Second Empire Restaurant and Tavern
Second Empire Restaurant and Tavern

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, 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

Getting there

  • 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 photos
See all photos
Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Overall
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Ambiance
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Food
Second Empire Restaurant and Tavern reviews from OpenTable diners
270 reviews since May 6, 2014
Overall Rating4.7
  • Food4.7
    Service4.8
  • Ambiance4.7
    Noise LevelModerate
99% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
special occasion (242)romantic (207)fit for foodies (136)notable wine list (104)neighborhood gem (88)good for groups (49)scenic view (20)hot spot (14)vibrant bar scene (13)late-night find (12)great for brunch (9)great for lunch (7)kid-friendly (4)great for outdoor dining (3)Show More
  • Creative Food and Presentation
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 8/30/2014
    We 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:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • A special place for special times!
    jsby
    Dined on 8/30/2014
    This 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:
    romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Great for that special date
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 8/30/2014
    Had our 20th anniversary dinner at Second Empire and they made it a dinner to remember.
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • AMAZING
    gmarich
    Dined on 8/26/2014
    From the moment you enter you are treated like the most important guest in the restaurant. Would recommend it to anyone living or traveling to Raleigh...
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Best birthday spot
    sofysofi
    Dined on 8/23/2014
    I had a great time at Second Empire, food was good and service was awesome
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • foodtour2014
    foodtouring
    Dined on 8/23/2014
    We went as a result of the downtown Raleigh restaurant week. We had never tried 2nd Empire; it was a very neat experience as well as delicious food.
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • romantic and enjoyable
    yummy
    Dined on 8/23/2014
    This is a great place for adults to share a fabulous special occasion, like we did for our 20th wedding anniversary. Great service, great food, no rushing, low to no noise. Thanks for a great evening and a hand signed menu from the chef!!
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Just ok
    Out2eat
    Dined on 8/23/2014
    Just very small portions hubby was grateful for excellent bread
    Special Features:
    notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Overall OK
    BethLVIP
    Dined on 8/23/2014
    We attended during restaurant week. Overall, it was a nice dinner, but we felt misled that it was more a "tasting menu" than an actual meal to enjoy. We were encouraged by our waitress to order a cheese tray or extra apps, as the meal portions served for restaurant week were very small. We ordered the 30.00 cheese plate to supplement our meal. The smoked salmon salad was dry and underwhelming and the mixed green salad was very plain. Both were a small bit of greens centered in a small plate. The fish main course was 3 ounces. Literally as big as a fifty cent piece. Nice, but gone in 3 bites. (The choices were fish, sausage or chicken.) Desserts looked like mini-cupcakes. Based on this experience, not sure we would return.
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great service and goof food
    John
    Dined on 8/22/2014
    Great ambience and service. Food variety good. Reasonable priced wine selections with many choices.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Outstanding in every way
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007VIP
    Dined on 8/22/2014
    Great dining experience! Our party of 4 especially appreciated the generously-sized tables--no crowding here--and spacious, elegant dining room. Well worth the regular prices, and an amazing value during Downtown Restaurant Week.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Not Boring
    Soody
    Dined on 8/22/2014
    We loved Second Empire. The menus were not the usual fare we see. Our selections were all delicious, particularly the clams(appetizer) and meatballs(entree). We will definitely go back
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Disappointed
    Smartmove123VIP
    Dined on 8/21/2014
    I was here on a special date, and found the Raleigh Restaurant Week Menu to be disappointing. I've been here before and the menu for that night was very limiting, and not a representative of the potentially great food here.
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Service was great!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 8/20/2014
    Waiters and Manager were attentive to our needs. The presentation of the food was excellent! I plan to go back to this place - even if it is not Restaurant Week.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, scenic view, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • A little disappointing
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 8/20/2014
    The ambience was unique. The service was friendly and attentive - just the right amount of "hovering". The salad was fair, nothing unique. Nothing but lettuce leaves. Fish entrée was marginal. The biggest disappointment was the pace of the service - almost felt like fast-food. Not enough time to really enjoy the ambience. Felt like the goal was to turn over as many tables as possible and not to provide a unique dinning experience. Enjoyed the wine. After hearing so much about the restaurant we were disappointed.
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Best restaurant ever
    Kenyan
    Dined on 8/20/2014
    Great service, romantic ambiance, very tasty food. Just the best place to be with my lovely wife for our anniversary celebration.
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 8/19/2014
    We tried this restaurant for the prix fixe menu. The salad, entrees, and dessert were delicious. We asked to change to a different table, and staff complied cheerfully. We would have dinner here again and explore the full menu, including desserts.
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Not What We Thought It Would Be
    ThatCoupleVIP
    Dined on 8/19/2014
    We both agreed that the service was impeccable from the moment we walked in to the time we left. Our only thing was the food was under whelming. We did not experience a WOW. We may have set our expectations up too high.
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 8/19/2014
    Second time there and both times were great. Would like to try your Tavern next time.
    Special Features:
    special occasion, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 8/16/2014
    Waited 30 minutes past our reservation for the seating area I requested. After that, everything was amazing. Drinks, food, service all extremely good.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Tavern was awesome
    BdayVIP
    Dined on 8/16/2014
    We had dinner downstairs in the tavern next to the bar. The food, cocktails and wine list was EXCEPTIONAL as usual. You can order off both the tavern or main dining menu and enjoy a more casual atmosphere.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, late-night find, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • RaleighDave
    Dined on 8/16/2014
    Very good experience here. Excellent food. Great service. Not really pricey for what you get. It's a no brainer.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Best night ever
    GirlNPink
    Dined on 8/16/2014
    My husband brought me to Second Empire before we went to the Josh Groban concert. Everyone at SE was so friendly and professional. They really made us feel special. The food and wine was delicious. Everything was perfect! We are definitely coming back. Thank you for help making it the best night ever.
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Sweetdate
    Dined on 8/15/2014
    It was a dinning experience. It is a great place to take a special friend.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • rick
    Dined on 8/14/2014
    The atmosphere and the food is always superb, but the service was not up to the usual standards. Not bad, just average, but you come to expect more from Second Empire!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Perfect
    CEW3
    Dined on 8/14/2014
    I had my retirement dinner at Second Empire and everything was first rate. I want to retire again so I can go back next week.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Anniversary dinner
    tasty
    Dined on 8/8/2014
    What a terrific place for a special occasion, like an anniversary. The choice of restaurants was a surprise to my wife. When we arrived by Raleigh Rickshaw, she was immediately captured by the appearance and took a series of pictures of the beautiful exterior. I used the "message to staff" feature, so the staff acknowledged our special occasion and even provided a personalized menu, signed by the chef (nice touch). The menu had many excellent choices, but the Lamb & Sweet Breads was perfect for my wife. We both had the Rabbit and Beet salad. Nice presentation and mouth watering flavors. We split the bread pudding and savored each bite. We had an outstanding dining experience on our memorable occasion.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, romantic, special occasion, late-night find
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Consistent pleaser
    LorinanaVIP
    Dined on 8/6/2014
    We went to Second Empire to celebrate our wedding anniversary. The chef autographed our menu and the menu had. Happy Anniversary and our names written on it. Our waiter was prompt and attentive. I had the crab cakes and highly recommend this dish. Pure crab, no fillers with just the right amount of filling. Make sure you save room for their chocolate soufflé! Heaven! Highly recommend this neighborhood gem in downtown Raleigh!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • wonderful experience
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 8/5/2014
    Great choice for birthday celebration. Ambience was wonderful--much quieter than most restaurants. There was a rather loud party next to us, however, they left shortly after we arrived. Service outstanding and the food was delicious.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great Time
    PJM2014
    Dined on 8/5/2014
    Outstanding food, great ambiance and phenomenal service!
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Disappointing
    Rogan
    Dined on 8/5/2014
    For some reason the meats that I ordered were dry and tough. Not what you would expect from a restaurant of this star rating. Maybe it was just a bad night for the kitchen staff.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Relaxation
    Delicious4u
    Dined on 8/2/2014
    Delicious and great staff! Been to the best restaurants from all over the world. Look forward to returning for more. Thank You
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Birthday Dinner
    hduschl
    Dined on 8/1/2014
    The chef signed a menu with my name printed at the top because it was a birthday dinner. Nice touch that showed they care about special events.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Good service and food, but pricey
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 7/31/2014
    I've been to Second Empire several times, and we always enjoy the food and service. But it is darn expensive. I like the tavern, but this time it was too loud and we had to move. The upstairs is a bit stuffy, so it's too bad there isn't a happy "in between."
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Excellent experience!
    Steve
    Dined on 7/29/2014
    This restaurant instantly hit the top of my favorite restaurants. Excellent food, service, and atmosphere! It was my anniversary and the chef have us a personalized menu with his signature right on it. Excellent experience! Would recommend this restaurant even to people i don't know!
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Anniversary Dinner
    MTL1
    Dined on 7/29/2014
    The restaurant added nice touches to our anniversary dinner. Surprisingly each of the wait staff knew about it and expressed anniversary wishes. A commemorative menu was used with our names on it . The food was wonderful and not rushed. A really pleasant evening! Thanks.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Our Number One Choice
    new2reviewing
    Dined on 7/26/2014
    This is our number one choice to bring any of our out of town guests and family. We love the ambiance but even more the fantastic food. It is so hard to choose an entrée as they are all so good! Great variety that is sure to please even the pickiest of eaters. The service is great, very attentive but not annoying so. The roasted red pepper and cauliflower soup was incredible. I could have made a meal out of just that! I am still thinking about the crab cake with curry sauce. It was so delicious! There was so much crab meat just barely held together. I would have never thought to add a curry sauce to this dish but I have to say it was phenomenal. Can't wait to go back!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great experience!
    jdwdineout
    Dined on 7/26/2014
    We made last minute dinner plans for my wife's birthday and invited some friend to join us. Second Empire was a great experience! I can't believe we have not visited until now. We will definitely be back. The service was top knotch. The food was savory and delicious!
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Perfect for SpeciL Ocassions
    Goodfood
    Dined on 7/25/2014
    A perfect place to celebrate life's special private moments. An intimate dining experience with consistently wonderful food, attentive service and a romantic atmosphere.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Foxes
    Dined on 7/25/2014
    This is the annual birthday dinner spot each and every year
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.