Elaine's on Franklin

4.6
1064 reviews
icon/ic_price_rangeCreated with Sketch.
$31 to $50
icon/ic_cuisineCreated with Sketch.
Global, International
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."
Dining Style
Fine Dining
icon/ic_cuisineCreated with Sketch.
Cuisines
Global, International, Seafood, Tapas / Small Plates
icon/ic_clockCreated with Sketch.
Hours of operation
Dinner: Tuesday - Thursday: 5:30pm - 9:30pm; Friday - Saturday: 5:30pm - 10:00pm
icon/ic_phoneCreated with Sketch.
Phone number
(919) 960-2770
icon/ic_new_windowCreated with Sketch.
icon/ic_paymentCreated with Sketch.
Payment options
AMEX, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
icon/ic_dress_codeCreated with Sketch.
Dress code
Business Casual
icon/ic_chefCreated with Sketch.
Executive chef
Bret Jennings
icon/ic_neighborhoodCreated with Sketch.
Neighborhood
icon/ic_cross_streetCreated with Sketch.
Cross street
Roberson Street
icon/ic_parking_detailsCreated with Sketch.
Parking details
You can use free parking on the street after 6 PM or any town lot after 8 PM.
icon/ic_public_transitCreated with Sketch.
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.
Additional
Bar Dining, Beer, BYO Wine, Corkage Fee, Full Bar, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, View, Wheelchair Access, Wine
What 1064 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.6based on recent ratings
4.6
food
4.6
service
4.5
ambience
4.2
value
Noise · Quiet
91% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
4
3
2
1
Sort by
Newest
Filters
CR
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on November 3, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great dinner with friends. Outstanding service and food. Enjoyed meeting bartender and chef. Great wine list.

Report
Helpful
L
1 review
Dined on October 27, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

From beginning to end a wonderful experience. The Chef had a great presentation and taste. Excellent service.

Report
Helpful
PS
Raleigh
2 reviews
Dined on October 23, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

As always, excellent. Even our grown children remember Elaine's and how much they enjoyed our dinner out when they visited. It is a gem, one of the few "table cloth" restaurants left in the area. A professional and friendly wait staff is always a pleasure and Elaine's has always had that. It's a keeper!

Report
Helpful
D
Raleigh
10 reviews
Dined on October 20, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Elaine's is THE place to go in Chapel Hill. The food is great, all prepared from fresh locally sourced ingredients. Each dish prepared by Chef Bret Jenkins has its own unique story.

The wine list is award winning with many very reasonable priced wines. The staff is knowledgeable and very friendly.

Overall, Elaine's is offering great food for a very reasonable price, especially when you take the early bird fix price menu.

Report
Helpful
BR
Washington DC
9 reviews
Dined on October 19, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 5ambience 3

We thoroughly enjoyed our dinner at Elaine’s on Franklin. My tuna was delicious! Our server was very helpful and attentive. I would retyfor a special occasion.

Report
Helpful
SJ
1 review
Dined on October 17, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 4

I had heard and read many good things about this restaurant so was eager to give it a try. However, it did not live up to my expectations. My husband, daughter and I had reservations on a Wednesday evening at 7:00 P.M. Things started off well enough as my husband and I arrived early and had a drink at the bar. My husband was pleasantly surprised to see that Czechvar beer was available, a first in this area. I had a Moscow Mule, made with homemade ginger beer, which was excellent. Once we moved to a table things went downhill. Given the place was mostly empty the service was inattentive at best! We waited way too long to order and had to ask for bread after our main course arrived. The food was pretty good overall, particularly the beef Oscar and pork loin chop. However, the oysters rockefeller was underdone and could have used some more bacon/hollandaise sauce. The three cheese sampler was also a major disappointment. On the up side the wine list is impressive and the Pinot I had was very nice.

Report
Helpful
NC
Raleigh
1 review
Dined on October 17, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

The food was fantastic. Everyone in the party got the tasting menu. We had a wonderful time.

Report
Helpful
LG
Western NC
2 reviews
Dined on October 13, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We made reservations for a late dinner with my 85 year old parents who are hard of hearing. Everyone was so accommodating and the hostess graciously cleaned a table so that we could have the perfect spot to dine and hear each other with ease. The food and service were fantastic - and great ambiance! Look forward to returning soon.

Report
Helpful
KL
Adelaide / SA
1 review
Dined on October 12, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

We had a wonderful dinner with friends at one of the window tables. Best soft shell crab ever!

Report
Helpful
M
Raleigh
7 reviews
Dined on October 12, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We love the prix fixe menu. Nice to have wine pairings with every course. Always impressive how well the wines go with the foods.

Report
Helpful
OT
1 review
Dined on October 5, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Birthday. Wonderful job. Personalized menu, lovely table, candle for dessert. Special not intrusive. Perfect.

Report
Helpful
J
Raleigh
34 reviews
Dined on September 29, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had a great date night! The pork loin was beyond delish!

Report
Helpful
L
Raleigh
7 reviews
Dined on September 27, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

Did not like the flounder with gumbo. Flounder okay but gumbo had way too much liver flavored sausage and tasteless crawfish. Prawns we're way overcooked.

Report
Helpful
JB
Raleigh
57 reviews
Dined on September 20, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Delicious meal & efficient pleasant service!

Report
Helpful
b
San Francisco
10 reviews
Dined on September 11, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Quality food, fine quiet dining, great service and wine/drinks list
Overseen by chef Bret Jennings, this is the last fine dining restaurant in the Chapel Hill and Durham areas – one that is quiet, has white table cloths, excellent food and a welcoming atmosphere. Elaine’s wine list is superb and over the many times I've visited for business or personal dining, the quality preparation and presentation of food has been very high, with a menu that changes every few weeks with major seasonal shifts. The wait staff and wine folks all are knowledgeable, friendly and highly skilled.
The appetizers always have some interesting fish, meat and veggie options along with 1-2 great salads. I often have dinners of appetizers and one of their great desserts—my favorite being their warm chocolate cake with one of the interesting ice creams. However, the main courses (excellent duck, fish, pork and beef dishes) are excellent and frequent treats for us. This is my go-to restaurant now in Durham and chapel hill for business dinners or for quality food in a quiet setting with great wine. Elaine's is the last of its kind in the area and one that we should all support!

Report
Helpful
D
Raleigh
1 review
Dined on September 4, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 2

While the food at Elaine's is of high quality (not outstanding, but quite good), the outdated decor and messiness of the dining room keeps it from receiving a higher rating. As if the eclectic mix of art and furniture in the room aren't enough of a disappointment, the owners/managers are apparently so unconcerned about the atmosphere of the place that they've allowed the upper shelf behind the bar to be used as storage space for empty cardboard boxes. What discerning diner wants to spend an upscale evening staring at 25-30 empty boxes cluttered against the wall?

Report
Helpful
CF
Charleston
6 reviews
Dined on September 2, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Each course was fresh, unique, delicious. Gazpacho was so refreshing on a hot summer night. Ahi tuna cooked to perfection with a flavor combination that add us pause, ponder and dive in for more! Scallops were also interestingly prepared with each ingredient complementing without dominating. Pans cotta dessert was light and beautifully paired with chenin blanc. Blackberry peach crisp was also a perfect touch highlighting seasonal fruit. We most highly recommend this hidden in plain site gem on Franklin Street and can’t wait to return.

Report
Helpful
DS
Portland
5 reviews
Dined on September 1, 2018
Overall 3food 2service 3ambience 4

We’ve eaten at Elaine’s for years and never had a bad meal, until this time. The lobster/pork combo was terrible - pork belly and lobster in a pool of (tomato) water with vegetables that could have been frozen. My wife’s scallops were chewy, over salted , and had an ammonia flavor (we should have sent them back). Hopefully just a bad night, but with restaurants, all intakes sometimes is one bad night to never go back again.

Report
Helpful
BB
Raleigh
2 reviews
Dined on August 30, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 5

Elaine's - still going strong after all these years. Had not dined there in in several years and now have dined there six times in six months. We live four hours away. Got married last fall. Decided that instead of a big reception, we would take our favorite people to dinner in very nice restaurants, over the year after we married. So we've been taking our Chapel Hill family and friends to Elaine's. Perfect choice.

Report
Helpful
DC
1 review
Dined on August 26, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

Elaine's was a great find. My wife and I had a staycation to get away from 4 kids for a weekend. Elaine's blew us away. Great cocktails to start. The oysters rockfeller were cooked and seasoned perfectly. The salad with the watermelon curry was amazing, completely surprised us both. Then the lobster pig for the main.....superb! Totally loved the food, good service and good value.

Report
Helpful
SK
1 review
Dined on August 25, 2018
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 5

I ordered the beef tenderloin and my husband ordered the scallops. My beef had amazing flavor but it wasn’t a very tender steak at all. My husband said his scallops were very delicious and the texture of the scallops and rice were delicious.

Report
Helpful
SJ
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on August 24, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

A wonderful restaurant that exceeded our expectations ! Great service and food.

Report
Helpful
BS
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on August 23, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

One of the best meals I’ve had in a while. Creative menu with delicious tastes for all not the dishes. Outstanding.

Report
Helpful
D
Denver
7 reviews
Dined on August 21, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Excellent food, great European wine list, awesome owner. He actually came out to speak with us and share in the wine.

Report
Helpful
MS
Phoenix
5 reviews
Dined on August 18, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Excellent food. Great service. You can’t go wrong.

Report
Helpful
d
Raleigh
1 review
Dined on August 18, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always pleasurable at Elaine‘s. My wife and I have celebrated our last 10 anniversaries there. Best restaurant in the triangle. Lovely atmosphere. Outstanding service. Friendly waiters and waitresses. Great menu. Have never had a bad meal there. The wife gets lovey-dovey after our meal. What more can I say?

Report
Helpful
F
Raleigh
3 reviews
Dined on August 18, 2018
Overall 1food 2service 1ambience 3

We were very disappointed because we'd heard such great things about Elaine's. We won't go back. There were so many problems that I had to leave some out because of the maximum character limit of OpenTable!

At 8pm, the kitchen was out of the first four dishes we tried to order (Salmon appetizer, Poulet Rouge, Trout, Bison).

Three of the dishes that we eventually ordered were ordinary and boring. Our fourth dish, the Tuna main course, was excellent.
* The Fig appetizer: Boring, ordinary. The menu said it was stuffed with blue cheese, and wrapped with prosciutto, but we didn't detect any blue cheese or proscuitto. It was wierd.
* Oysters Rockefeller: Perfectly cooked, but ordinary--no flavor. And we love oysters!
* Scallops main course: Boring, no flavor, under-salted. And we don't even like over-salted food. We usually love scallops!
* Tuna main course: This was excellent.

Service oversights:
Our waitress seemed as if she hadn't been trained. She was really nice, but couldn't answer basic questions about the dishes. She didn't know that the four dishes we ordered at first were unavailable; she actually came back from the kitchen three different times, to tell us what we'd ordered was not available, as we kept trying to find another dish that wasn't out of stock. There were lots of other service issues, such as:
* The table next to us dropped a menu onto the floor soon after they were seated, and the menu remained on the floor, where everyone could see it. Most of the waiters actually stepped on it multiple times during our meal.
* Our oyster fork (from the appetizer) was never removed from the table, even though it was sitting at the edge of the table during the rest of our meal.
* At the end of the meal, our bill folder was delivered to our table without the bill inside.

The dishes were served with no unusual delays, but it took over ten minutes for my cocktail to arrive.

Report
Helpful
B
Charleston
4 reviews
Dined on August 18, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

The food was outstanding but the service was sub par. We were often left with empty dishes on the table and not frequently checked on.

Report
Helpful
HL
Raleigh
2 reviews
Dined on August 4, 2018
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

Waited an hour for a mediocre meal. Won’t be back. There are too many awesome other restaurants in the area. Restaurant and menu seem tired. Could use some investment and a rethink.

Report
Helpful
PS
Raleigh
3 reviews
Dined on August 4, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Elaine's is ALWAYS a pleasurable experience with outstanding culinary selections, attentive and professional wait staff and overall ambience. We have treated our daughters to dinner there as well as celebrated special occasions such as birthdays/anniversary ourselves. This was our 51st, (yes, fifty FIRST) wedding anniversary and our dinner out was memorable. I made reservations noting the event and requesting a table by the window...such fun to watch the world go by! We arrived a little early so that we could celebrate with a special drink at the bar. Perfect! And the host was obviously primed to expect us for upon entry he said, "Ah, is this your anniversary?" Not only did we have our table by the window but a menu that was imprinted "Happy 51st Anniversary" at the top. In addition, we had received a card from Elaine's wishing us well the very day that I made the reservations. We were impressed by the thoughtful follow through of something we had filled out at an earlier time. I would recommend Elaine's absolutely. The food was delicious, as always, and the choices were varied. Presentation was innovative but not pretentious. The gravlax appetizer was wonderful as was the tuna cerviche. Brazilian chocolate creme brulee will go down in our culinary history. Thanks to Everyone at Elaine's for a stellar evening!

Report
Helpful
JB
Raleigh
1 review
Dined on August 4, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always fantastic!!!

Report
Helpful
S
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on August 4, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent meal, great service and a friendly atmosphere

Report
Helpful
JB
Raleigh
57 reviews
Dined on August 4, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Awesome experience dining at Elaine’s. Both the food and the service were excellent. The menu offered creative tasty dishes and the dessert (a kind of flan) was delicious. I’d go back in a heartbeat!

Report
Helpful
OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on July 28, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

The fresh tomato sampler was outstanding and served with 3 different course salts. overall meal was quite nice!

Report
Helpful
JC
New York Area
1 review
Dined on July 27, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Mike is a fun server and the food is always great!

Report
Helpful
j
New York Area
1 review
Dined on July 14, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

I particularly recommend the green tomato gazpacho as well as the crusted tuna steak with fried basil leaves.

Report
Helpful
j
Raleigh
5 reviews
Dined on July 14, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

My first dinner at Elaine's. It was superb.
Service was excellent. The scallop dish was the best I've ever had. Will visit again.

Report
Helpful
f
Raleigh
7 reviews
Dined on July 12, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Outstanding food and service. Our favorite table was reserved and our waiter Mike was excellent. The tomato plate was delicious as was the tuna dish! We 4 had a great time and the chef has wonderful pairing of various flavors that are complementary. The salmon was also prepared wonderfully with refried beans. Would not have thought it went together but it was delightful as well. The food is always imaginative and attractively plated.

Report
Helpful
d
Raleigh
19 reviews
Dined on July 11, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food here is always exceptional, and the wine list is nice too. Staff very kind and knowledgable. But it is not inexpensive.

Report
Helpful
w
Raleigh
2 reviews
Dined on July 10, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Great food, great service. Great preparations

Report
Helpful
1
2
3
27

Tweets by Elaine's on Franklin