco ...
My wife, my daughter, and I visited Second Empire for my wife's birthday. My wife and daughter had superb food selections, but mine were a bit wanting. However, the service was excellent and the atmosphere just about the best you could find anywhere. It being the Christmas season, the restaurant was decorated with lights and wreaths, and all of the patrons were quite dressy. The wait staff was formal and friendly, which is the ideal combination. My wife and daughter ordered a delicious crab meat appetizer. I chose the lentil soup, which disappointed me a bit because it was a pureed soup--no whole lentils. My wife's black angus filet mignon was perfectly delicious (also the highest-priced entrée on the menu). My daughter's duck was excellent. My Australian lamb chops were a bit tough. Dessert was unusual: a chocolate spice cake with a brown-sugar pineapple ring baked in.
All in all, great atmosphere, mostly great food.
My wife and I were on date night. She or ...
My wife and I were on date night. She ordered a ribeye steak and I ordered rack of lamb. Both dishes were outstanding. Both were grilled to perfection and melt in the mouth good. Also the wine was superb. Same for the dessert. Our server Rachel was friendly and helpful with suggestions. Overall we had a fabulous date and we thank Second Empire for it. Would highly recommend and we will go back here again.
Our waiter was extremely helpful with ou ...
Our waiter was extremely helpful with our specific dietary wishes (some in our party are vegetarian) and very knowledgeable of the entire menu. The staff was attentive to our needs during our birthday celebration dinner. While the price is a bit steep, the food was extraordinary. I would recommend this restaurant to anyone looking for a special meal out. Cheers!
Excellent! Have been here many times but ...
Excellent! Have been here many times but first time upstairs. Usually sit in the atrium-
loved the atmosphere and service. Will definitely sit upstairs again--depending on who
is dining with us--
Jeremiah served us and was very pleasant and efficient.
Thanks for a wonderful experience.
We had our wedding here & have been back ...
We had our wedding here & have been back every year to celebrate our anniversary!
Can't say enough good things about your restaurant!
From the signed menu to the enthusiasm of the wait staff not to mention the exquisite food!
All together an Unforgettable Experience!
From our greeting at the door to our goo ...
From our greeting at the door to our good-bye at the end of dinner, my wife and I were treated like honored guests. Our server was attentive to detail and seemed to show up exactly when we needed him. Most importantly, every bite of our dinner from beginning to end was like that first bite of a most incredible dish. I highly recommend Second Empire.
The best restaurant in Raleigh. Great fo ...
The best restaurant in Raleigh. Great food and great classical atmosphere. The only negative point was that we were not given the table we wanted even though that table remained empty till they closed the restaurant. This was unpleasant and spoiled our evening a little bit.
A frequent customer but very disappointi ...
A frequent customer but very disappointing evening. Entertaining international guests. Wanted to start the evening with matinis. Ordered grey goose we were told they ran out. Ordered kettle one out as well. Had a busy Saturday night and ran out of premium vodka. A manager never came to the table to apologize or offer something to a very good customer. I will never return on a Tuesday since ,they may be out of the wine I like or liquor I drink. I suggest others do the same
We enjoyed our small company's holiday d ...
We enjoyed our small company's holiday dinner at Second Empire, and both the food and the service were excellent! I think it's difficult to be a server who is expected to be there just when you need him, but not too much, and this server timed it perfectly. Most everyone thought the food and wine were excellent. A few felt the food was very good but weren't quite as happy with their meals as others. But overall, we had a great dinner and a wonderful time! We'll definitely be back.
Perfect service, just the right amount o ...
Perfect service, just the right amount of attention...they never approached when my mouth was full or during a conversation. Food was salted the way I like it, savoury and had the right amount of fatty butteriness! When my first choice of wine was unavailable the waiter suggested a fine substitute. I would recommend to a friend.
My second time at Empire Tavern. Ate the ...
My second time at Empire Tavern. Ate there many years ago and loved it. This time, not so much. I took my wife there for her birthday dinner. A nice touch was a menu signed by the chef for my wife. Our wobbly table was kind of in the middle next to a narrow brick wall. The staff kept bumping me as they whizzed by. It was very loud in there at 7:15pm. Everyone who served us was very nice excluding our waiter Jerimiah. We feel that he may not have treated us so nice since we were not buying expensive cheese plates and appetizers. Maybe we were wrong but that is how it seemed. The bread boy and the water server were more friendly towards us. Our meals were very tasty but both of us were sick later that night with the same symptoms. This is the only meal we ate together that day. We were thinking that possibly a cook had not washed his (her) hands while preparing our food or perhaps someone sneezed on our meals. I just know we were both ill that night. I had tried to find an email address on the restaurant website the next day to let someone know we got sick but could not find one. Anyway, we usually do not go back to places that made us sick in the past.
Every aspect of this dining experience w ...
Every aspect of this dining experience was outstanding. I particularly liked that the menu had several options in most food categories including meat and seafood. Dish presentation was as great as the food itself and personnel was very attentive to details. I would recommend this place without hesitation.
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