About Elaine's on Franklin
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."
Chapel Hill, NC 27516
Global, International, Seafood, Tapas / Small Plates
Hours of Operation:
Dinner: Tuesday - Thursday: 5:30pm - 9:30pm; Friday - Saturday: 5:30pm - 10:00pm
$31 to $50
AMEX, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
The town offers valet service ($5)on Franklin Street just steps from our front door. You can also use free parking on the street after 6 PM or any town lot after 8 PM.
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.
Bar Dining, Beer, BYO Wine, Corkage Fee, Full Bar, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, View, Wheelchair Access, Wine
Elaine's on Franklin Ratings and Reviews
We have been to Elaine’s many times and always enjoyed it, but they were decidedly below their standard this time. Service was snail slow, w.ith our empty plates waiting 10 minutes between courses for the waiter. We ordered the selection of three wines, a.nd the waiter never presented the choices, just made the decision for us. Food was uninspired by Elaine’s standards, ok but not superior. Note Elaine’s no longer validates parking.
A great experience in a great location. I didn't know what to expect as this restaurant was on Franklin Street; but I was surprised. Good food, great wine and good service. The atmosphere was a bit noisy, but I blame that on the patrons, not the staff.
I took a girl here on a date, she was impressed. Would go again.
We had another nicely-prepared and well-served meal on this return visit to a local favorite. Our friends had a good time, which was most important. I would have given more stars if there had been more things on the menu I liked, but I did okay with a vegetarian option.
I have been to Elaine's several times before and it has always been my go-to restaurant when I'm in town. This visit was extremely disappointing. Service was terrible- brought salads quickly an then we waited more than 30 min for our meal. My dinner was so salty it was inedible. Both meals were so bad and the service so poor we went elsewhere so dessert and drinks. Won't go back after that visit.
The worst dining experience I've had in years, by far. Limited menu offerings; high prices ($29 for a pasta entree, please); just okay food (some good, some bland, some just plain bad); and to top it off - slow, inattentive service.
Maybe it was just an off night. Who knows, but I'll never dine at Elaine's again.
The food here is always creative & fresh. Recently we've found several dishes were too spicy (hot) for our personal taste. The service has always been quite good until our most recent visit. We placed our order. Had drinks & appetizers.....and then had an extrodinarily long wait for dinner (over 1 hour from the time we finished the appetizer). We are rare complainers & we were a bit miffed that when we asked about how long it would be till we got food we were told "The kitchen has just been very very busy". Our thinking is this is why the restaurant deals with reservations..so they can plan the pace of their business. There was no apology, no explanation. This was my husbands birthday and we will not likely spend another special day at Elaine's. We will eat there again but not likely for a special occasion.
I have dined at Elaine's a couple of times over the years and I am always left with the same feeling. The restaurant is fine, but it isn't worth the money. The food is good and the service is decent, but the prices are incredibly high for what you get. The restaurant just doesn't live up to the price.
My husband wanted to eat at Elaine's for his birthday, though I've never been a fan. We first ordered salads, which I found to be small in size for $10, with limp greens. If you don't like Italian parsley, and I don't, then you're out of luck, because the house salad was mostly parsley and spinach, I believe. I thought the salads were well below average. My husband enjoyed his lobster/pig dish. I ordered the scallops but had to make changes, because I'm gluten and dairy intolerant. I asked for parts of the original dish to be included - oranges and pine nuts - but the pine nuts were not to be found when my dish came out. The chef made vegetables the base for the scallops, and the cut green beans were so tough, I couldn't eat them. The whole dish was bland. Gluten free doesn't haven to mean taste free. A little garlic would have helped. I will not be returning. (Also, the place smells a bit like a dank sewer inside - not appetizing.)
Excellent food! Great meal. Friendly helpful wait staff. I was a disappointed that they didn't recognize our anniversary. They put us at a table way at the back. I put the anniversary info on our reservation. Why would they ask for that info, if it didn't matter? You should still go there. It is one of my favorite places to eat in Chapel Hill!
Elaine's is an excellent kitchen with really mediocre service. Probably the best food in Chapel Hill, but the service is amateurish and not well trained. My wife's Lobster Pig (lobster and braised pork belly) was an incredible dish, but then I watched the hostess clear tables by stacking dirty plates on the table in front of customers. Our waiter was nice enough but knew nothing about wine and seemed stressed the whole night.
I am sure I will go back to Elaine's, but I hope that when I do the service has improved to keep pace with the kitchen.
Elaine's was a great overall experience. We were greeted with a custom menu wishing my husband a happy birthday and a candle trumpeted the dessert. The meal was relaxed and charming. I was particularly impressed by the collaboration amongst the wait staff. It is rare that I feel the employees at a restaurant really dig their job and want to be there. New fav!
We have not been to Elaine's for several years. It is an upscale restaurant but tables are a bit too close and tables for two are smallish.
our party had the three course tasting menu with wine. Oysters Rockefeller was wonderful 5 oysters was just right.
The duck breast and the Tuna entree were pleasant surprises. Tuna should be ordered rare and the Duck more well done.
Deserts are disappointing. Espresso coffee was perfect.
Value for the money is fair.
Service was attentive but too informal.
Next time we should try the full menu and select from what seems to be an extensive wine list.
We went to Elaine's for a birthday celebration! The food was delicious, exceptional, even, including a lovely amuse bouche of cantaloupe curry soup. The service was attentive but not obtrusive. The restaurant is quiet enough to carry on a conversation across the table without having to raise your voice. Our only small complaint was that it was a bit warm and got warmer as the evening wore on and more people arrived. I think that is a small thing and probably due to the fact that it was the hottest day of the year. We thought it was a lovey experience and look forward to our next special meal at Elaine's!
Elaine's is always excellent. We've been multiple times. It's a special occasion place - this was a birthday. Great atmosphere, casual but classy. Superb and attentive service, but not intrusive. The food is always interesting and not afraid of flavor. The winner at our latest visit was the tuna - delicious! The salmon with black beans was good, but the tuna was better. Desserts were also good. We'll be back - it's a favorite for a reason.
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