We enjoy having dinner at Elaine's. The ambiance is inviting with its low lighting, white tablecloths and candle on each table.We chose the prix fixe accompanied by wines. We appreciated the amuse-bouche, a tasty little amount of soup served in the most adorable cups. Our friendly waiter recommended the duck livers for one of us as an appetizer and that turned out to be a disappointment: overcooked on a mushy toast with goat cheese. The salmon was cooked just as requested. My husband was very satisfied with the catfish gumbo. Our waiter recommended the appropriate wines with each of the three courses. We enjoyed two of the wines but thought that the dessert wine was too sweet and left most of it. The chocolate cake with mocha ice cream was scrumptious but the pecan cake with the flan was a little dry. Although it was a busy evening our waiter was very attentive and gave us great service.
So very disappointing. The food was mediocre which was unacceptable given the menu prices. The atmosphere is boring and quiet, no music . There are so many good restaurants in Chapel Hill, this is no longer one of them. We would not recommend.
I always enjoy going to Elaine's. They were accommodating to my gluten free meals. I find their 3 course menu is a great deal. Only recommendation I have is to have more gluten free choices for dessert. Otherwise the food rating would be 5 stars.
We found Elaine’s to not be particularly cooperative when it comes to gluten free options. There were only a couple of appetizers and entrees that were naturally GF. They did not go out of their way to substitute parts of entrees to make them GF, which is often a common courtesy for people with true allergies. Places that charge that much for entrees should be more accommodating to dietary restrictions. That being said, the ambiance and impressive wine selection makes it a nice date spot on Franklin. The non-GF options are quite good. I would highly recommend the duck if it’s on the menu.
My husband and I were meeting our adult daughter for an overnight together in Chapel Hill - all of us coming from out of town. We met initially for our dinner together at Elaine's, where they had given us a prime table in the front window. The service was superb, the food excellent, and it was good value for the quality as well. We never felt rushed, and our server Laura could not have been more professional, friendly, knowledgeable and accommodating. Thank-you, Elaine's!
Our appetizers and entrees were not anything special, but the dessert was out of this world!
Great restaurant for a special occasion. Excellent food and attentive wait staff.
Highly recommend! The food was excellent. The presentation even better.
We had a wonderful dining experience at Elaine’s. Fabulous food and service. We loved the prix fixe with the wine pairing.
Go to spot for the best meal in Chapel Hill. We’ve been eating here for years and I’ve never been disappointed.
Chef uses fresh, local ingredients and with a menu that reflects the best of the season, you just can’t miss.
There’s something for everyone. My wife calls ahead and discusses options with the staff and they always go over and above to tailor a meal to her specific needs.
Wonderful food and service
Never disappoints. Sorry to see that free valet service was no more, but that did not detract from a most enjoyable meal.
We had an amazing experience. Our table was ready when we arrived. The staff was cordial and totally on point all night. Our menus were printed with Happy Birthday at the top. This was an extra and special touch to help celebrate my wife’s day. The food was outstanding. I truly do not have adequate words to describe how good it was. We finished the night with a cappuccino. This was the best we have had since being in Rome.
Delicious food! Great service. We enjoyed the trout, scallops, peach sorbet, and attention from the staff.
A popular place with good atmosphere. You can tell from the moment you walk in that the team at Elaine's has a passion for food and for service. Management is very visible - and in a good way as the place hums.
Seasoning, preparation and flavor combinations are excellent. We left looking forward to a return visit.
We dined the other night for our adult niece's birthday with a 6:30 reservation. I wrote that we were celebrating a birthday, and the restaurant had menus at our table that said "Happy birthday!" at the top. Our waitress was excellent--she was able to select a wine that pleased the table. She was present when we needed her without being obtrusive. My husband I had the pork tenderloin with the shrimp & grits and we both thought it was excellent--perfectly cooked with an interesting variety of flavors. They even put a little candle on our niece's dessert plate. Our whole experience was lovely, and we would certainly go back.
Like it so much, We have to make sure we do not dine here TOO often. It's always great, Introduced yet another (big city) foodie from out of town to our Elaines - impressed, of course.
Valentines Day dinner. We ate from the Prix Fixe tasting menu. The food was fantastic and the service was great.
They offered a variety of locally sourced ingredients which I found to be wonderful.
The atmosphere was cozy and friendly. I would definitely recommend this restaurant to anyone in the area.
Further I had questions and reached out to the restaurant via email and phone. They replied in a timely manner with accurate information.
I will be going back in the future.
We had a great dining experience! The food was delicious and loved the atmosphere for a great date night!
We have been dining here since the restaurant started and have never been disappointed. It is excellent for a business dinner to a romantic date night. A long menu with vegetarian options that routine rotates through dishes as the seasons change. Bret is one of the best chefs in Triangle, if not the best.
Food cold, terrible Monk Fish, dined here before Carolina -Duke game, soup butternut squash bad/ cold, would never recommend
Elaine’s never disappoints! Our dinner was delicious, the service is friendly and well executed and the atmosphere is very comfortable. Great job, Elaine’s!
Great! Beat Dook!
Wonderful meal, lovely setting, good service.
I like Elaine's and chose it for my birthday dinner. My two disappointments were that the lighting in the booths was so bad we needed our phone flashlight to read the menu and that of the 4 choices for entree on the fixed price menu, 3 of them were fish. The 4th was pork tenderloin. No vegetarian, no beef, no chicken, no other seafood. Just...fish. Seems like an easy problem to address. Still, the food was good.
Excellent meal-My wife had short ribs and I had the grilled trout...both excellent. Service was smooth and they catered to our requests very well. The desserts were to die for: peanut butter ice cream on chocolate. cake and apple crisp w cognac ice cream. Wine list was comprehensive and the choices by the glass were good.
Unfortunately, my experience was not what I expected given the rating that Elaine's has. I was driving in from Greensboro to eat there because I had a business meeting and also was missing some dishes from when I lived in Europe so had called ahead to check that they had what I wanted from the menu on-line. I was told the menu had changed but was assured they did have a different item I chose. When I arrived at the restaurant, I immediately asked to order that item and was told they had sold out. I had a 7:30 reservation so I felt if the restaurant knew they were running short on the dish, they could have asked if I wanted to reserve it ahead of time. Unfortunately, our waiter was not even gracious about it, or particularly friendly in general. Overall, a rather disappointing experience.
Excellent food, service good but not great. Solid as usual
Delicious! The Early Bird Special is wonderful. Each of us in our party of 5 enjoyed each course including all the wine pairings. The lentils in the king salmon entree were incredible!
Loved our meal at Elaine’s! The four I have us made a point to order appetizers and different entrées so we could each taste the others food. Everything was delicious. The flounder was fabulous the sauce although the salmon was even better. Venison steak was perfect. We all enjoyed our meal immensely and look forward to traveling 45 minutes again to dine in one of our top spots in the triangle!
I've enjoyed Elaine s as a special occasion place in the past, but was quite disappointed this time. The cheese plate had almost laughably minuscule cheeses, the only vegetarian option was a not very interesting huevos rancheros, and there was a great sounding goat cheese in phyllo appetizer where the goat cheese was very minimal. One persons pork was good, and our server, as always, was excellent. The little amuse bouche bisques are likewise very nice. Just not consistent quality this time.
This is one of our most favorite local top level restaurants. We bring our foodie out of town guests here - no matter where they are from , they are always impressed.
Elaine's, which I have enjoyed for many special occasions over the years, is sadly slipping in meeting the high standards it set. Service ranged from perfunctory to neglectful: with our reservation beginning at 6pm, we weren't served our mains until 7:30. I saw numerous people craning their necks around looking for their meals to arrive. My wonderful-sounding NC Tuna dish was a bit boring and the fish totally overcooked, after a lengthy discussion of how I wanted it. Elaine's has long been one of the best restaurants in the Triangle, in my view, so I hope they review their kitchen and staff training!
Wonderful restaurant with great food! It was sophisticated but gracious; ambience felt like NYC infused with Southern charm.
Crab soup was very good. Pork chop was excellent. Service was personal but not officious.
We had an excellent early dinner before a UNC basketball game this week. Since it was early we had the prix fix option (with wine pairings!). The food was excellent and it was a great value. I look forward to visiting this restaurant again.
Excellent food. Junior staff learning
Delightful evening with great food. The bench seats along the walls are a bit uncomfortable. Back cushions would help
Excellent service and food. Prix fine menu was outstanding and with wine pairing - exceptional
Elaine's is my favorite restaurant in Chapel Hill or Durham. I've always had great meals there, and the staff are very friendly. It never disappoints.