Elaine's on Franklin
454 W. Franklin St
Chapel Hill, NC 27516Neighborhood:
Global, InternationalPrice: $31 to $50
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
- 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."Continued
Foodspotting photosSee all photos
Awards voted by OpenTable diners
- Diners' Choice WinnerBest Overall
- Diners' Choice WinnerBest Food
- Diners' Choice WinnerBest Service
Elaine's on Franklin - Best Restaurants in Chapel Hill ›
Elaine's on Franklin reviews from OpenTable diners
90 reviews since June 25, 2014
- Ambiance4.3Noise LevelModerate
fit for foodies (63)special occasion (58)neighborhood gem (39)romantic (35)notable wine list (30)hot spot (9)good for groups (7)great for outdoor dining (5)late-night find (3)scenic view (2)vibrant bar scene (1)Show More
- Chapel Hill Favorite!EddiesDined on 10/11/2014Elaine'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:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Never disappointsDelightsinfoodDined on 10/11/2014Elaine'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:I would recommend this to a friend.
- So disappointed!!!CathysaleVIPDined on 10/10/2014The 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:
- Great Restaurant Small PortionsTCdinesDined on 10/3/2014This 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:
- One of the best on FranklinDaveVIPDined on 10/2/2014Innovative 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:
- Lovely evening mealdontcookDined on 10/2/2014We 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:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Very good for dinnerNewportDined on 10/1/2014My wife and I enjoyed our dinner at Elaine's very much and would definitely recommend it to friends.Special Features:
- Wonderful combination of flavorsMacbethDined on 9/30/2014It 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:
- Hit and MissfoodloverVIPDined on 9/6/2014I 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:
- Elaine's is always specialI8wellDined on 8/28/2014Menus 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:
- Excellent even if overpricedOpenTable Diner Since 2009Dined on 8/20/2014My 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 preparationSpecial Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- bainchDined on 8/16/2014The dinner experience was great, the food, service, and whole experience.
- Perfect dinnervisitingdinerDined on 8/15/2014This 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:
- Creative cuisineBrooklynDined on 8/15/2014Have 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:I would recommend this to a friend.
- special occasionsaljonDined on 8/9/2014We 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:
- Not up to expectationsOpenTable Diner Since 2005VIPDined on 8/7/2014When 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.
- Great ending to a terrific daylonestarcornhuskerDined on 8/5/2014Was 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:
- A well-run, welcoming establishmentDiner110Dined on 8/2/2014I 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:
- Elaines was wonderfulDivinedineDined on 7/31/2014I 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:I would recommend this to a friend.
- in town visitOpenTable Diner Since 2002VIPDined on 7/29/2014I 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!
- The best!OpenTable Diner Since 2006Dined on 7/26/2014Absolutely superb, as always. Fresh, creative, and most importantly- delicious!Special Features:
- success with complex cuisinenonicknameVIPDined on 7/26/2014Gazpacho 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:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Creative & flavor-filledFreshfoodieDined on 7/25/2014Delicious 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:
- Innovative and ReliableOpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 7/22/2014We 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:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Excellent Resturant!!!OpenTable Diner Since 2013Dined on 7/18/2014Everything 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:
- Great drinks, meal and experiencegirlsbrunchDined on 7/16/2014Heirloom tomato appetizer was outstanding; really all of the food was outstanding. Our waitress was excellent, knowledgeable, helpful and very friendlySpecial Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Highly recommend for foodiesDineandwineVIPDined on 7/11/2014Our 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:I would recommend this to a friend.
- TishVIPDined on 7/11/2014We 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.
- Excellent food and serviceoldblueDined on 7/10/2014Elaine'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:
- Delicious!EmManVIPDined on 7/9/2014The salmon was perfectly cooked! The restaurant was adorable and the service was fantastic.Special Features:
- A very nice place.simboDined on 6/28/2014A 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:I would recommend this to a friend.
- I Will Do This Again!SuzuDined on 6/27/2014Took 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:
- Delicious and great serviceParadise5700Dined on 6/26/2014Had 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:
- Good food but bad attitudeOpenTable Diner Since 2009VIPDined on 6/25/2014Although 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:
- Quite a disappointmentOldFolksDined on 6/25/2014When 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.
- The following 590 reviews are from the Elaine's on Franklin reviews archive.
- Always a delightYummyyummyVIPDined on 6/24/2014Not 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.
- Fabulous food and servicetoppyDined on 6/21/2014Food 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:I would recommend this to a friend.
- TarheelDined on 6/12/2014We 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:
- Great place to dine on FranklinCHFoodieDined on 6/3/2014The food was amazingly good and fresh. The local produce and fresh meats/fish were a standout. Service was on point.Special Features:
- OpenTable Diner Since 2003Dined on 5/31/2014Oyster preamble was memorable. Sea Bass great presentation and flavor. Local strawberry desserts highly recommended Best Mint Julep in townSpecial Features: