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: (919) 829-3663

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

Specials

Valentine's Day Special Menus & More

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Specials

Valentine's Day Special Menus & More

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Details

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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

4.8

value

4.4

noise

Moderate

99% would recommend it to a friend

Special Occasion (83)
Good for Anniversaries (69)
Romantic (65)
See All
Good for a Date (64)
Historic (52)
Creative Cuisine (47)
Good for Birthdays (47)
Fit for Foodies (44)
Quiet Conversation (41)
Notable Wine List (37)
Cozy (31)
Worth the Drive (30)
Business Meals (26)
Authentic (20)
Neighborhood Gem (17)
Local Ingredients (16)
Pre/post Theatre (15)
Private Room (12)
Handcrafted Cocktails (10)
Bar Seating (8)
Healthy (7)
Seasonal (7)
Gluten Free Options (6)
Outstanding Value (6)
Good for Groups (5)
Fun (5)
Vibrant Bar Scene (5)
Late-night Find (4)
People Watching (4)
Family Style (4)
Casual (4)
Hot Spot (4)
Tasting Menu (4)
Comfort Food (3)
Great for Brunch (2)
Paleo Friendly (2)
Modern Decor (2)
Fireplace (2)
Scenic View (2)
Live Sports (1)
Molecular Gastronomy (1)
Happy Hour (1)
Vegan (1)
Great Beer (1)
Great for Lunch (1)
Good Vegetarian Options (1)
Sunday Lunch (1)
Disabled Access (1)
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2181 reviews
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As always The Second Empire was an amaz ...

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined 3 days ago

As always The Second Empire was an amazing experience from start to finish. IT IS A SENSATIONAL PLACE

Tags: Romantic, Pre/post Theatre, Fit for Foodies
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

The food and atmosphere is always top no ...

vip
 (Atlanta)·Dined 6 days ago

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.

Tags: Neighborhood Gem, Romantic, Good for Birthdays, Fit for Foodies
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service2
value4

We were dining upstairs which is more fo ...

 
 (Wilmington)·Dined 6 days ago

We were dining upstairs which is more formal than the tavern downstairs. My tuna was really good and my husband's roast duck was outstanding. Excellent service.

Tags: Special Occasion, Romantic, Quiet Conversation, Historic, Worth the Drive, Good for Anniversaries, Notable Wine List, Fit for Foodies, Good for Birthdays, Good for a Date
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

Anniversary

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined 6 days ago

Anniversary

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Our dining experience was wonderful. ...

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined 6 days ago

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.

Tags: Special Occasion
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

We had an excellent dining experience at ...

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined 6 days ago

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!

Tags: Good for Birthdays, Special Occasion, Creative Cuisine
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

My favorite Raleigh restaurant! We've d ...

vip
 (Raleigh)·Dined on January 13, 2017

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.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Romantic, Historic
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food4
ambience5
service5
value4

Great food, service and atmosphere the ...

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on January 13, 2017

Great food, service and atmosphere the bar in the basement is wonderful for after dinner drinks

Tags: Special Occasion
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food5
ambience4
service5
value3

Amazing food, great atmosphere, and the ...

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on January 12, 2017

Amazing food, great atmosphere, and the waitress was extremely helpful.

Tags: Worth the Drive, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

Can't wait to be back in town to go agai ...

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on January 11, 2017

Can't wait to be back in town to go again as I'm from Boston!!!!

Tags: Neighborhood Gem, , Good for Anniversaries, Special Occasion, Good for a Date, Pre/post Theatre, Business Meals, Worth the Drive
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

This is a beautiful restaurant with grea ...

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on January 6, 2017

This is a beautiful restaurant with great food. Highly recommend the rack of lamb.

Tags: Private Room, Good for a Date, Romantic
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

The food was outstanding, the staff were ...

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on January 6, 2017

The food was outstanding, the staff were very knowledgable and attentive, and the atmosphere was beautiful. A fantastic spot for a romantic evening!

Tags: Historic, Good for Anniversaries, Local Ingredients, Handcrafted Cocktails, Business Meals, Good for Birthdays, Special Occasion, Notable Wine List, Romantic
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

The food and service was excellent. A gr ...

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on January 1, 2017

The food and service was excellent. A great restaurant for any special occasion or when you want a great meal.

Tags: Neighborhood Gem, Special Occasion, Creative Cuisine
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

We had an early dinner at Second Empire ...

vip
 (Raleigh)·Dined on December 31, 2016

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.

Tags: Special Occasion, Cozy
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

From stepping through the door till we s ...

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on December 31, 2016

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..

Tags: Authentic, Quiet Conversation, Local Ingredients, Worth the Drive, Romantic, Good for Birthdays, Creative Cuisine, Good for a Date, Good for Anniversaries, Historic
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

If you are going to eat in the tavern, b ...

vip
 (Raleigh)·Dined on December 31, 2016

If you are going to eat in the tavern, be sure to check that there isn't a large party. Other than that the food and service are the best!

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Special Occasion, Business Meals, Good for a Date
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food5
ambience4
service5
value3

If there's a more elegant restaurant in ...

vip
 (Raleigh)·Dined on December 30, 2016

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.

Tags: Vibrant Bar Scene, Business Meals, Comfort Food, Historic, Fit for Foodies, Romantic
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Our server, Alex, was excellent. He was ...

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on December 30, 2016

Our server, Alex, was excellent. He was pleasant, well-informed and happy to make changes to the menu based on dietary concerns.

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Special Occasion
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food4
ambience5
service5
value4

It was as expected, excellent service an ...

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on December 29, 2016

It was as expected, excellent service and food in a welcoming, gracious and elegant setting. Very good value.

Tags: Notable Wine List, Good for Anniversaries, Romantic, Good for a Date, Historic, Fit for Foodies, Authentic, Creative Cuisine, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Beautiful building, fantastic wait staff ...

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on December 29, 2016

Beautiful building, fantastic wait staff and wonderful food.

Tags: Special Occasion, Creative Cuisine, Local Ingredients, Fit for Foodies, Good for Anniversaries
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Very pleased with our dining experience! ...

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on December 28, 2016

Very pleased with our dining experience! Food was prepared perfectly, service was prompt and courteous, and the atmosphere was superior. Definitely be returning.

Tags: Good for Anniversaries, Historic
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Was a beautiful place to have our annive ...

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on December 28, 2016

Was a beautiful place to have our anniversary dinner. (36)

Tags: Romantic, Handcrafted Cocktails, Local Ingredients, Special Occasion, Historic, Authentic, Healthy, Good for a Date, Notable Wine List, Good for Anniversaries
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Great dinning experience. At the reserva ...

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on December 28, 2016

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.

Tags: Special Occasion, Romantic
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

My wife, my daughter, and I visited Seco ...

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on December 27, 2016

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.

Tags: Special Occasion, Good for a Date, Fit for Foodies, Historic, Quiet Conversation, Private Room, Romantic, Good for Birthdays
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food4
ambience5
service5
value4

We enjoyed a wonderful meal in beautiful ...

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on December 25, 2016

We enjoyed a wonderful meal in beautiful surroundings.

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

2nd Christmas Eve with Mom and wifey. 2n ...

vip
 (New York Area)·Dined on December 24, 2016

2nd Christmas Eve with Mom and wifey. 2nd Empire rocks. Everything was perfect. Food, service,ambiance. Wish they were closer to SC. We would dine here every week. Just outstanding in every way!!

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food5
ambience5
service5

My wife and I were on date night. She or ...

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on December 24, 2016

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.

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Our waiter was extremely helpful with ou ...

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on December 23, 2016

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!

Tags: Business Meals, Romantic, Good for a Date, Healthy, Good for Anniversaries
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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

Excellent! Have been here many times but ...

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on December 23, 2016

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.

Tags: Quiet Conversation, Good for a Date, Scenic View, Good for Birthdays
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

We had our wedding here & have been back ...

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on December 21, 2016

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!

Tags: Good for a Date, Romantic
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food5
ambience5
service5
value3

From our greeting at the door to our goo ...

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on December 20, 2016

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.

Tags: Quiet Conversation, Good for a Date, Local Ingredients, Neighborhood Gem, Special Occasion, Fit for Foodies, Romantic
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

The best restaurant in Raleigh. Great fo ...

vip
 (New Orleans)·Dined on December 16, 2016

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.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Romantic, Good for Anniversaries, Cozy, Quiet Conversation, Creative Cuisine, Handcrafted Cocktails, Good for a Date, Good for Birthdays, Notable Wine List, Neighborhood Gem
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food5
ambience5
service3
value3

Food is good and very appreciate that th ...

 
 (Greensboro)·Dined on December 15, 2016

Food is good and very appreciate that they will work around special request/food order. A little disappointed that they couldn't make me a gingerbread martini or any holiday type mixed drink.

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food3
ambience4
service3

A frequent customer but very disappointi ...

vip
 (New England)·Dined on December 14, 2016

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

Tags: Good for Birthdays
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food4
ambience4
service4
value2

We enjoyed our small company's holiday d ...

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on December 10, 2016

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.

Tags: Tasting Menu, Worth the Drive, Historic, Romantic, Creative Cuisine, Fit for Foodies, Special Occasion, Business Meals, Good for Anniversaries, Good for a Date, Good for Birthdays, Handcrafted Cocktails, Sunday Lunch, Notable Wine List, Seasonal, Quiet Conversation, Good for Groups
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food4
ambience5
service5
value5

Perfect service, just the right amount o ...

 
 (Greensboro)·Dined on December 9, 2016

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.

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food5
ambience4
service5

Beautiful old Victorian house downtown R ...

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on December 9, 2016

Beautiful old Victorian house downtown Raleigh great ambiance

Tags: Good for Anniversaries, Good for Birthdays, Romantic, Worth the Drive
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food4
ambience5
service5
value5

The food and the atmosphere was excellen ...

 
 (Western NC)·Dined on December 9, 2016

The food and the atmosphere was excellent. The menu was very well thought out. Great all around experoance. One of the best resturants I have patronized. Hats of to the chef.

Tags: Historic, Good for Anniversaries
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

My second time at Empire Tavern. Ate the ...

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on December 8, 2016

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.

Tags: Historic
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food3
ambience4
service2
value2

Every aspect of this dining experience w ...

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on December 6, 2016

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.

Tags: Good for a Date, Fit for Foodies, Notable Wine List
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food5
ambience5
service5
value3

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