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: 9198293663x
- 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
237 reviews since June 27, 2014
- Ambiance4.8Noise LevelModerate
special occasion (217)romantic (177)fit for foodies (131)notable wine list (92)neighborhood gem (77)good for groups (42)hot spot (13)scenic view (12)vibrant bar scene (9)late-night find (8)great for lunch (6)great for brunch (6)kid-friendly (4)Show More
- 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.
- Perfect NightPerfectNightDined on 9/12/2014I brought my boyfriend to Second Empire for his birthday!! It was an absolute perfect place! Our server, Alex, was the most help! Had fantastic recommendations that were to die for! We will definitely be back!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- A GemSeafoodloverDined on 9/12/2014An excellent place for a special occasion. The charm and ambience, along with the excellent service made for a wonderful evening.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Good date spotDinerDude101Dined on 9/12/2014Great food, quiet restaurant and decent wine selection. Very reasonably priced too for what you get. Highly recommend!Special Features:
- Very niceOpenTable Diner Since 2012Dined on 9/11/2014Nice ambiance of the old southern house. The services was excellent. The food was excellent, but a little too many sauces for my taste. Good wine list.Special Features:
- Historic fine dining in comfortFaithDined on 9/9/2014What a beautiful setting and elegant feeling as you walk up to the property. We approached from the side street, which upon return to our car, I was intrigued by the "pub" on the street level and would love to return and try the ambience there as well! The dining room menu has many choices, and they are most happy to accommodate any allergy/diet needs. You won't be disappointed as you first feast with your eyes! The service was so personal and lovely.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- OpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 9/6/2014Food was wonderful. Presentation taste and flow of serviceSpecial Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Perfect evening out!PeyJackDined on 9/5/2014My husband and I have been extremely busy and needed some unplugged time, even if for just a couple of hours. The atmosphere was exactly what we were looking for. We sat upstairs in the dining room-the tavern area below did appear to be a little tighter in terms of personal space so if you are looking for space, make sure you reserve a table upstairs (whereas if you have a larger party, I would definitely suggest the tavern for the appropriate vibe). The food was delicious (we had scallops, grouper and topped it off with key lime pie) and I think very reasonably priced considering the quality coupled with the restaurant ambiance. Service was impeccable as well. Plus the restaurant itself is just beautiful! Definitely recommend!!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Superb Eveningluv2ndempireDined on 9/5/2014Susan and I agree ... best meal we have ever had. We have spent more in New York, Venice, and New Orleans but never had such a fabulous waitress (and hostess) like Rachel and simply delicious meal.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- ImpressiveBigronDined on 9/5/2014Took my wife there for her birthday. Everything was nearly perfect! Great place to take your lady! Enjoyed!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great Restaurant!!!HAPPY4USDined on 9/4/2014I will continue to enjoy the experience and the atmosphere that the restaurant provides. The staff are always excellent and the service is always Great. I and my company always enjoy the experience. And will continue to experience the great moments shared at such a great place!!!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Our New Favorite RestaurantChipDined on 9/2/2014Wow. It couldn't have been better. We enjoyed this experience from the front sidewalk going in to the tour of the historic structure by the manager at the end. The Ribeye steak that I had was perfect. The degree of cooking (medium/medium-rare) was exactly as I wanted. My wife went on the light side with a salad and the soup of the day; both wonderfully prepared. If we return to Raleigh and spend some time there on our next flight out of North Carolina (we live 2 hours away in Wilmington), we'll definitely be back to try some of the other interested menu choices (althought that ribeye was so good I may have trouble choosing something else).Special Features:
- Creative Food and PresentationJabarDined on 8/30/2014We took friends there visiting from Florida. They said it was one of the better restaurants they have been to. The ambiance of the old home just added to the enjoyment of the evening. The food was very good especially the creativeness of the presentation of the sides that accompanied the main course. We each had something different and of course shared. The service was first class. It is definitively worth the few extra $$$$.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- A special place for special times!jsbyDined on 8/30/2014This was our second visit to Second Empire. I could not have selected a better place to celebrate my 65th birthday. The food and service were excellent. The presentation of our chosen entrees was second to none. All four of us thoroughly enjoyed our meals. The flavors and preparation were unique. Our server was both knowledgeable and personable. My special occasion was acknowledged with an imprint on my menu. We will definitely return.Special Features:
- Great for that special date20andStillGoingDined on 8/30/2014Had our 20th anniversary dinner at Second Empire and they made it a dinner to remember.Special Features:
- Anniversary Date NightblspearsonDined on 8/27/2014Our first time dining here after having several people recommending it to us!! We loved it - food and service were first class!! When I made my reservations online, I mentioned that it was our 36th wedding anniversary - the chef had signed our "personalized" menu. They had printed on our menu - "Happy 36th Wedding Anniversary 08-27-2014" VERY nice touch!!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.