Elaine's on Franklin
Enticing Elaine's!Adorable small restaurant in a great area of Chapel Hill, Elaine's is a gem. The drinks were wonderful, the waiter was engaging, the menu uses fresh and local products and it tastes like it! The Beef Oscar was meltingly tender and my husband's appetizer of fresh garlic bisque with little fried oysters floating in it was delightful and not overpowering. This a place filled with regulars and now we know why. We will be regulars too, with great pleasure.6/15/2013 12:00:00 AMOld DependableElaine's on Franklin has become our goto place for special occasions. They never fail to measure up to our high expectations. The food once again was excellent and our knowledgeable and friendly waiter rounded out the perfect dining experience. Elaine's remains one of (if not the) best restaurants in the Triangle.6/14/2013 12:00:00 AMoutstandingElaine's is outstanding. From the attentive service to the fantastic food, outstanding. Our reservation was correct. The server was always available but never invasive. The delivery of food and and wine was timely. Excellent knowledge of wine and pairings. In particular, I had the best filet mignon I have ever eaten there. We have made Elaine's a part of our anniversary tradition.6/8/2013 12:00:00 AMPerfect ChoiceChose Elaines for a special occasion and they did everything to make it feel that way. Wine and food menus are exceptional. Not our first time there but it had been a while. Won't wait so long next time.
Wait staff very knowledgeable and friendly.6/7/2013 12:00:00 AMone great meal in chapel hillTried Elaines on a recent visit to Chapel Hill. Glad I did. Servers were terrific, friendly efficient and prompt. Fun feel to it. Upscale for the Chapel Hill scene. Menu was interesting and sophisticated. Fresh salads, good apps, and terrific main courses. I had soft shells - large excellent with good sauce. My wife had tuna - cooked rare, with a really great sauce. Apps were a good salad and ceviche, also good. Dessert was not the best, but hit the spot. All in, a terrific evening with a charming staff and good food. Much enjoyed!6/6/2013 12:00:00 AMConsistently FantasticElaine's is one of the few restaurants in the triangle that is consistently top notch. The food never disappoints, and the service is friendly, courteous, and not pretentious. We've enjoyed several meals here over the years and always leave quite satisfied.5/29/2013 12:00:00 AMAnniversaryIn addition to be a fabulous restaurant, when we sat down and they handed us our menus, at the top it said 'Happy Anniversary' - they had printed special menus for us. That little touch was really lovely. And like I said, the food was wonderful and the setting so tastefully arranged.5/25/2013 12:00:00 AMGood for a dateWe had hoped to spend some time at Fridays on the Front Porch at the Carolina Inn before heading over to dinner at Elaine's. Unfortunately, when I tried to make a reservation via OpenTable there was nothing between 5:45pm and 9pm. I snagged the 5:45 slot just in case before calling to see if there were any additional openings. Sure enough, they had several slots around 8pm which was perfect. We arrived a little early but our table was ready. The staff was cordial and attentive throughout the evening. The ambiance was nice...the indoor area is small/intimate but didn't feel crowded; there are also some tables outside. The food was tasty but not out of this world. Left full.5/24/2013 12:00:00 AMA delicious experienceDelicious dinner, and the staff easily made a place when an unexpected guest showed up for dinner. One of the few local places you will find fois gras well prepared. Steak perfectly cooked and wide range of appetizers. Offered to let us taste wines before making a purchase. it is the little things that make them special. Overall still our favorite local eatery.5/23/2013 12:00:00 AMPerfect, as alwaysMother's Day - great meal and event , thank you. Even took the teens this time; even they were impressed!5/12/2013 12:00:00 AMOutstandingBest resturaunt in Chapel Hill. As good of a resturaunt as I have been to in any major city. Great service, interesting menu and a fine dining experience without pretense.5/11/2013 12:00:00 AMI read reviews about Elaine's,I read reviews about Elaine's, so had a good expectation for food quality and service. Staff was very friendly, prompt and attentive. It was a Friday night and busy, so noise level moderate to high. There are a few outside tables on the sidewalk for 2-3 persons. The pork tenderloin is the dishes to order. Tried the sea bass, but disappointed, as the favor was flat. Chef uses NC items in creative ways, but a little too strong on pepper and vinagar. I recommend this place for the pork only.5/10/2013 12:00:00 AMGood before-show experienceWe had to eat early to make a show. Waitstaff asked us about this (why else would we eat dinner at 5:45 pm?) and were appropriately aware of this during our dinner. Wine information was excellent (including samples). Noise level began at very quiet (at that hour), and rose to appropriate by the time we left around 7:30. We especially appreciated the lack of canned music. Food was very good to excellent. We'd certainly go back.5/3/2013 12:00:00 AMThe potato gnocchi with ramps,The potato gnocchi with ramps, asparagus and morels was unforgettable. Spring in a dish.5/2/2013 12:00:00 AMexcellent place, very attentiveexcellent place, very attentive waitstaff. The fried oyster app was excellent. Also loved the scallop and trout dishes. A great find and deserving of a much higher ranking4/27/2013 12:00:00 AMElaine's is impeccable: interestingElaine's is impeccable: interesting and delicious food that is prepared flawlessly; professional wait staff; valet parking is ingenious. It makes for a special night out.4/27/2013 12:00:00 AMBest in Chapel HillOutstanding service. Huge wine list. The foil gras app was too good for words. The duck entree... Amazing. Panna cotta and French press coffee to end the perfect food evening. I would go there once a week if it was closer.4/25/2013 12:00:00 AMEvery time we eat at Elaine's,Every time we eat at Elaine's, it is a new treat. This visit was no exception. My husband had the swordfish; I had the pork. Both were delicious, as was the appetizer we shared. We raved about the meal all the way home. So delicious always and such a varied and changing menu. I had pork medallions with sweet potato waffles and fresh baby collard greens. I am from the South, and this was the first time in my life I have ever had uncooked collard greens. Fresh and uncooked, they had the perfect collard greens taste that went beautifully with the pork, which was tender, juicy and flavorful. I tasted my husband's swordfish and couscous and wished I could have ordered it, too. In a perfect world, we would eat at Elaine's every night.4/16/2013 12:00:00 AMElaine's is an unexpectedElaine's is an unexpected dining experience in Chapel Hill -- true Southern hospitality in a very professional manner.
The Ambiance is lovely and the food is a gastronomic experience, the menu changes based on what is fresh locally.
If you want to impress your date, Elaine's is the place!3/30/2013 12:00:00 AMExcellent dinner, truly exquisiteExcellent dinner, truly exquisite prep of several fish dishes and the sweet potato pound cake with creme fraiche ice cream, maple syrup, and pecans was to die for. We reserved for 9 pm because nothing was available earlier, per OpenTable. We were surprised to arrive and find the restaurant less than half full. The lesson seems to be to call and check rather than counting on Open Table.3/29/2013 12:00:00 AMOver the years we've beenOver the years we've been to most of the noted restaurants in Chapel Hill but this was our first visit to Elaine's. We didn't know what to expect but I think I thought it would be quite formal. Like many people, we went for a special occasion---my birthday and it lived up to its reputation as an excellent restaurant.
The decor is definitely more informal and "artsy" than stiff. Our waitress set the tone from the start. She was happy and helpful. Knowledgeable but not pretentious.
I had filet mignon which was perfect and my husband had the prixe fix menu with wine parings and he enjoyed everything.
We look forward to returning and not simply for a "special occasion."3/28/2013 12:00:00 AMAbove average food (thoughAbove average food (though the oyster rockefellar was a little ocean stinky)and great service. Nice selection of entrees from multiple fish choices to dishes fit for a true carnivore.3/23/2013 12:00:00 AMThe early-bird prix fixe mealThe early-bird prix fixe meal was superb, and a good value. The wine pairings were excellent. Server was very knowledgeable.3/19/2013 12:00:00 AMDefinitely Try Elaine's!The experience began with complimentary valet parking, which is always a treat. We entered the restaurant and were seated immediately, even though we were about 10 minutes early for our reservation. While all the food was good, the pork tenderloin was divine. The atmosphere was quiet without being stuffy and the service was excellent and understated. I definitely recommend Elaine's!3/16/2013 12:00:00 AMAll-Around Excellent!The best fine dining option in Chapel Hill. Very refined, excellent technique and flavor development all-around. Nice portion sizes and very artful plates. Deep wine list with good options at all price points. Our server rushed us a bit, but that is a minor complaint.3/15/2013 12:00:00 AMReally great good and service.Really great good and service. The prix fixe menu was awesome.3/13/2013 12:00:00 AMA Wonderful eveningOne of the few restaurants that gets the importance of the front of the house and the kitchen and bar all being in sync. The result is an evening out that is a pleasure. Lantern across the street from Elaine's gets all the James Beard attention and I know the chef there is talented. But the rest of the experience is not such a pleasure. I suggest the Lantern staff and management walk across the street and take notes.
The waits at Elaine's get a special acknowledgement for never missing a trick in service, knowledge about the menu and helpful advice about the excellent wine list. Everybody's attitude is welcoming and attuned to the needs of the customer.
The food is delicious and much of locally sourced. Talented kitchen.3/12/2013 12:00:00 AMNever disappointed.Never disappointed at Elaine's. Food is wonderful, staff is informed, friendly and respectful.3/9/2013 12:00:00 AMVery good food and serviceGood place for special occasions, business dinner,etc. Small dining room but comfortable.1/9/2013 12:00:00 AM