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.
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: 9198293663x
Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Chef's Table, Full Bar, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Personal wines welcome, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Private Room, Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine, Wine Bar
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Second Empire Restaurant and Tavern Ratings and Reviews
We had a lovely evening. Beautiful rest ...
We had a lovely evening. Beautiful restaurant! And food was devine!!! Our waiter Cheyenne was wonderful.
Thank you again for a wonderful meal! On ...
Thank you again for a wonderful meal! One of the appetizers, the gravlax, was outstanding...we are still talking about it! We tried the duck for the first time there, it was served with a port sauce, and it was excellent.
Our 34th wedding anniversary was spent d ...
Our 34th wedding anniversary was spent dining at Second Empire. This was a new experience for us as it was our first visit. My wife is an Interior Decorator and was very pleased with the decor and ambiance. We could enjoy excellent food and carry on a discussion without screaming at each other. The Staff were attentive, personable and knowledgeable. I appreciated the venue manager coming to our table to visit with us for a minute or two. I would highly recommend Second Empire for any special occasion. We took a peek downstairs at the Tavern and decided we will go back in the near future because it seemed like a great place to meet friends, have a drink and enjoy a casual meal.
the service and ambiance was wonderful. ...
the service and ambiance was wonderful. Everything we ordered was disappointing. the app was the spring roll, it was ok, but something funky tasting in it.. our entrees were the duck which was really fatty and the filet which i ordered med rare and it came out med well. it was still flavorful but still not what i wanted. our bill came to 125 bucks which since our food was disappointing the bill was as well. the environment of it was cool and the service was great but i would not return due to the food. This was our anniversary .
Came here for our wedding anniversary, a ...
Came here for our wedding anniversary, and Second Empire did not disappoint! Great food, great atmosphere, and the gestures made for our special day made it even more special.
This was my first time to this restauran ...
This was my first time to this restaurant and it's a great find. Excellent menu and all our dishes were excellent. Best Australian lamb I have had, and I'm Australian. The meals were excellent value for money. The parking was tough. You guys need a valet service to solve this.
One of my favorite restaurants in Raleig ...
One of my favorite restaurants in Raleigh in a restored Victorian home! Charming. Very creative menus. Fine dining upstairs in intimate rooms with fireplaces or downstairs in the Tavern with a more 'clubby' feel. Two separate menus for the two venues. Great wine list with lots of 'glass' options.
The ambient was great. The food was e ...
The ambient was great. The food was excellent. The staff was extremely knowledgeable
Restaurant was beautiful. We sat on the ...
Restaurant was beautiful. We sat on the first floor. Food was great however, our service wasn't what we thought it would be. Everyone raved about the level of service but we just thought it was sub par. Waitress was nice and informative but she seemed busy and the young kids who handled the extras (bread, water, coffee) weren't really attentive at all. Had to ask for extra bread, water, warm coffee. I also asked the hostess as soon as we got there that I parked in a lot that had a code to it, so I can pay online. I didn't realize this until I got in the restaurant so I simply asked her if she or anyone else knew the code since it was close by. She never got back to me to let me know either way.
Delightful anniversary dinner. Everythi ...
Delightful anniversary dinner. Everything was perfect. Chef created dishes that were beautiful aesthetically plus incredibly tasty! We will return and we will share the news!!
All good but the chef likes to push too ...
All good but the chef likes to push too quickly to turn the tables. Unless you are in a hurry, order one step at a time AFTER you finish each course. No dress code so you will see suits and golf attire with shorts which lowers the classiness. Service is among best I have experienced in 65 countries. Attention to detail flawless. Waiters and hostess made it more memorable than the food which was surprising. Advice: BYO Wine, go slow, share courses to enjoy them all, relax for 2 hours and tip 20 to 30 percent if they keep you happy.
First time visit. Was an early Father's ...
First time visit. Was an early Father's Day celebration. Food was wonderful. Service was so nice and knew what we needed before we did. Only one issue. My husband ordered Cream Brûlée and I ordered Chocolate Souffle for dessert and they both seemed under-done. Overall though, this would not deter us from coming back. We have been wanting to dine here for awhile and know we will be back. Thank you
This was my third visit to this restaura ...
This was my third visit to this restaurant. I have never been disappointed. Food and service has always been excellent. We live about 65 miles away, but whenever we need to be in Raleigh for anything we try to have dinner at the Second Empire. I would highly recommend this excellent restaurant to anyone who appreciates fine food served in style.
Overall phenomenal experience. Food was ...
Overall phenomenal experience. Food was fantastic, atmosphere was awesome, service was stellar. Thanks for helping make wifes birthday memorable.
My husband and I chose Second Empire as ...
My husband and I chose Second Empire as a celebration for our 23rd wedding anniversary and it was a great choice. We will go back!
Excellent service! A beautiful restaura ...
Excellent service! A beautiful restaurant great for a special occasion.
Great experience from the bar downstairs ...
Great experience from the bar downstairs to our entire dining experience. The Hot Apple Pie after dinner drink is incredible.
The Second Empire is one of my favorite ...
The Second Empire is one of my favorite restaurants. The menu,which changes seasonally, is always interesting. The wait staff is knowledgeable and their service is friendly and polished. For quiet dining, we go to the restaurant. For a more lively night out, we go to The Tavern.
Great service, but some of the food dull
Entree and desert were excellent for me (rack of lamb) and so-so for wife (crab cake); Starter was good but taste muddled and over -vinergered across the board, especially the starter. Simplifying plate would clarify flavors and minimize the dullness in the flavor, we believe. Chocolate soufle x 2 was outstanding. I think a little slippage easily correctable, but not enough not to go back.
Everything about Second Empire is top no ...
Everything about Second Empire is top notch. We all enjoyed our meal and will definitely return.
Second Empire has never disappointed. In ...
Second Empire has never disappointed. Interesting and varied menu, outstanding service and excellent ambiance. My only suggestion would to expand the interesting but relatively small wine list.
This was my first time dining at Second Empire and my wife and I we're celebrating our anniversary. The staff was excellent and made us feel special! The food was good but I was hoping to be wowed! Near the end of our meal, a party of 8 were seated at a table next to us and really were not dressed appropriately for this restaurant. That took a bit of the shine off the evening for me since it was a special night for us. Still it was an enjoyable evening overall and I would like to come back in the future.
Best Restaurant in Raleigh for special occasions
Out for our 15th anniversary and it was well worth it. The food is superior to anything I've experienced in Raleigh. My only complaint is that I couldn't have multiple entrees as several were calling. We both had the filet which was out of this world good. The cheeses prior to the main course were an excellent lead in and the dessert afterwards (Cappuccino Semifreddo) fantastic. Service, as always at Second Empire, world class. Can't do better than Second Empire in my opinion.
Lamb chops were exemplary!!! Dessert... ...
Lamb chops were exemplary!!! Dessert... Not so much.
Our dinner at Second Empire Tavern could not have been better. This is now my favorite restaurant in Raleigh! We don't mind paying more for a great experience, and we definitely had a great experience.
Best restaurant in Raleigh
Everything about this restaurant is perfect: the atmosphere, the quality of the food, the wine, and the service.
We had a delightful evening The food, wine and service were excellent. All the diners at nearby tables were also enjoying their experience.
Best of the Best
Fantastic menu, outstanding service, beautiful location. Might be tricky to park on weekends; just be patient because it is worth it!
Always good and most consistent in the T ...
Always good and most consistent in the Triangle for the last decade! Save room for the chocolate soufflé ... we enjoy the more casual tavern which you can order from either menu.
Great Experience at Second Empire
We have gone to Second Empire every several months and have always thoroughly enjoyed the evening. Everything (food and service and ambiance) is GREAT. Highly recommend.
Bob from Wake Forest
The food was excellent and the service was extremely professional. Could not have found a better place to celebrate my birthday with my wife.
Our waitress Cheyenne was spectacular. S ...
Our waitress Cheyenne was spectacular. She was exceptionally knowledgeable of the menu, wine list and what to pair with our meal. Food was beautifully plated and tasted amazing. We were celebrating our 10th wedding anniversary and Second Empire was where we celebrated our very 1st anniversary. It was so special to us that we were able to revisit and re-experience such a beautiful night. Thank you to the chef for making it so deliciously romantic. We will continue to recommend Second Empire to our friends and family.
The waiter was excellent. The Food was g ...
The waiter was excellent. The Food was great. The wine listed on the wine list was a 2010 but they brought me a 2012 instead. (French Red Graves). The only issue I had was with the bread. I was expecting a baguette and what we got was similar to Merita sliced white bread
Everything was exceptional. The NY Stri ...
Everything was exceptional. The NY Strip Steak was one of, if not, the best ever.
Great date night dinner!
My wife and I thoroughly enjoyed celebrating our 2nd anniversary at Second Empire! The chef signed a menu for our special occasion! The food was amazing and the dessert was superb!! We definitely look forward to returning! A dinner for two can be budgeted under $100. Don't expect a cheap experience. It's slightly expensive but well worth it!
After 16 years together I wanted to take her somewhere unique and special. Great ambiance, romantic, and the food was amazing! The service outstanding and we felt like royalty. They even gave us a customized menu that denoted our Anniversary and a special note from the Chef. It was great!
Fabulous food. One of the best gems we d ...
Fabulous food. One of the best gems we discovered. The service, ambience, the visual presentation of the food, and the taste was superb.
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