About Second Empire Restaurant and Tavern

330 Hillsborough St.
Raleigh, NC 27603
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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.

Dining Style:
Fine Dining

Cuisines:
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.

Cross Street:
Harrington St./ Edenton St.

Dress Code:
Business Casual

Price Range:
$31 to $50

Payment Options
AMEX, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

Phone Number:
(919) 829-3663

Website:
http://www.second-empire.com/

Parking Details:
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.

Executive Chef:
Daniel Schurr

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: 9198293663x

Additional:
Banquet, Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Chef's Table, Corkage Fee, Full Bar, Non-Smoking, Private Room, Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine

Restaurant Photos

Second Empire Restaurant and Tavern
Second Empire Restaurant and Tavern
Second Empire Restaurant and Tavern
Second Empire Restaurant and Tavern
Second Empire Restaurant and Tavern
Second Empire Restaurant and Tavern
Second Empire Restaurant and Tavern
Second Empire Restaurant and Tavern
Second Empire Restaurant and Tavern
Shrimp Cerviche
Ribeye
Irish Refresher
Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie
Coffee
Foie Gras
Filet Mignon
Sautéed Gnocchi And Shrimp
Fontina And Lump Crabmeat Gratin
Point Judith Rhode Island Crispy Calamari
Veal And Phyllo Cigar
Bread
Empire Cure
330 Tavern Risotto
Warm Certified Angus Beef Short Rib Salad
Baked Brie Salad
Lobster And Fava Bean Puree Soup
Chicken
Chocolate Banana Bread Pudding
Seared Scallops
  Crème Brûlée
Fin And Feathers
Grilled Creekstone Farms Premium Black Angus Ribeye
Chocolate Pistachio Charlotte
Pan-Seared Ahi Tuna & Peekytoe Crabmeat Potsticker
Swordfish
Cider Vinegar Slow Roasted Pulled Pork Shoulder Asian Wrap
Braised Grouper Fillet

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Second Empire Restaurant and Tavern Ratings and Reviews

5
4
3
2
1

4.8

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.8

service

4.8

ambience

4.7

value

4.4

noise

Moderate

99% would recommend it to a friend

Loved For

Best Overall
Raleigh / Durham / Chapel Hill
Best Food
Raleigh / Durham / Chapel Hill
Best Service
Raleigh / Durham / Chapel Hill
14 More
Best Ambiance
Raleigh / Durham / Chapel Hill
Best Value
Raleigh / Durham / Chapel Hill
Romantic
Raleigh / Durham / Chapel Hill
Special Occasion
Raleigh / Durham / Chapel Hill
Contemporary American
Raleigh / Durham / Chapel Hill
Best Overall
Raleigh
Best Food
Raleigh
Best Service
Raleigh
Best Ambiance
Raleigh
Best Value
Raleigh
Notable Wine List
Raleigh
Romantic
Raleigh
Special Occasion
Raleigh
Most Booked
Raleigh
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Special Occasion (165)
Romantic (149)
Fit for Foodies (103)
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Notable Wine List (89)
Neighborhood Gem (46)
Good for Groups (33)
Scenic View (13)
Hot Spot (12)
Vibrant Bar Scene (6)
Great for Lunch (4)
Late-night Find (4)
Great for Brunch (3)
Great for Outdoor Dining (1)
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Always a lovely evening with exceptional ...

 
 (Raleigh)
·Dined 3 days ago

Always a lovely evening with exceptional food, cocktails and service. Thank you for a pleasurable dining experience.

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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

If you want proper dining experience and ...

 
 (Raleigh)
·Dined 3 days ago

If you want proper dining experience and perfectly cooked food this is where you should go.

Tags: Business Meals, Seasonal, Great for Lunch, Quiet Conversation, Romantic, Fireplace, Good for Anniversaries, Special Occasion, Good for a Date, Tasting Menu, Pre/post Theatre
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Absolutely one of the best in Raleigh. ...

 
 (Raleigh)
·Dined 5 days ago

Absolutely one of the best in Raleigh. The food was delicious and the service was the best we have ever had in Raleigh. Very quiet and enjoyable atmosphere.

Tags: Good for Birthdays, Tasting Menu, Good for a Date, Worth the Drive, Creative Cuisine, Romantic, Authentic, Local Ingredients, Notable Wine List, Special Occasion, Neighborhood Gem, Historic, Quiet Conversation, Business Meals, Good for Anniversaries
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Over priced and pretentious would never ...

 
 (Savannah)
·Dined 6 days ago

Over priced and pretentious would never go again, went for special occasion and was not crowded nice and quiet, but very over priced spent over 20 bucks for meat ball dish and was lacking in flavor and tomatoes, only one tomato.

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food2
ambience5
service3
value1

Fantastic experience; welcome, food, win ...

 
 (Raleigh)
·Dined on August 20, 2016

Fantastic experience; welcome, food, wine and service. Highly recommended!

Tags: Local Ingredients, Neighborhood Gem, Romantic, Notable Wine List, Good for a Date, Cozy, Good for Anniversaries, Quiet Conversation, Fit for Foodies, Gluten Free Options
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

The trout is a must!

 
 (Raleigh)
·Dined on August 20, 2016

The trout is a must!

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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

This was my first visit to Second Empire ...

 
 (London)
·Dined on August 20, 2016

This was my first visit to Second Empire. I have always wanted to try it and decided to take advantage of the Downtown Raleigh Restaurant Week tasting menu to do so. The service was excellent and the ambience was good, but the food was not to the level of excellence I had expected from this restaurant (and its reputation). The food was good, but it wasn't great. When I go to a restaurant like this , especially with a chef-led kitchen, I expect to be wowed by the flavor combinations and creativity of each dish (not visually but in terms of flavors) but unfortunately this was not the case on this visit. Note my guests and I tried the tasting menu and a starter not on the tasting menu. The wine recommended to us was very nice. We decided we might return for a glass of vino and dessert, but likely not for a meal.

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food3
ambience3
service5
value2

Terrific place for a romantic dinner and ...

 
 (Raleigh)
·Dined on August 19, 2016

Terrific place for a romantic dinner and they have an awesome food menu.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Special Occasion, Romantic, Notable Wine List
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Our server was rushed and sloppy. He spi ...

 
 (Raleigh)
·Dined on August 19, 2016

Our server was rushed and sloppy. He spilled stuff on the table (not us, thank goodness), we couldn't get our water refilled throughout the meal, or bread delivered at the beginning of the meal. There were only 4 of 7 tables occupied in our section with a back waiter to help, so we don't understand the poor service. No manager ever came by to check or ask, either. In addition, we had to wait to be seated, but again the restaurant was not crowded ( we had reservations but were seated by our appointed time so I guess that makes it okay). Just seemed odd.

The food was lovely and tasty, but portions were quite small. The service just interfered with the meal. We have been a couple of times in the past, just not certain we would return. This is twice in a row where service was disappointing, even though the food is not.

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food3
ambience3
service1

We went for Raleigh Restaurant week. The ...

 
 (Raleigh)
·Dined on August 19, 2016

We went for Raleigh Restaurant week. The portions were so small we had to eat afterwards!

Tags: Special Occasion
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food3
ambience4
service4
value2

I ate there during restaurant week. They ...

 
 (Raleigh)
·Dined on August 19, 2016

I ate there during restaurant week. They gave me just a taste of their food. I could only laugh when I saw my dessert that was smaller than an oreo, while the table beside me that ordered from the menu had a dessert 15 times larger. My salad was a green cut in 4 pieces. They certainly didn't want me to return. The meal they served was less than a sample. They gave me no reason to want to return. They don't folks like me in their empire.

Tags: Fit for Foodies
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food4
ambience4
service5
value1

Absolutely terrible. The portions were s ...

 
 (Raleigh)
·Dined on August 19, 2016

Absolutely terrible. The portions were so tiny it was embarassing. Two bits for first course, 2 bites for desert and three bites for dinner.

Tags: Neighborhood Gem, Notable Wine List
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food1
ambience3
service4
value1

FABULOUS FOOD!!! Loved everything I tas ...

vip
 (Raleigh)
·Dined on August 19, 2016

FABULOUS FOOD!!! Loved everything I tasted. The duck was the best I have ever had. Lots of interesting flavors. I have food allergies and often by the time the restaurant removes substances I cannot eat, I am left with boring food. This did NOT happen here ... highly recommend!!!! Only one slight negative ... Originally went to take advantage of Restaurant Week. The Restaurant Week menu is a "tasting" menu ... so you get rather tiny portions (at least for the 1st & 3rd course). I was more attracted to the regular menu and did order off of it and was thrilled with everything, it cost a bit more than the expected $30 ... but it was worth it for a special occasion.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Lovely dinner.

 
 (Raleigh)
·Dined on August 18, 2016

Lovely dinner.

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food5
ambience5
service5

Went there with a friend during Downtown ...

 
 (Raleigh)
·Dined on August 18, 2016

Went there with a friend during Downtown Rest. week. One of my favs so I was excited to go. Mostly a great experience. Portions were small but the food was delish.

Tags: Notable Wine List, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

Always superb in every way, Second Empir ...

 
 (Raleigh)
·Dined on August 18, 2016

Always superb in every way, Second Empire never disappoints and seems to always exceed expectations.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Romantic, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Nice food but the courses in Restaurant ...

 
 (Raleigh)
·Dined on August 17, 2016

Nice food but the courses in Restaurant week were very-very small...really, that definitely can be improved. Bread not as nice as in some other places and not warm at all

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food5
ambience5
service5

Best food in Raleigh, hands down. Excel ...

 
 (Raleigh)
·Dined on August 17, 2016

Best food in Raleigh, hands down. Excellent quality, expert preparation, wonderful service. I LOVE IT!!

Tags: Notable Wine List, Special Occasion, Romantic, Fit for Foodies
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

Lovely restaurant with generally good fo ...

 
 (Sacramento)
·Dined on August 16, 2016

Lovely restaurant with generally good food. They only reserve about a third of their seats at a time so it's not crowded.

Tags: Romantic, Special Occasion, Fit for Foodies
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food4
ambience4
service4
value4

This was a fantastic experience and than ...

 
 (Western NC)
·Dined on August 16, 2016

This was a fantastic experience and thank you for the signed menu

Tags: Scenic View, Romantic, Neighborhood Gem, Vibrant Bar Scene, Good for Groups, Hot Spot, Special Occasion, Notable Wine List, Fit for Foodies, Great for Lunch, Late-night Find
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

We ate here during Raleigh Restaurant We ...

 
 (Raleigh)
·Dined on August 16, 2016

We ate here during Raleigh Restaurant Week and thoroughly enjoyed every aspect of our dinner - from entry to departure. The selections available on the special menu were exceptionally well prepared and tasted great. My companion is gluten-free and they substituted an appropriate dessert without charge. A memorable experience in all regards!

Tags: Special Occasion, Neighborhood Gem
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

This was the perfect "fine dining" exper ...

 
 (Raleigh)
·Dined on August 16, 2016

This was the perfect "fine dining" experience. The food was delicious and interesting, pleasing to the eye and the palate. The service was impeccable. The atmosphere at Second Empire is warm and inviting. The decor is beautiful. I would recommend Second Empire for any special occasion or when you are seeking a fine dining experience.

Tags: Romantic, Special Occasion, Fit for Foodies
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

Everything was delicious. Our server was ...

 
 (Raleigh)
·Dined on August 14, 2016

Everything was delicious. Our server was very attentive and gave great wine and food recommendations. This is one of our favorite places!

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food5
ambience5
service5

Now I understand why I cannot afford thi ...

 
 (Raleigh)
·Dined on August 14, 2016

Now I understand why I cannot afford this place: the food is out of this world!

Tags: Romantic, Fit for Foodies, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

This is my favorite restaurant in Raleig ...

 
 (Raleigh)
·Dined on August 13, 2016

This is my favorite restaurant in Raleigh!! We had the perfect evening with the perfect food and service!!

Tags: Special Occasion, Fit for Foodies, Hot Spot, Notable Wine List, Romantic
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Waiter Vaughan was superb. The restauran ...

 
 (Raleigh)
·Dined on August 13, 2016

Waiter Vaughan was superb. The restaurant manager was also very committed to our total satisfaction. The service now is even better than it was a decade ago. Food was excellent, also better than ever. My $50 steak was slightly overcooked, Vaughan offered to redo it, but I kept it and enjoyed very much. My wife's duck was best she ever had. Drinks and deserts were delicious. Previous steaks I've had at Tavern remain best I've ever had. After dinner and dessert we sat on the front porch of the restaurant on rockers and watched the street goings-on at dusk for an hour while we talked and digested the feast. Very romantic and memorable.

Tags: Hot Spot, Notable Wine List, Fit for Foodies, Good for Groups, Romantic, Special Occasion, Neighborhood Gem
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

The food and presentation was at least 4 ...

 
 (Raleigh)
·Dined on August 13, 2016

The food and presentation was at least 4 1/2 stars but probably 5 stars. The $15 "very dry" martini was a $9 one at most, and watered down or drowned with vermouth. The same martini in June was probably the best I've had a any restaurant.

Tags: Romantic, Special Occasion, Good for Groups
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food5
ambience4
service4
value4

Fabulous! We enjoyed everything! I wish ...

 
 (Pinehurst)
·Dined on August 13, 2016

Fabulous! We enjoyed everything! I wish it were closer! We will be back next time we are in Raleigh.

Tags: Neighborhood Gem, Special Occasion, Fit for Foodies, Romantic, Notable Wine List
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

Took my wife there for her birthday. S ...

 
 (Raleigh)
·Dined on August 12, 2016

Took my wife there for her birthday. She received a personalized and signed menu for the evening. Wasn't necessary but it was a great and unique surprise. Made her feel special. The wait staff was very attentive and the food was really good. Will be back for future special occasions.

Tags: Notable Wine List, Special Occasion, Romantic
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

We celebrated our anniversary and the en ...

 
 (Kansas City)
·Dined on August 11, 2016

We celebrated our anniversary and the entire staff took great care of us, including the chef signing a menu for us. We really enjoyed the evening.

Tags: Special Occasion, Romantic
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food4
ambience4
service5
value4

We enjoyed celebrating our anniversary! ...

 
 (South Carolina)
·Dined on August 10, 2016

We enjoyed celebrating our anniversary! Food was outstanding and the service was top notch!

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food5
ambience5
service5

Very accommodating with food allergies, ...

 
 (Memphis)
·Dined on August 7, 2016

Very accommodating with food allergies, they had to switch some ingredients that normally comes with the specific entree to meet some dietary restrictions, food was wonderful.

Tags: Special Occasion, Romantic
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Always a favorite night out, we prefer ...

vip
 (Raleigh)
·Dined on August 6, 2016

Always a favorite night out, we prefer the upstairs dining room since it is quiet. Started with tuna tartare and shrimp and bean salad for starters and then ribeye and crab cake for mains and then key lime for dessert. All very well prepared and presented. Very pleasant.

Tags: Special Occasion, Romantic, Fit for Foodies
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

Experience was amazing. Food was excell ...

 
 (Raleigh)
·Dined on August 6, 2016

Experience was amazing. Food was excellent, service was outstanding, this was our first time, and we will definitely be back.

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food5
ambience5
service5

Impeccable service - our waiter was incr ...

 
 (Raleigh)
·Dined on July 30, 2016

Impeccable service - our waiter was incredibly knowledgeable about the menu, each dishes' ingredients, and what items paired well together. The food was the best we've ever had in Raleigh. We've been here a few times and keep coming back - excellent experience every time!

Tags: Special Occasion, Notable Wine List, Romantic
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Second Empire never fails to be one of o ...

 
 (Raleigh)
·Dined on July 30, 2016

Second Empire never fails to be one of our most enjoyable evenings out, either dining in the main section or the chef's table we so loved. This was our first time in the Tavern and it did not disappoint!

Attentive professional staff coupled with a true gourmet meal. Definitely worth another visit.

Tags: Romantic, Special Occasion, Neighborhood Gem
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Went here for an anniversary and the ser ...

 
 (New England)
·Dined on July 29, 2016

Went here for an anniversary and the service was amazing, the ambiance was incredibly romantic. The chef even gave us a personal menu and that he signed. The food was easily some of the best food I have ever had in my life. The Entrees range in price from about $25 to $50 and for the quality of food that I received I would honestly say the prices are very modest. Easily the best restaurant I have ever been to and I will be back again.

Tags: Romantic, Special Occasion, Late-night Find, Scenic View, Neighborhood Gem, Notable Wine List
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

It was an overall wonderful experience f ...

 
 (Raleigh)
·Dined on July 29, 2016

It was an overall wonderful experience food and atmosphere was excellent wait staff are great

Tags: Good for Groups, Special Occasion, Notable Wine List
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food5
ambience5
service5
value3

Best Weiner Schnitzel ever. Better than ...

 
 (Chicago)
·Dined on July 27, 2016

Best Weiner Schnitzel ever. Better than Spago. Good staff from Bar Tender to wait Staff to Manager. Love the old mansion setting and the trues Tavern experience.

Tags: Romantic, Neighborhood Gem, Notable Wine List
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

I dined here 2 years ago. It was good th ...

 
 (Chicago)
·Dined on July 26, 2016

I dined here 2 years ago. It was good then, but not terribly impressed. Thought we would give it another try and so glad we did. Food was outstanding in taste and presentation. The only less than outstanding critique I would give is perhaps there were almost too many components on each plate. It was delicious nonetheless.

Service was efficient and very good. Temperature in the upstairs dining room was really warm and quite uncomfortable (it was very hot and humid outside)

Overall it was a great and very enjoyable evening

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience4
service4
value4

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