Elaine's on Franklin
Elaine's on Franklin

Elaine's on Franklin

  • Dining Style: Fine Dining
  • Website: http://www.elainesonfranklin.com/
  • Phone: 9199602770
  • 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
90 reviews since May 23, 2014
Overall Rating4.6
  • Food4.6
    Service4.6
  • Ambiance4.2
    Noise LevelModerate
93% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
fit for foodies (66)special occasion (56)neighborhood gem (37)romantic (36)notable wine list (29)hot spot (7)good for groups (4)scenic view (4)great for outdoor dining (4)great for brunch (1)Show More
  • 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 2005
    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.
  • 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
    Dineandwine
    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
  • Good food but bad attitude
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009VIP
    Dined on 6/25/2014
    Although the food was good and the location is great, the bad attitude of our waitress took away from the experience. I would be willing to give it another try, but will request a different server if seated at one of her tables. We were very low maintenance, so I really don't understand where her snooty/snippy attitude came from.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Quite a disappointment
    OldFolks
    Dined on 6/25/2014
    When my wife and I go out to dinner and spend well over $100, we expect our food to be very well prepared and served with imagination. At Elaine's, our dinners were quite disappointing. My wife's pork chop--ordered medium--was well done, dry, and served breaded, with no sauce or garnish. It was supposed to come with "Cathy's potatoes" and other vegetables. There was one bite of potato! Her green salad was unimaginative. It contained nothing but greens, and not a great variety. I fared better with an excellent Caesar salad and King Salmon. Served rare, the salmon was left under the broiler long enough to get crusty. While perhaps intended, I thought the crustiness detracted from a dish that would otherwise have been good.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Always a delight
    Yummyyummy
    Dined on 6/24/2014
    Not our first visit. Loved the $35 fixe prix before 6:30 pm menu. The duck leg confit over truffled creamed corn was delicious and bursting ith flavor. The pork chop dish did not fare as well in comparison, not bad but not as flavorful. We were disappointed that Humbolt Fog had been removed from thr artisanal cheese platter, replaced by a less delightful local cheese. If you are a blueberry fan, do NOT miss the blueberry sorbet,it was phenomenal! The service has always been nice here and the atmosphere of this gem in Franklin Streeet is always a pleasure.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Fabulous food and service
    toppy
    Dined on 6/21/2014
    Food was amazing and the service was impeccable. Went to celebrate a birthday and it was memorable from the personalized menu to the last bite of desert.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Tarheel
    Dined on 6/12/2014
    We started with mint juleps; I had read in a review that they were good here. Evidently, our bartender did not know how to make them...just added a sprig of mint as a decoration. Oysters Rockefeller were delicious as was the soup with fried oysters. Nice wine list.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great place to dine on Franklin
    CHFoodie
    Dined on 6/3/2014
    The food was amazingly good and fresh. The local produce and fresh meats/fish were a standout. Service was on point.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2003
    Dined on 5/31/2014
    Oyster preamble was memorable. Sea Bass great presentation and flavor. Local strawberry desserts highly recommended Best Mint Julep in town
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Wow!
    elvis
    Dined on 5/31/2014
    Food was amazing and service and ambiance were wonderful. We hadn't been to Elaine's in about a year, and the food seemed much better than the last time we ate there. Dinner was an incredible experience. Every bite was fabulous and all the flavors complemented each other. The Oysters Rockefeller are probably the best i've ever had, and the rest of our meals were equally delicious. We'll be back!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Best food & wine in Chapel Hill
    Franco
    Dined on 5/30/2014
    The 3 course menu is outs tang in taste, creativity and presentation. Our server Angela did a fantastic job with delivery & especially the wine pairings. She is knowledgeable and explained why the wines went with the dishes. Most of the wines were unknown to me but were perfect. This will become a favorite of ours. Perfect for those special occasions.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Enchanting Evening
    dmb4ever
    Dined on 5/23/2014
    We really enjoyed our recent dinner at Elaine's. It has long been one of our favorites, for special nights, to show off Chapel Hill cuisine to our friends, and usually just for a nice quiet, romantic evening because we don't get enough of those. The food was outstanding, the atmosphere comfortable and unhurried, and the attention from the wait staff was perfect. The menu is fascinating and delicious with its eclectic nature with an emphasis on local ingredients is really great. We are looking forward to joining you again soon!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, scenic view, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 56 ratings-only reviews submitted since May 23, 2014
    • Overall Rating4.6
    • Food4.6
    • Ambiance4.1
    • Service4.6
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The following 582 reviews are from the Elaine's on Franklin reviews archive.
  • For that special evening
    BluLew
    Dined on 5/16/2014
    Overall, it was a wonderful pick for a special celebration and we look forward to coming back! The service was delightful and everything we tasted was delicious!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Amazing
    DennyVIP
    Dined on 5/15/2014
    The 3-course tasting menu was wonderful, an excellent value. The chef catered to my wife's special diet with ease. The server Damon was great. Sorry we didn't discover this restaurant until the last day of our vacation. Very impressive!
    Special Features:
    special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • eat1ng0ut
    Dined on 5/14/2014
    Delicious food. Prix fixe menu with wine pairings quite a bargain for what you get. Pleasant, knowledgeable service.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Frantic? Not at Elaine's!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 5/8/2014
    On graduation weekend in Chapel Hill, it would be understandable if your dining experience was rushed. Not at Elaine's. We were treated like friends of the house and relaxed over well-poured cocktails, delicious food, and coffee and dessert. The atmosphere was festive without being frantic. The whole feeling was one of love for serving well-balanced, fresh flavors with appreciation to their guests. Not an easy accomplishment, I'm sure--bravo!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Just ok
    Ralph
    Dined on 5/3/2014
    Service was outstanding but food was just fair. Disappointed overall.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • NDTarheels
    Dined on 5/3/2014
    Great service and one of the quieter places we have been out to eat in quite some time. Definitely recommend.
    Special Features:
    Romantic, special occasion, Notable Wine List
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.