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Party Size
For 2
Date
Today
Time
7:00 PM
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Booked 32 times today

Second Empire Restaurant and Tavern

4.8
2563 reviews
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$31 to $50
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Contemporary American
Top Tags:
  • Romantic (73)
  • Good for Anniversaries (71)
  • Special Occasion (67)
Located in downtown Raleigh’s historic Victorian Dodd-Hinsdale House (circa 1879), Second Empire combines history, atmosphere, exceptional service and gourmet cuisine for an unforgettable dining experience. Second Empire Restaurant and Tavern features our award winning Contemporary American Cuisine in two dining atmospheres. Upstairs enjoy the ultimate dining experience in an elegant yet relaxed atmosphere of charm and grace. Downstairs in the Tavern and beautiful Atrium room enjoy a more casual environment. The Capitol Room, Raleigh Room, Pine Room and Atrium Room are available for private parties seating up to 50 people or various combinations of rooms for parties up to 300 people. Second Empire is very proud to be the recipient of the DiRoNA Award (Distinguished Restaurants of North America), the AAA Four Diamond Award (Raleigh’s only restaurant with this award) and the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence since 1998.
Dining Style
Fine Dining
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Cuisines
Contemporary American, Southern, French
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Hours of operation
Dinner: Tuesday - Saturday: 5:00pm - 10:00pm

Please note under special requests if you prefer tavern/ atrium seating instead of the formal main dining room.
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Phone number
(919) 829-3663
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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
Daniel Schurr
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Private party facilities
Second Empire Restaurant and Tavern offers four private dining rooms for day or evening receptions and/or dining. We offer our Pine Room which seats 40 people, the Raleigh Room which seats 25 people, the Capitol Room which seats 25 people and the Atrium which seats 50 people.
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Private party contact
Nicolle Roberts: (919) 829-3663
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Neighborhood
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Cross street
Harrington St./ Edenton St.
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Parking details
Parking is available on the surrounding streets & our private lot in the rear of the Restaurant. Additional parking is also located behind the Restaurant in the Reynolds Building parking lot.
There is a public parking lot across from Second Empire on Hillsborough Street owned by the City of Raleigh & is available for parking, however, there is a $3.00 parking fee that must be paid online. If you do not pay you will be towed.
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Special events & promotions
Thank you for your interest in planning a special event at Second Empire. The Special Events Package will describe for you the areas of our restaurant that are available for your special dining, business and entertaining occasion.
For further information and to make plans for your special event, please call Nicolle Roberts, our Special Events Coordinator at 829-3663. She will gladly offer recommendations in your planning and design a menu for your event.
The Owners, Chef, Management and Staff have combined their efforts, commitment and talents to develop and present for you a special and unforgettable dining experience.
Thank you again and we look forward to seeing you!
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Gift Card
Additional
Banquet, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Chef's Table, Corkage Fee, Full Bar, Non-Smoking, Private Room, Wheelchair Access, Wine
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Moe823 (Raleigh)
5.0  Dined 3 days ago

Have never been disappointed - great food, great atmosphere - upstairs is more for special occasions. I really enjoy the tavern.

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JohnnysPics (Raleigh)
5.0  Dined 4 days ago

We experienced an outstanding dinner at Second Empire. The food and service were excellent, and we received a complimentary menu for our anniversary. Definitely a class operation in an elegant setting.

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vipAlexander (New Orleans)
4.0  Dined 5 days ago

Solid upscale restaurant in Raleigh. This was my second time there after few years and the quality is still very high. The price is a bit high, but given the fact that Raleigh does not have many reasonable restaurants, one should not complain.

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vipOpenTable Diner (Nashville)
5.0  Dined on February 17, 2018

Matthew was an outstanding server and gave great suggestions

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Martha (Raleigh)
5.0  Dined on February 16, 2018

Amazing , always a great meal.

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OpenTable Diner (Raleigh)
5.0  Dined on February 15, 2018

The dining was excellent as usual. Our server, Katlin did an outstanding job along with being knowledgeable on the wine selection.

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Antonio1 (Raleigh)
5.0  Dined on February 15, 2018

We found the food, swordfish and rack of lamb. excellent. Not only the dish but the preparation and condiments. The cocktails were tasty and had appropriate amount of alcohol (something not that common). The chocolate soufflé was astounding and service impeccable.

A little formal upstairs and less so downstairs. You can choose. Since we were celebrating Valentine we chose the upstairs but may try the bar or downstairs next time.

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OpenTable Diner (Atlanta)
5.0  Dined on February 15, 2018

I loved the bacon wrapped trout awesome flavor with the sauces.

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OpenTable Diner (Raleigh)
5.0  Dined on February 14, 2018

Quite a belated find! 2nd Empire's been in RAL for 20 years and we've been only 50 miles away for 13 years, and this is the first we'd tried - we wasted so many years: won't make that mistake going forward.

The menu was sterling, the dishes we selected - sea scallops and the rack of lamb (though the barramundi really called) - were excellent.

The atmosphere fit our likes dead-on: a converted mansion of a grand age, set up with space between the tables to mitigate easy (but not impossible) eavesdropping.

Saving the best for last: the staff was superb: attentive without hovering. Our waitperson, Steven, gets wholehearted recommendation. He was knowledgeable about every dish we queried him on, with sound recommendations for matching wine. His one miss was on the proletarian portion of the bill of fare (the beer options). But that worked through instantly, and he was not expected or required to fall on his sword. BTW, they DO carry Newcastle Brown Ale (for the knavvies), which is much appreciated.

If the serving staff work in designated teams, 'Steven-in-Training, Skylar was equally proficient in maintaining the refills and the occasional diner sloppiness.

Go, and dine well.

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OpenTable Diner (Raleigh)
5.0  Dined on February 13, 2018

One of our favorite restaurants in Raleigh NC.

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OpenTable Diner (Raleigh)
5.0  Dined on February 13, 2018

Requested round table and it was ready and set up for us. Service was fantastic !! Did not mind adding, subtracting ingredients so as to get food prepared in way each person liked. Chef was excellent in preparing food to taste for everyone at table. It is a wonderful place to go and enjoy.

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NCYankviaNJDevil (Raleigh)
5.0  Dined on February 10, 2018

I was there Saturday night to celebrate my upcoming birthday with my brother and sister-in-law, who were visiting from Los Angeles. A great way to start off their introduction to the fine restaurants in the Triangle Area on their first trip to the area. They loved the ambience of the home and our server, Rima, gave us the history of the house and also great service.

I've eaten at Second Empire a few times and never had a bad meal or experience.

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OpenTable Diner (Raleigh)
5.0  Dined on February 10, 2018

As usual .....great service and awesome food!!! Highly recommend! A bit pricey.

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DarnellW (Raleigh)
5.0  Dined on February 10, 2018

The food and service was so good I left a $50 tip the atmosphere was perfect everything about that night was perfect I couldn't have asked for a better anniversary

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OpenTable Diner (Washington DC)
4.0  Dined on February 9, 2018

Xander and Skylar were both wonderfully attentive during the meal. I miss having both menus in the Tavern!

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vipThomasD (New England)
5.0  Dined on February 9, 2018

We went for our anniversary and loved it! We highly recommend the trout and the rack of lamb. Such an enjoyable ambiance and exceptional food. We cannot wait to return!

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OpenTable Diner (Charlotte)
5.0  Dined on February 9, 2018

Had a fantastic Valentine's day dinner at Second Empire. Chose to sat in the main dining area. Our waitress was fantastic and very knowledgeable about the menu and historical significance of the venue. Food and drinks were absolutely delicious. Only comment is the noise-level in the main dining room was a little much at times; it was easy to hear others' conversations and get distracted by laughter, etc. Could benefit from some light background music, which we seemed to hear at some times and not others. Overall a very pleasant meal and definitely somewhere I will be coming back to in the future.

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OpenTable Diner (Raleigh)
5.0  Dined on February 7, 2018

Every bite was a delight. And how does a restaurant maintain a top notch rating in every category at such reasonable prices?

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mcangel11 (Raleigh)
5.0  Dined on February 3, 2018

Great food, great service! Definitely pricey, but you know that going in. The food is definitely worth it. Do yourself a favor and get the Souffle ;)

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JB2017 (Raleigh)
5.0  Dined on February 3, 2018

Always a wonderful dining experience. Wonderful service, great ambiance, delicious food, expansive menu.

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Vanny (Raleigh)
5.0  Dined on February 3, 2018

Food is amazing as usual! Tender meat, explosive flavors, and great portion sizing. Love the atmosphere and service is always top-notch!

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RHny2nc (Raleigh)
5.0  Dined on February 3, 2018

Impeccable service from start to finish - greeted at the door, friendly hostess, top-notch waiter. Outstanding food. The only down point was a large noisy party of 4 couples seated at their reserved table 15 minutes into our lovely meal. Our waiter was a gem and handled them - and their "Yankee" remarks - with such professional and warm demeanor. He made sure everyone in the room under his care was happy. So if you do want a super special quiet romantic meal, then definitely book this restaurant but make sure you request a cozy quiet corner far from larger parties (the couples in the other room were undisturbed nor could we hear them). Overall a wonderful moment-making dining establishment.

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vipPAL4dinenwine (Raleigh)
5.0  Dined on February 2, 2018

Second Empire Tavern was the choice to celebrate the birthday of a friend. Everything about the dining experience is outstanding. We selected mixed drinks (Rusty Nail) from the bar--very tasty. We both selected the entrée Sea Scallops which were melt in your mouth prepared and presented artistically. Complimentary bread and butter was delicious. Flower on the tables, candlelight, great food and service are standard for this fine restaurant. My friend was presented with a signed menu and complimentary birthday dessert.

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Christopher (Raleigh)
5.0  Dined on February 1, 2018

This was outstanding! I took my girlfriend here so we could celebrate our 2 year anniversary, and it was wonderful. We even received a personalized menu form the chef with his signature! The wait staff were more than polite, and they new exactly what they were talking about. I have never been more satisfied then I was when I was at Second Empire.

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OpenTable Diner (Raleigh)
4.0  Dined on January 26, 2018

The bar service and appetizers were excellent, the mixed drink and beer list had plenty of options. The staff attention to detail and friendliness was pleasant.
The meal, taste wish was disappointing. I had beef short ribs that came in a deep fried cake surrounded by less that delicious toppings. I would not recommend that dish. My wife had the sword fish which she described as ok. We were expecting a ‘wow’ meal and were both disappointed with our meal. The presentation and visual impact of the dish was interesting and made you want to make it delicious:(
It was our 30th wedding anniversary and we both wished we had chosen another restaurant.

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OpenTable Diner (Raleigh)
5.0  Dined on January 26, 2018

Fantastic food and service for incredibly reasonable prices. I even received a menu signed by the chef for my birthday!

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PATG (Raleigh)
5.0  Dined on January 24, 2018

They exceed all our expectations, it was great as usual.

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AliceI (Raleigh)
5.0  Dined on January 20, 2018

Liked everything very much except the bread. Not tasty and had to ask repeatedly for refills. Should not be the case in an expensive restautant.

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Peggystack50 (San Francisco)
5.0  Dined on January 20, 2018

From the min we walked through the door everything was amazing , the best chicken and the best service the waitress was outstanding, she knew her stuff , can’t wait to return soon

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Carla (Raleigh)
5.0  Dined on January 20, 2018

Delicious food, friendly staff... Second Empire never disappoints

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