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 Dining, 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, Raleigh, NC
Second Empire Restaurant and Tavern, Raleigh, NC
Second Empire Restaurant and Tavern, Raleigh, NC
Second Empire Restaurant and Tavern, Raleigh, NC
Second Empire Restaurant and Tavern, Raleigh, NC
Second Empire Restaurant and Tavern, Raleigh, NC
Second Empire Restaurant and Tavern, Raleigh, NC
Second Empire Restaurant and Tavern, Raleigh, NC
Second Empire Restaurant and Tavern, Raleigh, NC
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

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Second Empire Restaurant and Tavern Ratings and Reviews

5
4
3
2
1

4.7

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.8

service

4.8

ambience

4.8

value

4.3

noise

Moderate

96% would recommend it to a friend

Loved For

Best Overall
Raleigh / Durham / Chapel Hill
Best Service
Raleigh / Durham / Chapel Hill
Best Ambiance
Raleigh / Durham / Chapel Hill
8 More
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
Special Occasion
Raleigh
Best Restaurants in Raleigh ›

Special Occasion (116)
Romantic (84)
Good for a Date (69)
See All
Good for Anniversaries (68)
Fit for Foodies (60)
Notable Wine List (59)
Historic (56)
Creative Cuisine (48)
Good for Birthdays (48)
Quiet Conversation (48)
Worth the Drive (39)
Cozy (34)
Business Meals (34)
Neighborhood Gem (31)
Authentic (27)
Local Ingredients (19)
Good for Groups (18)
Pre/post Theatre (16)
Private Room (15)
Hot Spot (11)
Handcrafted Cocktails (10)
Bar Seating (10)
Gluten Free Options (9)
Fun (8)
Seasonal (8)
Healthy (7)
Vibrant Bar Scene (7)
Great for Lunch (6)
Late-night Find (6)
Outstanding Value (6)
Tasting Menu (5)
Great for Brunch (5)
Family Style (5)
Scenic View (5)
Casual (5)
Comfort Food (4)
People Watching (4)
Great Beer (3)
Good Vegetarian Options (3)
Paleo Friendly (3)
Molecular Gastronomy (3)
Fireplace (3)
Sunday Lunch (2)
Happy Hour (2)
Organic (2)
Modern Decor (2)
Live Sports (1)
Great for Outdoor Dining (1)
Vegan (1)
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2045 reviews
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Every aspect of this dining experience w ...

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined 4 days ago

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

Our first visit to Second Empire and we ...

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined 7 days ago

Our first visit to Second Empire and we keep asking why it took us so long. We will be back again soon.

Tags: Romantic, Tasting Menu, Quiet Conversation, Good for Birthdays, Neighborhood Gem, Business Meals, Special Occasion, Authentic
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

A+. This was an amazing experience. We ...

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined 7 days ago

A+. This was an amazing experience. We were celebrating out 11 year anniversary, and will definitely be back for the 12th.

Tags: Pre/post Theatre, Romantic, Quiet Conversation, Business Meals
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Excellent for impressing that special pe ...

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on December 3, 2016

Excellent for impressing that special person in your life. Dress to impress.

Great food and great service.

We are excited for our next opportunity to experience such a beautiful atmosphere.

Tags: Cozy, Outstanding Value, Good for a Date, Special Occasion, Quiet Conversation, Good for Anniversaries, Worth the Drive, Romantic, Good for Birthdays, Historic
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Fabulous, as always. Food and atmosphere ...

vip
 (Raleigh)·Dined on November 30, 2016

Fabulous, as always. Food and atmosphere never disappoint.

Tags: Special Occasion, Seasonal, Local Ingredients, Notable Wine List
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

I'm a huge foodie and this place tops my ...

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on November 30, 2016

I'm a huge foodie and this place tops my list of favorite dining experience. Everything bite of food was spectacular. Would highly recommend!

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

The food was great and the service was t ...

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on November 26, 2016

The food was great and the service was top notch. Reasonably priced in the Tavern section or eat off the same menu as the fancy folk without the need to be as dressed up.

Tags: Special Occasion, Worth the Drive, Business Meals, Good for a Date, Quiet Conversation, Good for Anniversaries, Romantic
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Josh our waiter was amazing, the food is ...

vip
 (Raleigh)·Dined on November 25, 2016

Josh our waiter was amazing, the food is consistently good, love the ambiance of the tavern dining area. We will be back!🍴⭐️

Tags: Bar Seating, Good for Anniversaries, Good for Birthdays, Notable Wine List, People Watching, Special Occasion, Fun, Historic, Creative Cuisine, Good for a Date, Handcrafted Cocktails, Fit for Foodies, Pre/post Theatre, Worth the Drive, Vibrant Bar Scene
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

We really enjoyed the creative combinati ...

vip
 (Raleigh)·Dined on November 25, 2016

We really enjoyed the creative combination and varied menu options. Chef did an excellent job. Staff made us feel special and attended to our needs. Great night out.

Tags: Local Ingredients, Special Occasion, Creative Cuisine
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Best food we've had in over 5 years.

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on November 20, 2016

Best food we've had in over 5 years.

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food5
ambience5
service5

Wonderful food, and they went out of the ...

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on November 19, 2016

Wonderful food, and they went out of their way to make a 75th Birthday a special occasion for my mother in law.

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

Loved the atmosphere. We arrived early s ...

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on November 18, 2016

Loved the atmosphere. We arrived early so we waited at the bar downstairs till the host came and sat us at we'll prepped table where we were served beautifully and respectfully by Avery professional but not pushy waiter. Food was timely, well prepared and delicious. Thanks for the experience. Recommended to others.

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Excellent service. Great food with a s ...

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on November 16, 2016

Excellent service. Great food with a southern twist.

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food5
ambience5
service5

Wow, the complexity of each entree was a ...

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on November 16, 2016

Wow, the complexity of each entree was amazing, building from the protein, paired with grain and vegetable and topped with sauces and garnishes - each chosen very specifically. Our table ordered 4 different entrees, and each one was complex. Some restaurants try too hard to create a dish - Second Empire has done so in a manner that the food is delicious, flavorful, and each ingredient compliments the plate! Our server was expertly versed in the menu and bar options. Overall, a wonderful place to dine.

Tags: Good for a Date, Creative Cuisine, Special Occasion, Authentic, Cozy, Quiet Conversation
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food5
ambience4
service5
value5

Enjoy celebrating birthdays here...Great ...

vip
 (Raleigh)·Dined on November 15, 2016

Enjoy celebrating birthdays here...Great Food...Fun....Friends!

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

We choose the Tavern for our anniversary ...

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on November 13, 2016

We choose the Tavern for our anniversary because it's a favorite - comfortable, quality service and personnel, good food and drink and a special ambiance.

Tags: Good for Birthdays, Romantic, Neighborhood Gem, Good for a Date, Quiet Conversation, Good for Anniversaries, Fun, Bar Seating, Vibrant Bar Scene
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food4
ambience5
service4
value4

Menu was excellent. Food was delicious. ...

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on November 13, 2016

Menu was excellent. Food was delicious. The Duck was cooked to perfection. Ambiance was very good for a nice date with my wife. Service was very good.

Tags: Quiet Conversation, Good for a Date, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

I am totally impressed! This restaurant ...

 
 (Wilmington)·Dined on November 12, 2016

I am totally impressed! This restaurant was great. I made reservations using Open Table and a few days before the dinner reservation, Second Empire called to confirm and asked me if it was a special occasion. I let them know that it was my one year anniversary with my beautiful wife, they congratulated me and asked for her name. I didn't think much of it. When we got to the restaurant, they had a special menu that had been signed by the chef and had a special message across the top, indicating our one year anniversary. From there, it only got better. The wait staff was highly professional. Jordan, our waiter, was very knowledgeable and helpful in our menu selections and our choice of champagne. Everything was great, Jordan wished us a happy anniversary and even made small talk. The hostess also wished us a happy anniversary. Everyone there was so polite and great. I wish Second Empire wasn't 2 hours away, or I'd eat there at least once a week. Thank you for making our anniversary one that we'll never forget!

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

We came for my dad's birthday and had a ...

 
 (Montreal)·Dined on November 11, 2016

We came for my dad's birthday and had a very good time. The food was truly excellent and the service was overall very good. I would recommend this place for a family dinner or a special occasion.

Tags: Notable Wine List, Hot Spot, Fit for Foodies, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience4
service5
value3

We are regulars at Second Empire, but af ...

vip
 (New England)·Dined on November 11, 2016

We are regulars at Second Empire, but after this night we will probably reduce our number of visits. The service was pleasant, but very slow, and the fish was overcooked and covered with a pile of unidentifiable, spiced, vegetables. Not at all tasty!

Tags: Authentic
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food3
ambience4
service3
value3

Just a great overall experience!! My thi ...

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on November 6, 2016

Just a great overall experience!! My third time there with my wife and we left there completely satisfied each time! The service is the best from any restaurant around!! Love this place!!!

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Fit for Foodies, Special Occasion, Good for Anniversaries, Cozy, Quiet Conversation, Romantic
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Five stars from the manager emailing the ...

 
 (Charleston)·Dined on November 6, 2016

Five stars from the manager emailing the wine list a week in advance and our amazing service during or meal and DESERTS!

Three days later and we are still smiling. We had a blast! The food was lovingly prepared and delivered by helpful intelligent friendly people. If you are looking for a fine dining in Raleigh then go to Second Empire!

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food5
ambience5
service5

My wife and I went to Second Empire for ...

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on November 6, 2016

My wife and I went to Second Empire for our first wedding anniversary on a recommend of a friend (after only living in Raleigh for a few weeks). The restaurant did not disappoint. They made the event incredibly special and the food was terrific. We had a delicious cheese board, off the menu special of filet mignon and desert. All in all, I would recommend certainly for a special occasion.

Tags: Good for Anniversaries, Romantic, Special Occasion, Creative Cuisine, Historic
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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

Visited in order to celebrate our 32nd w ...

 
 (Wilmington)·Dined on November 5, 2016

Visited in order to celebrate our 32nd wedding anniversary. We traveled from well out of town due to the reputation of this fine establishment. We were not disappointed. Very nice to be able to enjoy a quiet dinner, superior service, and an excellent meal. We travelled in excess of 100 miles (one way) in order to dine here and felt well rewarded for our efforts.

Tags: Authentic, Quiet Conversation
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

We have spent two of our three anniversa ...

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on November 4, 2016

We have spent two of our three anniversaries here and the service, atmosphere and most of all food is amazing. The chef and staff are very accommodating when it comes to serving those with food allergies. We highly recommend for a special evening.

Tags: Good for a Date, Family Style, Special Occasion, Paleo Friendly, Fireplace, Quiet Conversation, Gluten Free Options, Romantic, Cozy, Good for Anniversaries
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

They were happy to accommodate our dieta ...

 
 (Richmond)·Dined on November 3, 2016

They were happy to accommodate our dietary allergies and the results were outstanding! It was noisy because a loud group was next to us; once they left it was quiet.

Tags: Special Occasion, Good for Birthdays, Good for a Date, Historic, Good for Anniversaries
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

We always enjoy Second Empire and are ne ...

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on November 1, 2016

We always enjoy Second Empire and are never disappointed

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

The staff was fantastic and very knowled ...

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on November 1, 2016

The staff was fantastic and very knowledgeable on the menu and specials. Food was well prepared with lots of flavor. Desert was over the Top! Great place for a quiet night out with your favorite girl.

Tags: Special Occasion, Good for a Date, Romantic, Historic
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food4
ambience5
service5
value4

Had a nice dinner. Service was excellent ...

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on October 29, 2016

Had a nice dinner. Service was excellent. Liked sitting in Tavern but had the choice of both menus .

Tags: Local Ingredients, Historic
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food4
ambience4
service5
value4

A lovely gem of a restaurant, we found S ...

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on October 29, 2016

A lovely gem of a restaurant, we found Second Empire charming starting from its setting (historic building) straight through dessert (pastry kitchen on-site). Terrific wait staff who took care of their clients only outshone by the food which was divine.

Tags: Worth the Drive, Good for Birthdays, Historic, Good for a Date, Notable Wine List, Romantic, Fit for Foodies, Good for Anniversaries
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

We had a excellent experience for our bu ...

vip
 (Raleigh)·Dined on October 28, 2016

We had a excellent experience for our business dinner meeting. The staff service was fantastic as was the food!

Great evening at a great place!

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

The staff was courteous and very accommo ...

 
 (Tampa)·Dined on October 22, 2016

The staff was courteous and very accommodating. We never felt rushed and enjoyed the evening and supper immensely.

Tags: Good for a Date, Business Meals, Good for Anniversaries, Creative Cuisine, Special Occasion, Romantic, Casual
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

Delicious!!

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on October 22, 2016

Delicious!!

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food5
ambience5
service5

Yet another memorable evening at Second ...

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on October 21, 2016

Yet another memorable evening at Second Empire. We started with a cocktail, followed by a cheese plate, a selection of three from a good array. I had a pork loin chop, and my spouse had a filet, both presented beautifully and cooked perfectly. We accompanied it with a very pleasing Chateauneuf du Pape. Dessert was their chocolate soufflé and key lime pie. It was an anniversary dinner, which chef commemorated with a nice note. Food, service and ambience was all top notch.

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food5
ambience5
service5

My wife and I celebrated our 35th weddin ...

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on October 21, 2016

My wife and I celebrated our 35th wedding anniversary at Second Empire. It was both of our first choice of places to go, and we were not disappointed. The atmosphere is historic, the food is awesome, the attention to details were spot on, and three days later we are still talking about what a great time we had. Thank you to Jordan and Valerie our two waiters. They both did an awesome job of making our evening very special, and they literally took care of everything. Seriously, it doesn't get any better than this! Thank you.

Tags: People Watching, Good for Anniversaries, Good for a Date, Good for Birthdays, Historic, Special Occasion, Romantic
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Great dining, Great food and great vibe. ...

 
 (St. Louis)·Dined on October 21, 2016

Great dining, Great food and great vibe. Had the steak fillet. I am picky... and it was glorious

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Cozy
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

Excellent meal and service marred by a r ...

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on October 20, 2016

Excellent meal and service marred by a rowdy, rude, drunk group seated near us. One other couple left as the group clearly ruined their evening. Don't mind a little lively conversation but these people should have asked to tone it down

Tags: Business Meals, Fit for Foodies
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food4
ambience3
service5
value4

Alex was excellent assisting me during m ...

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on October 19, 2016

Alex was excellent assisting me during my visit. I drove over an hour, but it was worthy. My anniversary dinner was amazing. Great taste, and original.

Tags: Authentic, Worth the Drive, Good for a Date
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

The waiter was very attentive and knowle ...

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on October 19, 2016

The waiter was very attentive and knowledgeable about the food and wine pairings that worked great together.

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food5
ambience5
service5

The food was excellent. Some very nice ...

 
 (Birmingham)·Dined on October 18, 2016

The food was excellent. Some very nice flavors going on. Very good service as well. I really enjoyed my experience here. Lots of attention to detail and attentiveness.

Tags: Special Occasion, Pre/post Theatre
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

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