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Party Size
For 2
Date
Today
Time
7:00 PM
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Booked 4 times today

Elaine's on Franklin

4.7
984 reviews
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$31 to $50
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Global, International
Top Tags:
  • Local Ingredients
  • Creative Cuisine
  • Special Occasion
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 984 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
4.7
service
4.5
ambience
4.4
value
Noise · Moderate
93% of people would recommend it to a friend
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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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4.0Dined on February 13, 2018

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.

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5.0Dined on February 10, 2018

We had a great dining experience! The food was delicious and loved the atmosphere for a great date night!

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5.0Dined on February 8, 2018

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.

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2.0Dined on February 8, 2018

Food cold, terrible Monk Fish, dined here before Carolina -Duke game, soup butternut squash bad/ cold, would never recommend

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5.0Dined on February 8, 2018

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!

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5.0Dined on February 8, 2018

Great! Beat Dook!

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5.0Dined on February 7, 2018

Wonderful meal, lovely setting, good service.

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3.0Dined on January 27, 2018

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.

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5.0Dined on January 23, 2018

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.

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2.0Dined on January 18, 2018

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.

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5.0Dined on December 31, 2017

Excellent food, service good but not great. Solid as usual

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5.0Dined on December 28, 2017

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!

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5.0Dined on December 24, 2017

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!

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3.0Dined on December 14, 2017

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.

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5.0Dined on December 6, 2017

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.

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2.0Dined on December 2, 2017

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!

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5.0Dined on December 1, 2017

Wonderful restaurant with great food! It was sophisticated but gracious; ambience felt like NYC infused with Southern charm.

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4.0Dined on November 29, 2017

Crab soup was very good. Pork chop was excellent. Service was personal but not officious.

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5.0Dined on November 29, 2017

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.

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5.0Dined on November 25, 2017

Excellent food. Junior staff learning

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4.0Dined on November 17, 2017

Delightful evening with great food. The bench seats along the walls are a bit uncomfortable. Back cushions would help

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5.0Dined on November 16, 2017

Excellent service and food. Prix fine menu was outstanding and with wine pairing - exceptional

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5.0Dined on November 7, 2017

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.

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