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/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

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

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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

4.7

service

4.8

ambience

4.7

value

4.4

noise

Moderate

98% 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
13 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
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special occasion (185)
romantic (168)
fit for foodies (108)
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notable wine list (86)
neighborhood gem (50)
good for groups (41)
scenic view (11)
hot spot (11)
late-night find (8)
great for lunch (7)
vibrant bar scene (5)
great for brunch (5)
great for outdoor dining (2)
kid-friendly (1)
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1913 reviews
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Great experience for our anniversary. Th ...

 
 (Raleigh)
·Dined 3 days ago

Great experience for our anniversary. The staff was excellent and took very good care of us. The food could not have been presented or prepared better. A first class establishment.

Tags: romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

We fully enjoyed our meal and would high ...

 
 (Atlanta)
·Dined 5 days ago

We fully enjoyed our meal and would highly recommend this restaurant. The house wines (Amarone and Pino Grigo) were excellent. Excellent presentation and very attentive service. Price was reasonable for a quality restaurant in a state capital.

Tags: romantic, special occasion, notable wine list
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

We had a very nice table in the small al ...

 
 (Raleigh)
·Dined 5 days ago

We had a very nice table in the small alcove, great ambiance, delicious duck and good wine..

Tags: romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

Extremely attentive and efficient staff ...

 
 (Raleigh)
·Dined on July 16, 2016

Extremely attentive and efficient staff that was very knowledgeable about the menu and wine selections. The food presentation is only surpassed by the wonderful taste of this classically trained Chef's menu. The layout of the restaurant located in a mid-19th century house gives one the feeling of privacy and seclusion but is never forgotten by the multi-person team that is assigned to insure your dining experience is superb. Second Empire rivals any restaurant I have dined in while living in Colorado and California as well as numerous Michelin-starred eateries I've had the pleasure of visiting in my twenty years in Europe.

Tags: romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
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food5
ambience4
service5
value5

Delicious! Great food and great environm ...

 
 (San Antonio)
·Dined on July 15, 2016

Delicious! Great food and great environment. Expensive but definitely not overpriced.

Tags: fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, notable wine list
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food5
ambience4
service4
value5

The food, location, service, ...just eve ...

 
 (Raleigh)
·Dined on July 12, 2016

The food, location, service, ...just everything was outstanding. The entrees are exceptional with a variety of flavors expertly blended. You will have more than enough to eat. You can share a starter with no problems as you will be very satisfied when you leave. My wife and I had the crab cakes and grouper (hook of the day) and it was some of the best while still in the 'reasonable' price range. Don't forget to let the staff know that you have a special occasion and they have a surprise gift for you.

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food5
ambience5
service5

Excellent intimate atmosphere. The chees ...

 
 (Raleigh)
·Dined on July 9, 2016

Excellent intimate atmosphere. The cheese plate was very good and had unique variety. Ample wine list to compliment their menu. Service was exceptional without being overbearing. Pace of the meal allowed you to enjoy your company. Only criticism would be the attempt at mingling too many flavors in a dish inhibits potential of the dish.

Overall, I would not hesitate to make a second reservation.

Tags: romantic, special occasion, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

We were pretty disappointed for a $200 d ...

 
 (Richmond)
·Dined on July 9, 2016

We were pretty disappointed for a $200 dinner. Honestly, I think this is one of those "over hyped" type of places. Service was very slow, but when we were visited by the waiter we felt rushed. We will keep on without returning to this restaurant. Don't fall prey to the high marks like we did.

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food3
ambience3
service2
value2

Second Empire always delivers amazing fo ...

 
 (Raleigh)
·Dined on July 7, 2016

Second Empire always delivers amazing food and great service in a cool atmosphere! I highly recommend!

Tags: fit for foodies, special occasion, notable wine list
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

As always, food, service, and atmosphere ...

 
 (Raleigh)
·Dined on July 6, 2016

As always, food, service, and atmosphere at Second Empire were top notch. This is one of the better restaurants in Raleigh. Wonderful blend of flavors in every dish.

Tags: fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, notable wine list
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food5
ambience5
service4
value3

We ate here to celebrate my father in la ...

 
 (New York Area)
·Dined on July 3, 2016

We ate here to celebrate my father in law's 85th birthday. The staff was so attentive and went out of their way to wish him a happy birthday almost every time they passed our table! The food was absolutely delicious as well - definitely try the lemon blueberry bread pudding for dessert! We will definitely be back!

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

It was my first time going and my husban ...

 
 (Raleigh)
·Dined on July 2, 2016

It was my first time going and my husband and I had a great "date night"

Tags: romantic, special occasion, notable wine list
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Great dinner. Many restaurants try to u ...

 
 (Raleigh)
·Dined on July 2, 2016

Great dinner. Many restaurants try to use novel ingredients in novel ways, but few are as deft as Second Empire. Nothing is forced - everything works beautifully together.

Tags: fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

We ate here for my husbands birthday. Wh ...

 
 (South Carolina)
·Dined on July 2, 2016

We ate here for my husbands birthday. While we have been here before, those visits were company dinners. So it was nice to come just the two of us. Our waiter was very attentive and knowledgeable about the menu and gave us great recommendations- especially the dessert!! My husband received a menu signed by the chef and a free dessert for his birthday! Once again- you did not disappoint!

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food5
ambience5
service5

Excellent selections wine and food, serv ...

 
 (Raleigh)
·Dined on July 1, 2016

Excellent selections wine and food, service was outstanding and was very romantic. I would highly recommend this restaurant

Tags: romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Superb knowledgeable service. Excellent ...

 
 (Chicago)
·Dined on July 1, 2016

Superb knowledgeable service. Excellent cauliflower soup. The scallop and pork belly starter was in the "best-ever" category . We recommend a stop at the tavern for a drink before dinner--great ambience.

Tags: fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, notable wine list
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food4
ambience5
service5
value4

Excellent start to finish. We went for ...

 
 (Washington DC)
·Dined on June 30, 2016

Excellent start to finish. We went for our 43rd wedding anniversary and it was delightful.

Tags: fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, notable wine list
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Food and service was great. But I rated ...

 
 (Raleigh)
·Dined on June 30, 2016

Food and service was great. But I rated the ambiance fair b/c of a strong and offputting smell down in the tavern/atrium area, as if the kitchen is not venting properly to the outside. Noticed for second time there.

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food4
ambience2
service4
value2

An exceptional dining experience. Quali ...

 
 (Raleigh)
·Dined on June 30, 2016

An exceptional dining experience. Quality and presentation of each dinner item along with superb service (provided by Jeremiah) made for a very memorable evening.

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

My tuna appetizer was a wonderful explos ...

 
 (Raleigh)
·Dined on June 30, 2016

My tuna appetizer was a wonderful explosion of flavor. My wife loved her salad and crabcake entree. I had the filet which was beautifully presented and incredibly tender. My only criticism is the steak was not as flavorful as I would have expected. It was a little bland. Overall, we greatly enjoyed our dinner as we celebrated my wife's birthday.

Tags: fit for foodies, special occasion
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food4
ambience5
service5
value5

The service was very personal and specia ...

 
 (Raleigh)
·Dined on June 30, 2016

The service was very personal and special for the celebration of our 32nd anniversary! We were seated at a lovely table by a bay window (as requested) with a sweet view of a church steeple and neighborhood. The staff were all very personable and warm; giving attention to detail. The food was very fresh and attractively presented. We were given a menu with our name and anniversary date printed at the top along with the chefs signature. It was a lovely evening!!

Tags: romantic, special occasion, scenic view
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food4
ambience4
service5
value4

We had a lovely evening. Beautiful rest ...

 
 (Tampa)
·Dined on June 26, 2016

We had a lovely evening. Beautiful restaurant! And food was devine!!!

Our waiter Cheyenne was wonderful.

Tags: fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, hot spot, notable wine list
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Thank you again for a wonderful meal! On ...

 
 (Raleigh)
·Dined on June 26, 2016

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.

Tags: fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

We had a lovely meal and excellent servi ...

 
 (Raleigh)
·Dined on June 25, 2016

We had a lovely meal and excellent service at Second Empire. We were celebrating a birthday and the chef signed a copy of the menu for us to take home. The food was innovative and delicious. It's nice to be in a place where people are not wearing jeans and flip flops. It feels elegant and worth the price.

Tags: fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Our 34th wedding anniversary was spent d ...

 
 (Dallas)
·Dined on June 25, 2016

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.

Tags: romantic, special occasion
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

the service and ambiance was wonderful. ...

 
 (Raleigh)
·Dined on June 25, 2016

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 .

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food2
ambience5
service5
value3

Came here for our wedding anniversary, a ...

 
 (Raleigh)
·Dined on June 25, 2016

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.

Tags: romantic, special occasion, notable wine list
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

This was my first time to this restauran ...

 
 (Charlotte)
·Dined on June 23, 2016

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.

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion
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food5
ambience5
service4
value5

One of my favorite restaurants in Raleig ...

vip
 (South Carolina)
·Dined on June 21, 2016

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.

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
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food5
ambience5
service4
value4

The ambient was great. The food was e ...

 
 (Raleigh)
·Dined on June 19, 2016

The ambient was great. The food was excellent. The staff was extremely knowledgeable

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food5
ambience5
service5

Restaurant was beautiful. We sat on the ...

 
 (New York Area)
·Dined on June 18, 2016

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.

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food5
ambience4
service2
value4

Delightful anniversary dinner. Everythi ...

 
 (Raleigh)
·Dined on June 17, 2016

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!!

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, scenic view, notable wine list
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

All good but the chef likes to push too ...

 
 (Raleigh)
·Dined on June 16, 2016

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.

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food4
ambience3
service4

First time visit. Was an early Father's ...

 
 (Raleigh)
·Dined on June 16, 2016

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

Tags: romantic, special occasion
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

This was my third visit to this restaura ...

 
 (Raleigh)
·Dined on June 15, 2016

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.

Tags: fit for foodies, special occasion, neighborhood gem
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

Overall phenomenal experience. Food was ...

 
 (Raleigh)
·Dined on June 15, 2016

Overall phenomenal experience. Food was fantastic, atmosphere was awesome, service was stellar. Thanks for helping make wifes birthday memorable.

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, notable wine list
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

My husband and I chose Second Empire as ...

 
 (Raleigh)
·Dined on June 12, 2016

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!

Tags: romantic, special occasion, notable wine list
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Excellent service! A beautiful restaura ...

 
 (Raleigh)
·Dined on June 11, 2016

Excellent service! A beautiful restaurant great for a special occasion.

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, notable wine list
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food4
ambience5
service5
value4

Great experience from the bar downstairs ...

 
 (Raleigh)
·Dined on June 11, 2016

Great experience from the bar downstairs to our entire dining experience. The Hot Apple Pie after dinner drink is incredible.

Tags: romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

The Second Empire is one of my favorite ...

 
 (Raleigh)
·Dined on June 11, 2016

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.

Tags: fit for foodies, romantic
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

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