Elaine's on Franklin
Elaine's on Franklin

Elaine's on Franklin

  • Dining Style: Fine Dining
  • Website: http://www.elainesonfranklin.com/
  • Phone: (919) 960-2770
  • Hours of Operation:
    Dinner: Tuesday - Thursday: 5:30pm - 9:30pm; Friday - Saturday: 5:30pm - 10:00pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX,Diners Club,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Seafood, Global, International, Tapas / Small Plates
  • Executive Chef: Bret Jennings
  • Dress Code: Business Casual
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Bar Dining, Beer, Farm to Table, Full Bar, Non-Smoking Area, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), View, Wheelchair Access, Wine, Wine Bar

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Roberson Street
  • Public Transit: Elaine's is located less than 50 yards from the nearest Chapel Hill Transit stop. Chapel Hill's buses run free of charge all year round.
  • Parking: Valet
  • Parking Details: Elaine's on Franklin is proud to offer complimentary valet service on Franklin Street just steps from our front door. Just be sure to ask the host to validate your parking ticket before you depart.
A word from Elaine's on Franklin
Chef/owner Bret Jennings brings you authentic regional world cuisine made with only the finest local, organic ingredients, presented in an elegant, but not pretentious environment. With menu changes almost every day, you can expect to find fresh, seasonal meats, cheeses and produce served up all year round in a style that's fun without being fussy. A southern boy at heart, Chef Jennings specializes in wild game and seafood along with traditional southern recipes that would make his granny proud. Three certified sommeliers on staff will guide you through Elaine's award winning wine list, while a friendly and accommodating service staff provide for your every need. Come in today, and find out what we mean by "Food for the Soul, Prepared from the Heart."
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Overall
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Ambiance
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Food
Elaine's on Franklin reviews from OpenTable diners
79 reviews since July 26, 2014
Overall Rating4.6
  • Food4.6
    Service4.7
  • Ambiance4.3
    Noise LevelModerate
97% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
fit for foodies (58)special occasion (51)romantic (33)neighborhood gem (31)notable wine list (27)hot spot (12)good for groups (9)late-night find (6)great for outdoor dining (5)vibrant bar scene (2)scenic view (1)Show More
  • Amazing value for the early evening prix fixe menu
    BHRD
    Dined on 11/13/2014
    Great food, at a wonderful value with the amazing early evening (pre-theater) prix fixe menu. Great seasonal salad with local apples and seasoned pecans, Duck confit, and amazing desserts. Wine list is huge and varied. Service is great. Never noticed the bar, before, but there's space to eat solo if that's your thing.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, notable wine list, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Fine Service and Exceptional Food
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 11/8/2014
    All three of us raved about each course that we had. The oysters rockefeller were outstanding as was my salmon. The wine choices were large and the service was attentive but not disruptive. We had not dined at Elaine's in years and would definitely go back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Agent99
    Dined on 11/8/2014
    The food is always delicious and the service is superb. They do not rush you, but bring the courses with just the right amount of time between them. Elaine's will remain our favorite restaurant.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great food
    Chuck
    Dined on 11/1/2014
    Our food was delicious, this was our 5th time at Elaine's and it seems to get better each time
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great service, delicious food
    snm4a
    Dined on 10/29/2014
    I came to Elaine's for a work dinner with a visiting speaker and it was a great representation of North Carolina. So many local specialties and local ingredients. Everything was delicious and our waiter did a great job of making recommendations. Will definitely return for special occasions - a little pricey for every day dining
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • a delightful evening
    JLSandTCDVIP
    Dined on 10/28/2014
    Came here for an early weekday dinner with family, to celebrate a birthday. It was a delight in every way. We had the prix fixe and a few a la carte extras - everything was great. We particularly enjoyed the smoked bluefish salad, duck confit, and pork. At $35 for 3-courses, we'll definitely be back!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Excellent Elaine's
    GourmandVIP
    Dined on 10/24/2014
    Excellent service and cuisine. Step out of your comfort zone to try new dishes.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Chapel Hill Favorite!
    Eddies
    Dined on 10/11/2014
    Elaine's is forever our favorite spot for a festive time! Damon, the bartender, is amazing at whipping up cocktails with a mere hint of desired contents. Always delicious and fun to have his surprise drinks brought to the table. Our plates never return to the kitchen with a morsel left on them!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Never disappoints
    Delightsinfood
    Dined on 10/11/2014
    Elaine's is our 'go to' place for special occasions as it is on the expensive side. The service is always perfect and friendly, never stuffy. We had two appetizers - the Foie Gras and the smoked bluefish salad which came w/ homemade potato chips. It was large enough to share if you just wanted one appetizer. I had the lobster w/ black eyed peas, and fried green tomatoes and beurre blanc - a delicious combination. My husband had the duck breast w/ lemongrass jasmine rice, broccoli w/ spicey peanut sauce & pea greens. It had an oriental touch that was excellent w/ the duck which he had medium rare. Apple crisp & chocolate tart finished the meal. We had champagne w/ our appetizers and waiter-recommended wines w/ our meals.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • So disappointed!!!
    CathysaleVIP
    Dined on 10/10/2014
    The menu selection was so limited. You didn't have to narrow down your selections, you had to figure out what selection would be the most palatable.
    Special Features:
    hot spot, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great Restaurant Small Portions
    TCdines
    Dined on 10/3/2014
    This Restaurant is a great little neighborhood / small town place to eat. The only thing I didn't love was that the portions for the main course were small not only on my dinner but everyone I was with out to dinner.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • One of the best on Franklin
    DaveVIP
    Dined on 10/2/2014
    Innovative menu and wine list, and excellent food preparation and service. Highly recommended if you want something special on Franklin. A bit tricky to find parking however on the street so check out the lots a block or two off the main drag and you'll be fine.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, late-night find, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Lovely evening meal
    dontcook
    Dined on 10/2/2014
    We had fine dining on the street. The night was quite pleasant and the food exceptional. The service is particularly outstanding and professional. Absolutely loved the little chef touches like edible flowers for decoration/flavor.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, late-night find, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Very good for dinner
    Newport
    Dined on 10/1/2014
    My wife and I enjoyed our dinner at Elaine's very much and would definitely recommend it to friends.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Wonderful combination of flavors
    Macbeth
    Dined on 9/30/2014
    It was hard to choose from a great menu so we picked a couple of items and shared. It was all delightful. Service was wonderful to. The waiter did a great job pairing wines with the courses we chose.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Hit and Miss
    foodloverVIP
    Dined on 9/6/2014
    I had been told that the food at Elaine's was spotty and that was our experience. I had blue cheese stuffed figs as an appetizer, which were great, and a salmon entree which was just okay. My companion had a salad which she did not like (seriously, how do you ruin a salad?) and a pasta dish which she also did not care for. I probably won't go back, not because the food is terrible, but because there are a lot better restaurants in Chapel Hill.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Elaine's is always special
    I8well
    Dined on 8/28/2014
    Menus are printed daily, so there are no "specials" - everything is fresh and local. I always enjoy a meal with friends here. highly recommended.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Excellent even if overpriced
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 8/20/2014
    My family thoroughly enjoyed our dinner at Elaine's. The only dish that was not excellent, but still tasty, was the foie gras appetizer. I think it was a function of the foie gras quality rather than the preparation
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • bainch
    Dined on 8/16/2014
    The dinner experience was great, the food, service, and whole experience.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Perfect dinner
    visitingdiner
    Dined on 8/15/2014
    This was our 4th visit to Elaine's and once again the experience was flawless. The everchanging menu provided excellent choices of dishes using seasonal ingredients. The 3 of us were delighted with our choices! As my husband repeated throughout the meal: TOP-NOTCH!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Creative cuisine
    Brooklyn
    Dined on 8/15/2014
    Have been here twice with my daughter and her husband, who love the food; me too. They say the value for the money way exceeds anything they could find in the Washington DC area.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • special occasion
    saljon
    Dined on 8/9/2014
    We celebrated a special birthday with another couple and Elaine's was the perfect place for it. Our server did everything to make it special!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Not up to expectations
    OpenTable Diner Since 2005VIP
    Dined on 8/7/2014
    When we dined at Elaine's over a year ago we really enjoyed our experience and looked forward to return soon. Life intervened and it took longer than expected. When we finally had dinner there last week, we were, unfortunately, disappointed. My gazpacho soup was too acidic, and the seared tuna, while moist, had a seed topping that distracted from the fish's flavor. Even the focaccia, served as an accompaniment, seemed bland. On a positive note, our waiter was attentive, and Elaine's chocolate cake with peanut butter ice cream was delicious.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great ending to a terrific day
    lonestarcornhusker
    Dined on 8/5/2014
    Was on the North Carolina college tour with my daughter--staying at the charming Carolina Inn. This restaurant was on Franklin Street and easily walkable. The food was marvelous. I loved my tuna with the tex-mex touch. My daughter had a pork chop--not as much to her liking but she was taking a risk outside of her teenager comfort zone... Enjoyed the vibrant fruit artwork--which we both easily recalled when discussing the experience. If UNC ends up topping her list--we may become regulars.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • A well-run, welcoming establishment
    Diner110
    Dined on 8/2/2014
    I am happy to write about Elaine's on Franklin. I had dined there several times before but always as a walk-in. This time I made a reservation and am delighted that I did. When the person called to confirm the reservation, she informed me of where she had in mind to put our party of 3, wondering whether that location would work for us. (A window table: yes, nicely!) That first solicitous contact was representative of the care throughout the evening, from the front desk through dessert and valet parking. Items brought to the table were intentionally paced at a comfortable rate and rhythm. Lovely food, irresistable inhouse baked breads, and a superb wait staff serious about the dining satisfaction of the customer. Highly recommended.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Elaines was wonderful
    Divinedine
    Dined on 7/31/2014
    I went for my birthday with my husband and 2 young adults - the food was wonderful, wait staff great, drinks were great, food was so delicious. We will definitely return. This was our first visit and we can't wait to go back with friends.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • in town visit
    OpenTable Diner Since 2002VIP
    Dined on 7/29/2014
    I heard alot about Elaine's and thought it was worth a try since the chef cooked for James Beard. Apparently the tortilla crusted salmon was the dish. i'm sure its great, just not a a big salmon fan. I tried the tomatoes appetizer and the pork Milanese. they were great!
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • The best!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006
    Dined on 7/26/2014
    Absolutely superb, as always. Fresh, creative, and most importantly- delicious!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • success with complex cuisine
    nonicknameVIP
    Dined on 7/26/2014
    Gazpacho was excellent...As was steak oscar...excellent execution of complex dishes. Fish entrees were also excellent. Dessert menu needs a redo as all three desserts at our table lacked panache. Will return many times.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 50 ratings-only reviews submitted since July 26, 2014
    • Overall Rating4.7
    • Food4.7
    • Ambiance4.2
    • Service4.6
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The following 603 reviews are from the Elaine's on Franklin reviews archive.
  • Creative & flavor-filled
    Freshfoodie
    Dined on 7/25/2014
    Delicious from the first bite 'til the last; farm fresh tomato sampler lightly topped with balsamic vinegar & served with optional salt samples; the shrimp entrée flavors were savory, as was the free-range chicken breast with morels; the mushroom bisque sampler hit the spot. Our dessert featured mint ice cream sandwich.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Innovative and Reliable
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 7/22/2014
    We love eating at Elaine's, with its innovative and delicious combinations of locally-sourced and/or unusual ingredients. The staff are experienced but not stuffy, and the setting is just the right note between cozy and fancy.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, scenic view, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Excellent Resturant!!!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 7/18/2014
    Everything was excellent, this is a very good place to go for a nice dinner. We asked the waitress to select a wine for each course and she made excellent choices (and only $15 per person).
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great drinks, meal and experience
    girlsbrunch
    Dined on 7/16/2014
    Heirloom tomato appetizer was outstanding; really all of the food was outstanding. Our waitress was excellent, knowledgeable, helpful and very friendly
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Highly recommend for foodies
    DineandwineVIP
    Dined on 7/11/2014
    Our party of 4 had a wonderful dining experience at Elaine's. The tomato salad and gazpacho were delicious! The sweet peach foie gras was too sweet. However, the entrees were all exceptional. The crisp salmon with the black bean mash was delicious as was the NC shrimp, Beef oscar, and Milanese pork. We ended up sharing a nice size ice cream mint chocolate ice cream sandwich. Our waiter was very knowledgable and we took all of his suggestions which we enjoyed. Elaine's will certainly be a place to go back to & a great place to dine in Chapel Hill!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • TishVIP
    Dined on 7/11/2014
    We had the three course price fixed with wine, although they didnt bring us the menu for it until we asked for it. It was for dining until 6:30 and we sat at 6:10 but they said it was almost time for it to end when we sat down. Their special cocktails were so sweet I couldn't drink it. The green gazpacho was very good but the salad was awful and had nothing but weird greens. The chicken was dry and overcooked. The desserts were good. The service was good. The wine pairings were generous but the wines were very sweet. Overall it was just ok. They seemed to use a lot of the same ingredients frequently so dishes tasted the same.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Excellent food and service
    oldblue
    Dined on 7/10/2014
    Elaine's is an under-appreciated gem. Better than many more lauded eating spots in Chapel Hill. Creative and delicious menu, with helpful and friendly professional service.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Delicious!
    EmManVIP
    Dined on 7/9/2014
    The salmon was perfectly cooked! The restaurant was adorable and the service was fantastic.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • A very nice place.
    simbo
    Dined on 6/28/2014
    A positive dining experience . . . from drinks through dessert. The chef ain't "coco". Indeed, the chef's culinary formula is well executed to the benefit of this diner.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • I Will Do This Again!
    Suzu
    Dined on 6/27/2014
    Took a friend out to celebrate her birthday here and it was a memorable meal. The service was spectacular, the food fabulous and it didn't hurt our feelings that there is a valet outside to park the car. In parking-poor Chapel Hill that counts for so much - especially when one is running late!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Delicious and great service
    Paradise5700
    Dined on 6/26/2014
    Had a wonderful dinner here this week with out of town friends. The pork chop was amazing along with Kathy's potatoes and a medley of fresh vegetables. But do not pass up the tomato appetizer. The 3 of us split this and it was one of those dishes you dream about...when the tomatoes are in season. Brian was an excellent server and took us through the menu and pointed out his favorites....all of which we ordered. Can't wait to go back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet