Second Empire Restaurant and Tavern
330 Hillsborough St.
Raleigh, NC 27603Neighborhood:
Contemporary AmericanPrice: $31 to $50
Second Empire Restaurant and Tavern
- Dining Style: Fine Dining
- Website: http://www.second-empire.com/
- Phone: (919) 829-3663
- Hours of Operation:
Dinner: Tuesday - Saturday: 5:00pm - 10:00pm
Please note under special requests if you prefer tavern seating instead of the formal main dining room.
- Payment Options: AMEX,Diners Club,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
- Cuisine: Southern, French, Contemporary American
- Executive Chef: Daniel Schurr
- Dress Code: Business Casual
- Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
- Additional Details: 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
- 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
- Cross Street: Harrington St.
- Parking: Private Lot
- 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.
A word from Second Empire Restaurant and Tavern
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.Continued
Foodspotting photosSee all photos
Awards voted by OpenTable diners
- Diners' Choice WinnerBest Overall
- Diners' Choice WinnerBest Ambiance
- Diners' Choice WinnerBest Food
Second Empire Restaurant and Tavern - Best Restaurants in Raleigh ›
Second Empire Restaurant and Tavern reviews from OpenTable diners
219 reviews since July 30, 2014
- Ambiance4.8Noise LevelModerate
special occasion (198)romantic (166)fit for foodies (121)notable wine list (83)neighborhood gem (65)good for groups (43)hot spot (15)scenic view (12)vibrant bar scene (11)late-night find (7)great for brunch (4)kid-friendly (3)great for lunch (2)Show More
- Night on the TownOpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 11/22/2014This was our first visit to the restaurant and it was definitely one to remember. All of the staff was very kind and friendly and seemed happy we were there. The service was outstanding. It was extremely fancy, and a gorgeous atmosphere, perfect for a romantic night out. The food was delicious, wine menu substantial, and dessert was impeccable. Could not have wanted anything moreSpecial Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Memorable EveningPKingDined on 11/22/2014My wife and I celebrated our 20th anniversary at Second Empire. We had heard good things about your establishment years ago. The Steve Logan radio ad made me think of your restaurant for my needs. Your staff was accommodating and your website was easy to navigate to make the reservation. The food was great, our waitress was friendly and the atmosphere was top shelf.... ThanksSpecial Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Favorite Raleigh RestaurantLynnDined on 11/15/2014We went to Second Empire to celebrate our anniversary and can't wait to go back. Every dish was delicious and had a unique blend of flavors.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- OpenTable Diner Since 2012VIPDined on 11/14/2014It is located in a beautiful historic home, and the atmosphere is classic. We were there for a birthday, and Second Empire did a good job of making it special. Service was professional. Our lead server, was very good and communicated specials, food options, etc. well on our first visit. Dishes were well prepared. Flavor was layered in at every level, ingredients were fresh. My duck was cooked perfectly. Scallops were wonderful and fresh. If you are a crab cake fan, theirs is one of the best I have had. We had a vegetarian in are party, and they had options not on the menu. Bar is tight, but nice.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Proposal dinnerTheproposalDined on 11/14/2014I chose this place to propose to my girlfriend at. I was looking for a nice restaurant in Raleigh, and this one won me over. I was skeptical about the food, and the price. However, I was not let down on anything. The food was amazing, both the first course and the entree. I will say, they give you a TON of food in that restaurant. I was practically full off the first course alone. However the food was great, we requested a more secluded area and got it right away. I will admit the restaurant was slightly loaded that I expected however, that comes with the territory. If you stick a couple hundred people in a house, you're bound to have some noise. They were very accommodating for everything. They helped my photographer out with the whole ordeal. They also didn't mind what so ever that he was out and about taking pictures around the beautiful home.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Especially Special!DeliciousVIPDined on 11/13/2014How can I describe adequately the wonderful ambience, friendly efficient staff and delicious food we experienced at the Second Empire Tavern? The Tavern appeals to us because it is casual and best suits our personalities. My husband loves to joke and the staff were so kind to take the time to listen and interact with us on a personal level. The restaurant was busy but their efficiency did not suffer as they are well-trained and professional. The food was amazing and the variety of flavors in each dish were delicious and well partnered. We will be returning to Second Empire very soon. It was a perfect experience.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Special NightOpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 11/11/2014I felt very welcomed at Second Empire and the staff was very intentive to us. They made the night special as we celebrated our engagement. The chef signed the dinner menu for that night. It was very special.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- OpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 11/6/2014We had a great time celebrating my wife's birthday. She enjoyed her Duck and I enjoyed my Steak. The drinks were good and we all loved the bread!!Special Features:
- Pleasantly surprisedOpenTable Diner Since 2013Dined on 11/6/2014I have been to many highly star rated restaurants, but moving from CA and NY, my expectations were low. Needless to say, my expectations were greatly surpassed by Second Empire. The food was fresh and prepared excellently. Service was right on point and very attentive. We will definitely come back to try other items on the menu.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Anniversary DinnerBarryDined on 11/5/2014We had a wonderful dinner at Second Empire. food and ambiance were both 10's.Special Features:
- Loved our eveningLeslieKDined on 11/1/2014We loved our evening at 2nd Empire. As always, the food was extraordinary! Our service was top notch. There was a vibrant table near us that was a little distracting. Other than that it was a perfect experience.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Romantic Dining at it's FinestHope2goAgainDined on 10/31/2014Our dining experience was all that we had hoped it would be: private, romantic and delicious. I've been in the area many years now and have always wanted to have the experience to dine in a historic home. It was every bit as wonderful as I'd imagined. We felt like we had gone back in time and much of the time had the entire upstairs room to ourselves. The service was exceptional. I ordered the soup and the steak fillet; both were very good. The steak was so tender and juicy. Someone else at our table ordered the shrimp. The presentation was eye catching and my friend said it was incredible. This beautifully appointed home is not only clean and elegant. Must try.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Fine DiningZtg56Dined on 10/25/2014The overall experience that we had was amazing, great good, awesome service, and a nice quite romantic evening.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Outstanding!YummmDined on 10/25/2014Amazing food (all 4 courses)! Beautiful atmosphere! Outstanding wait staff!! Everyone who works there was so pleasant. Made for a great evening.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Magical experience!wolfpackleahDined on 10/24/2014Second Empire was incredible! We just celebrated our 5 year anniversary there and I can't wait to go back. Amazing food, amazing service, amazing atmosphere. The duck and swordfish entrees were unbelievable. Definitely start with the mussels though!!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- WahooVIPDined on 10/18/2014Overall food & service were very good. My wife's paella was excellent; my meatballs were a bit too rare for my taste, but the dish itself was innovative and good. We will go back.Special Features:
- Exceptional!!jsbyDined on 10/17/2014This was our third visit to Second Empire. The wait staff is well-versed in what is offered, polite, patient, and fine ambassadors for this great venue. The food selection is phenomenal and well presented. Both of our choices were tasty and well prepared. We will return.Special Features:
- All Around Fantasticeatitall4funDined on 10/16/2014Everything about this restaurant was great. I had a speciacial occasion so I went in the day before and spoke with the Manager Nicole. She made sure that everything was perfect. There's no doubt she treats everyone the same, but I felt appreciated her commitment to me. I can't say enough to it justice. WesSpecial Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Never disappointsOpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 10/16/2014Always exceptional. Can't wait til the next occasion.Special Features:
- PerfectflyinsoloDined on 10/11/2014Went for anniversary- could not have been better. Great food, great service and beautiful building!Special Features:
- WonderfulLboh07Dined on 10/10/2014We had a reservation but unfortunately the couple before is did not want to leave, since it was our 10 year anniversary the staff was saving the bay window for us. We ended up waiting 30 minutes but we were sent to the tavern downstairs and my what a gem down there. The bar tender made me the best vodka martini I have ever had! And I've had my share fair of martini's. On to dinner, the off menu appetizers were amazing. My entree? Which was the lamb rib rack with sweetbreads was phenomenal. My husband has the off the hook special which was unfortunately not that great, the fish was over cooked and dry and covered with an over buttery sauce. But aside from that we had a wonderful time and the wine list was excellentSpecial Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- A special place to eatLeighBDined on 10/8/2014Second Empire has the reputation it does for a reason - the food was absolutely delicious, the service was just about the best we've ever had from start to finish (Padma is a fantastic server), and we found the price to be very reasonable given all of the above. It's a special occasion spot - especially the upstairs, where we ate, which is very refined and "fancy" - but we will certainly be back.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- OpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 10/8/2014Very attentive and friendly wait staff. Over all experience was great food and good times.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- ExcellentLuv2Dine2Dined on 10/7/2014Excellent place to eat on a special occasion or if you are looking for fine cuisine and ambiance.Special Features:
- OpenTable Diner Since 2010Dined on 10/7/2014The service was great, the duck was not. The first course and desert were excellent.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- AmazingOpenTable Diner Since 2013Dined on 10/4/2014Excellent food and service. This is the first restaurant we found that we will come back to againSpecial Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Always a special eveningDaveVIPDined on 10/3/2014One of our favorites in Raleigh, and the best choice for a special occasion. Upstairs is more formal, and downstairs is more casual, but make sure you look at both menus as you can choose from either one which makes for some great choices. Wine list is flexible to not break the bank if you don't want to. Always worth the money for a special occasion at Second Empire.Special Features:
- Nice placeGnaff9093Dined on 10/2/2014We got a private room even though we didn't meet the minimum requirements. That was a treat. It was downstairs, wish I had gotten a tour since this was my first visit there and only saw our private dining room. Maybe next time.Special Features:
- Tops in RaleighRaleighWallyDined on 10/1/2014From the moment we arrived, we knew we were in for a great dining experience. The beautiful, historic old house, the attentive & knowledgable wait staff, the charm & elegance inside the multiple dining rooms...it was all great. The quality of the food & the presentation were excellent. Three of us had the black grouper special. It was wonderful. We had been to Second Empire 7 or 8 years ago & enjoyed it, but felt that it was expensive & that it was only for special occasions. But after this visit Second Empire will be one our regular downtown restaurants. Prices are very reasonable for this quality, with only two entres over $30. We will be back with friends to Second Empire very soon.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- OpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 9/30/2014We had a great time and experience and will recommend it to everybody I knowSpecial Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great dining experienceJamesDined on 9/27/2014Being a fine dining establishment, Second Empire really hits the mark on all your expectations. The servers were extremely warm, polite, and knowledgeable about the menu. The from the foie gras to the torte, every dish was well prepared. The restaurant itself is beautiful and you creates a feeling reverence for the space. Second Empire is a great dining experience and I would highly recommend going for a special occasion or if you're just looking to treat yourself to some fine dining.Special Features:
- grand, opulent dining roomsamtDined on 9/26/2014outstanding wine lists, excellent and large meat dishes, interesting and subtle flavors, impeccable serviceSpecial Features:
- taste with your eyestable42Dined on 9/26/2014Spectacular dining experience! With each bite, the flavors meld more and more together. The cioppino, paella and swordfish are highly recommended!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great eveningrlhughes501Dined on 9/26/2014Beautiful setting, great food, and very nice atmosphere. Our server, Jeremy, was very knowledgable and very helpful. The service was excellent. Second Empire is all you would expect for a special occasion.
- Great Special Occasion RestaurantAnniversaryDinnerDined on 9/23/2014We went for our 8th Wedding Anniversary and had a fabulous time. The food was delectable, the ambiance lovely and service top notch. We highly recommend Second Empire for any special occasion.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- A great experience!StevegenicDined on 9/20/2014The staff were cordial and professional, and of course the food was fantastic. I'm not very knowledgeable about wine, but it seemed they had an excellent selection.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- atmospheresecondfirstdateDined on 9/20/2014Your restaurant was beautiful! Our experience was amazing!We were on our second first date! We were a high school couple and and recently reunited 24 years later in hopes to be starting our new lives together. The second empire was a great place to start! We are hoping to come back and visit in the future.Special Features:
- Awesome place & good foodwsnyy0611Dined on 9/20/2014This is the 2nd time dine there, the first time was a year ago. That is an awesome place--very stylish and fancy old house. The service is great. The food tastes good, but not as great as it was a year ago. Maybe the chief is changed, although the menu stays the same. Overall, highly recommend this place to couples or families who are looking for special events or fine dining.Special Features:
- Second empire for special occasionLisaDined on 9/17/2014We celebrated our wedding anniversary with dinner at Second Empire. The restaurant made it very special with a signed menu and message from the chef. The restaurant is located in a historical home. We were seated in a beautiful alcove by the window. The food and service was top notch! Loved the citris shrimp salad and the grouper. Leave room for their award winning key lime pie...de-lish!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Finally something off my listEGentDined on 9/13/2014I have been wanting to come to Second Empire for years! We tried a few of the specialty mixed drinks, very good, with generous pours. Fresh bread, great cheese, and well made appetizers. For entree, I had the duck, and my husband had the ocean fresh fish (black grouper). Duck was amazing, fish was meh (a little overcooked). We both had after dinner coffee drinks, very good. KKey lime pie to go was amazing. All in all, I can't wait to go back.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.