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Second Empire Restaurant and Tavern
Second Empire Restaurant and Tavern

Second Empire Restaurant and Tavern Details

  • Dining Style: Fine Dining
  • Website: http://www.second-empire.com
  • Email: info@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: Contemporary American, Southern
  • 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 (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: Tracy Thorpe (919) 829-3663

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Harrington St.
  • Parking: Private Lot
  • Parking Details: Parking is available on the surrounding streets and 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 and 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 photos
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Overall
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Ambiance
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Food
Diner Reviews
  • "He started with the soup of the day and I got the caramelized foie gras. The foie gras was so rich and velvety it just melted in your mouth and the soup had a great balance of flavors. For our main he got the grouper and I got the scallops. They were perfectly seared and had just the right amount of seasoning. The plate looked like it had so much going on that the flavors wouldn't go together, but they did amazingly well. His grouper was very delicious, but paled in comparison to my scallops. We ended the night with the baked Alaska simply because we'd never seen it on a menu before. Our servers were attentive and although they don't have a sommelier, there was a waiter there that made a pretty good substitute...we enjoyed his suggestion."
    Dined on 4/19/2014
  • "Excellent food. Delightful service with a charming waiter and attentive support staff. Exquisite attention to detail. They printed a special menu for the evening for my boyfriend, in honor of his birthday, and signed by the chef. Normally, I would have expected the noise level to be more moderate on other nights but there was a somewhat boisterous wedding party going on in the next room. It didn't bother us at all and everyone was kind of enjoying the fun. We really had a wonderful time at Second Empire. It's a stunning setting for dinner and we look forward to going back. "
    Dined on 4/19/2014
  • "Ambiance, food and service excellent. A great selection of wines as well."
    Dined on 4/19/2014
  • "Took my friend out for his birthday to your beautiful restaurant. He's worked at several of the better venues in Raleigh (Tiarimisu, Angus Barn, Glenwood Grill, Mura), but he'd never been to Second Empire. He is used to very nice cuisine, and you really impressed him. Service was excellent, our meals were delicious, and got a great start in your downstairs bar with Huckleberry & martinis. Can't wait to come back. Thanks for a great evening!"
    Dined on 4/12/2014
  • "We selected Two Empires because we were meeting from travel out of town. We were not disappointed by choosing the Tavern for dinner. The wine selections were spot on and service from the bartender through the wait staff was one of the best we've ever encountered in extensive travel. Kudos to the Chef for a wonderful fusion of flavor from appetizer (roasted polenta and Fuji Apple) to the braised short ribs and roasted chicken main courses. Wished we had room for dessert!"
    Dined on 4/10/2014
  • "Highly recommend for a wonderful meal. Food was awesome - every plate received this same compliment. The presentation was absolutely amazing and impressive. Table of 8 was served dishes in a timed and precise manner. I would recommend avoiding the chocolate raspberry mousse tart for dessert - only item that was not up to expectations. Rack of lamb was so very tasty. The Fuji Apple salad was unbelievable. We had 8 people for dinner and everyone commented on how this was probably their best meal in Raleigh."
    Dined on 4/9/2014
  • "Great place, if you want a great meal and expierence"
    Dined on 4/5/2014
  • "Best food, dinner, & dining experience EVER. period. MUST GO."
    Dined on 4/5/2014
  • "This was my wifes first visit AND her birthday dinner. All I can say is she was blown away by this place. I've been there before but it has been years. Worth the return!!"
    Dined on 4/5/2014
  • "Everything was great about the restaurant excet the food. It was very average and for the price I paid for dinner I'd suggest you get that fixed as soon as possible."
    Dined on 4/5/2014
  • "Went there for our 1 year anniversary and it was a perfect dining experience. The even had the chef sign the menu for us to remember our dinner."
    Dined on 4/4/2014
  • "The service was outstanding! The calamari was the best. I was disappointed in my entree. I ordered the duck dish from the Tavern menu and I found just 3 pieces of duck in my bowl of vegetables. Pretty expensive for a bowl of veggies. Would not order that again."
    Dined on 4/4/2014
  • "If you like to eat slowly, savor your food, and relax in conversation than Second Empire is perfect. My husband and I have come here on various special occasions and have always had a perfectly and beautifully prepared meal. If you aren't a foodie then the menu may be a little hard to understand as it is not the traditional fair with the traditional pairings of food, rather it has amazingly unique combinations of food that are perfectly balanced in color, textures and most importantly taste. You can't go wrong. This time when I went I was with a few friends just for dessert. Again the menu is varied and wonderful and we were all delighted with our choices! Service is always exceptional and well educated in the different foods."
    Dined on 4/3/2014
  • "This restaurant is a fantastic place with terrific food. They have a special dining with the chef that was totally awesome. We had a birthday dinner in the kitchen and enjoyed watching the interaction of the staff, and the behind the scenes organization. Everyone was friendly, accommodating, and ensured we had a great time and enjoyed ourselves. I highly recommend the chef's dining experience. pictures of the event were provided by the staff by me leaving my pone on the corner of the table and they would just make it happen. I very nice touch for us to remember the experience...and the only photo bombed once...LOL Awesome experience..."
    Dined on 4/2/2014
  • "The food was always great there. You have to get Foie Gras appetizer (not on the menu) that will be made differently everyday. Lamb chop or steak is always great there. Seafood is also awesome. They have the best Chocolate Soufflé ever!"
    Dined on 4/2/2014
  • "The servers at the Tavern are top notch. They are there when you need them and unobtrusive when you are conversing with dinner companions. Very knowledgeable about menu and wine choices."
    Dined on 3/29/2014
  • "My first time ever and must declare it's the BEST restaurant in Raleigh! The historic setting, the ambiance, the food and the best service ever can't be beat!"
    Dined on 3/29/2014
  • "The staff and food could not have been more fantastic! Thank you for an amazing evening!"
    Dined on 3/28/2014
  • "Dinner was excellent. Was my first time trying lamb and it was so delicious"
    Dined on 3/22/2014
  • "Everything was perfect - wonderful food and service for a special occasion. Go see for yourself!"
    Dined on 3/20/2014
  • "I'm quite a newbie in the city of Raleigh...wanted to take my date to a quiet, authentic place with great food..when we entered we were showed to our table and the waiter was really attentive..went over most of the details and suggested great variety of scrumptious delicacies available....all in all a must visit place for couples"
    Dined on 3/22/2014
  • "We celebrated our anniversary at Second Empire, and there was no disappointments. Bill (our waiter) was simply amazing. The way he described the menu items just gets you excited to eat, and the food definitely lives up to the hype! Great atmosphere, spectacular food/wine/cocktails...I know we will be repeat customers!"
    Dined on 3/14/2014
  • "What can I say about Second Empire? That the dining experience was just phenomenal the maitre d' and wait staff were very attentive and the food was selections were superb. I received a follow-up phone call confirming my reservation which was impressive. I recommend Second Empire for any special occasion and be ready for a dining treat."
    Dined on 3/15/2014
  • "This was a Sweet Sixteen dinner with my granddaughter. Everything was top of the line. Each dish looked like the kitchen spent hours on preparation. Service was friendly, professional, and accommodating."
    Dined on 3/15/2014
  • "Food is excellent, lacking in amount of vegetables served as side. But incredibly delicious!"
    Dined on 3/14/2014
  • "Outstanding staff and food. Very accommodating to every need! Look forward to our next visit!!"
    Dined on 3/13/2014
  • "We ate in the tavern at the Second Empire but the atmosphere, the food and the service were all of fine dining quality. This is one of the best dining experiences I have had in Raleigh. You must give this a try!"
    Dined on 3/13/2014
  • "My husband and I dined at Second Empire to celebrate our 21st wedding anniversary. This was our first experience at Second Empire, although the restaurant had come highly recommended by several friends. We were treated like first-class patrons from the moment we walked into the door. We dined, enjoying each course and each others company for about 2 hours without any feeling of being hurried. We left feeling satisfied that we had made the absolute best choice on where to dine for our anniversary. Without hesitation, we would enthusiastically return!"
    Dined on 3/8/2014
  • "Me and my wife dined at second empire with our daughter and the experience was awesome. The food was amazing as was our service from Bill out server. We own a restaurant in Fayetteville so we knew what we expected and both the food and service exceeded that many times over. If you haven't tried this establishment you don't know what you are missing. We are already making plans to go back and dine again"
    Dined on 3/7/2014
  • "We had a wonderful dinner with clients. Perfect setting and great atmosphere."
    Dined on 3/6/2014
  • "Yes, the first time here and will come back again without a doubt. Karen our server was terrific, food came out timely and tasted great. We took her suggestions from the menu and enjoyed both the meatloaf, not your typical taste or look and the swordfish pleased my husband. I should mention we ate in the Tavern, downstairs and it is a very nice venue. Got there early, they couldn't take us but sat us at our reserved time. This was a Saturday night and they never tried rushing us to turn over the table, Can't wait to go back."
    Dined on 3/1/2014
  • "This was our first time at this restaurant that is set in an older yet beautiful home. We had two waiters so the amount of attention was fabulous. The food was excellent and I would definitely dine there again."
    Dined on 3/1/2014
  • "My girlfriend's 65th birthday. Wanted a special place to celebrate and Second Empire did not disappoint. Excellent steak with great flavor. Scallops were excellent. Dessert and Bayly's coffee topped off the evening. Service was very prompt.."
    Dined on 3/1/2014
  • "This restaurant is one of my favorites; HOWEVER, the noise level is quite high."
    Dined on 3/1/2014
  • "Anniversary dinner. Had a wonderful time. Signed menu by the CHef for our anniversary was a nice touch"
    Dined on 2/28/2014
  • "The restaurant is wonderful! The service was great! I really liked the place. The food was ok, the calamari was too salty and the bread was extremely salty, I was a little but disappointed. It didn't fit my expectations."
    Dined on 3/1/2014
  • "We had a wonderful evening of ambiance, great food, expert waitress and comfortable level of attention."
    Dined on 2/28/2014
  • "Went to Second Empire in the Tavern for the first time on Friday. It was incredible. The service was phenomenal and the food was some of the best I've ever had. The seafood paella was great but my order was the best. The meatloaf. GET THE MEATLOAF. It was juicy and melted in your mouth. My girlfriend hates meatloaf but she called it "one the best things she's ever eaten." Highly recommended and the service by the two Justins was great."
    Dined on 2/28/2014
  • "The restaurant is beautiful, the service was great and food fantastic.. Bill was our server, explained all choices and was very through. Wife had catch of the day, grouper, and I had the lamb, both were fantastic."
    Dined on 2/28/2014
  • "It's difficult to imagine a dining experience that could be better than we experienced that evening."
    Dined on 2/28/2014