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Party Size
For 2
Date
Today
Time
8:00 PM
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Booked 3 times today

Elaine's on Franklin

4.7
1008 reviews
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$31 to $50
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Global, International
Top Tags:
  • Creative Cuisine
  • Special Occasion
  • Good for a Date
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
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Cuisines
Global, International, Seafood, Tapas / Small Plates
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Hours of operation
Dinner: Tuesday - Thursday: 5:30pm - 9:30pm; Friday - Saturday: 5:30pm - 10:00pm
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Phone number
(919) 960-2770
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Payment options
AMEX, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Business Casual
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Executive chef
Bret Jennings
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Neighborhood
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Cross street
Roberson Street
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Parking details
You can use free parking on the street after 6 PM or any town lot after 8 PM.
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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 1008 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.7based on recent ratings
4.6
food
4.8
service
4.5
ambience
4.4
value
Noise · Quiet
96% of people would recommend it to a friend
  • 5
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  • 2
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5.0Dined 2 days ago

Amazing food and wait staff.Cocktails are delicious!

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5.0Dined 2 days ago

Elaine’s is special. Chef Bret creates wonderful tastes for the mouth and personally addresses food sensitives. Elaine’s is the perfect date night restaurant for my wife and I. We drive 90 miles for special experience.

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5.0Dined on June 9, 2018

Elaine's on Franklin always amazes! The service is always top-notch. The chef-owned restaurant really highlights farm to table ideas, with fresh tasting meals that are over-the-top. Their wine list is extensive, so be prepared to pair your wine with each course.

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5.0Dined on June 9, 2018

We love Elaine’s. The food is always wonderful.

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5.0Dined on June 7, 2018

Several really outstanding and unique fish options-- we shared the red snapper ceviche appetizer, I had the salmon and she had the swordfish. Our server was also top-notch. We'll be back!

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4.0Dined on June 6, 2018

Very nice menu. Interesting and very divers. Good wines list at reasonable prices. Food was excellent, fresh and very well spiced.. The service was good and atmosphere pleasant and calm. It is a bit more expensive than other good restaurants in the area.

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5.0Dined on June 6, 2018

Can I give this 10 stars?! Our 'go to' restaurant in Chapel Hill/Durham for excellent food, service, cocktails, wine and beer selections. There are SO FEW restaurants like this where you can have a wonderful meal and not have to shout in order to have your dining partners hear the conversation! White tablecloths but not fussy. Absolutely wonderful atmosphere. Hoping that this one will be in business for a long time to come! Dined with a party of 7 for a graduation and with a party of 4 friends in the past month and perfect on both occasions.

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5.0Dined on June 2, 2018

We had a delightful evening. The food was awesome, especially the foie gras appetizer. The staff was incredibly thoughtful for our anniversary dinner. We highly recommend Elaine’s.

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5.0Dined on June 1, 2018

Elaine's never disappoints. I tend to gravitate to things I love like Oysters Rockefeller and whatever duck dish is on the menu. This time I leaped into softshell crab appetizer (excellent) and salmon (medium rare - exactly as I asked for it) over refried black beans with avocado and salsa. Very tasty. Glad I branched out. My husband had yellow-fin tuna seviche and filet mignon with a potato tower. Also excellent and done perfectly. For dessert he had pineapple upside down cake with basil ice cream (refreshing and not too sweet) and I had the impossible Flan and Pecan cake with Dulce de leche. I was a bit disappointed in my dessert as it seemed a bit bland and I thought the crushed pecan cake was dry. I'm thinking it would have benefited from being thinner and maybe bourbon-soaked (???) I'm not a chef, but that seems to be it would be yummier. I never expect to like everything I order. I do expect it to be well-prepared using excellent ingredients and everything was. My husband had the wine pairings and enjoyed all the choices - Burgundy Chardonnay, Alexander Valley Cab and a South African dessert wine. We were there for Elaine's $35 Prix Fixe special they occasionally offer on the full menu. Making this an exceptionally good deal! Thank you Bret.

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5.0Dined on May 31, 2018

One of our favorites!! Always a good meal, good staff, great food. We visit every chance we get!

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1.0Dined on May 31, 2018

The menu was Not At All as open table prescribed. Catfish really? Bottom feeder who eats that? And Salmon from NC farm? Totally disappointed. Never recommend.

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4.0Dined on May 29, 2018

Our food was good but not great. We have both had much better for much less. Both entrees were saltier than we would have preferred.

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5.0Dined on May 25, 2018

Never disappoints! Menu selection is unique and delicious. The prix fixe meal (5:30-6:30) with wine pairing is excellent and a great value. Service is personal and gracious.

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5.0Dined on May 19, 2018

Service was top-notch as was food! Would make a point to reserve a table there again! Thank you for seating us earlier than our reservation!

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4.0Dined on May 19, 2018

Always good, fine service, superb food, excellent bar selection, seasonal food. Can't go wrong

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4.0Dined on May 18, 2018

Salmon dish was great. Combination i would never have imagined but outstanding for taste buds. My wife and shared the catfish dish also. While terrific the salmon dish was better.

Pineapple cake was great but didn’t care for basil ice cream. I would order again but with vanilla.

Wine list wasn’t what i expected.

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5.0Dined on May 14, 2018

Excellent meal at Elaine's. Staff is very friendly and accommodating, and the food remains exceptional.

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5.0Dined on May 8, 2018

Classic dining on Franklin Street. Relaxed atmosphere and outstanding food. The fish entrees were terrific as were the desertd

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5.0Dined on May 3, 2018

We were visiting the area and made a reservation on sort of a last minute basis for a time earlier than we would usually do as it was one of few options. Turns out the restaurant had a group of 32 expected! In spite of the mass appearance of this large group our service was timely and relaxed. Food was exceptional. And the noise level was surprisingly reasonable. Just a wonderful experience

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5.0Dined on April 28, 2018

Great evening! Nice touch with the Happy Birthday menu!

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5.0Dined on April 28, 2018

First time there, we took out of town visitors and everyone’s meal was PERFECT! Large group near us made it difficult to talk without raising our voices but it was the most perfect dinner.

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5.0Dined on April 28, 2018

Great food and vibe. The Salmon, steak and soft shell crab were all excellent. Great cocktails too!

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5.0Dined on April 25, 2018

This was a first time for us and it was a winner:. Meals excellent, simple, unpretentious ambience focusing on locally sourced foods, creative chef/owner and an all-male friendly wait staff. Satisfaction guaranteed!

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4.0Dined on April 17, 2018

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.

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2.0Dined on April 14, 2018

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.

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4.0Dined on March 30, 2018

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.

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3.0Dined on March 29, 2018

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.

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5.0Dined on March 24, 2018

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!

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4.0Dined on March 11, 2018

Our appetizers and entrees were not anything special, but the dessert was out of this world!

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5.0Dined on March 10, 2018

Great restaurant for a special occasion. Excellent food and attentive wait staff.

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5.0Dined on March 10, 2018

Highly recommend! The food was excellent. The presentation even better.

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5.0Dined on March 8, 2018

We had a wonderful dining experience at Elaine’s. Fabulous food and service. We loved the prix fixe with the wine pairing.

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5.0Dined on March 7, 2018

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.

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5.0Dined on March 4, 2018

Wonderful food and service

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5.0Dined on March 3, 2018

Never disappoints. Sorry to see that free valet service was no more, but that did not detract from a most enjoyable meal.

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5.0Dined on February 25, 2018

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.

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5.0Dined on February 24, 2018

Delicious food! Great service. We enjoyed the trout, scallops, peach sorbet, and attention from the staff.

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4.0Dined on February 24, 2018

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.

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5.0Dined on February 23, 2018

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.

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5.0Dined on February 15, 2018

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.

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