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Party Size
For 2
Date
Today
Time
7:00 PM
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Booked 59 times today

Second Empire Restaurant and Tavern

4.8
2621 reviews
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$31 to $50
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Contemporary American
Perfect For:
  • Special Occasion
  • Romantic
  • Good for Anniversaries
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
What 2621 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.8based on recent ratings
4.7
food
4.8
service
4.8
ambience
4.4
value
Noise · Quiet
95% of people would recommend it to a friend
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5.0Dined 3 days ago

Our first visit and it was fantastic! We’ll be back !

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5.0Dined 3 days ago

Amazing service and food.

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5.0Dined 3 days ago

Delicious food, outstanding service, and a nice, classy venue.

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5.0Dined 6 days ago

The food portions were great! The food was AMAZING. The server was very knowledgeable!! VISIT

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5.0Dined 6 days ago

Excellent meal! Outstanding Service! Will go again.

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5.0Dined on April 12, 2018

Amazing food and great service from Katelyn, Will (who was being trained as he moves from being 'back staff' for the past 2 years to wait staff) and Skylar. Very attentive and knowledgeable about the menu items.

Thanks for making our anniversary a memorable meal.

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5.0Dined on April 7, 2018

We cannot ever say enough good things about this wonderful restaurant. Once again the cuisine was unsurpassed. I had the Braised Mississippi Rabbit Crepinette appetizer, which was simply scrumptious, and an old favorite, the Grilled Australian Lamb Rack, which was once again delicious. My wife had the Shrimp and Grits appetizer and the Grilled Harissa Seasoned Barramundi and loved both. The service was superb, as usual, and the atmosphere was sublime. We have been fortunate to eat at the finer restaurants of Paris, London and New York City, and Second Empire plays second fiddle to none.

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5.0Dined on April 6, 2018

Great meal! Staff excellent food excellent! Will be back for sure.
Signed and noted menu for “b-day boy” from chef was a very nice touch!

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5.0Dined on April 6, 2018

Atmosphere was great - loved the historic sight. Try the duck - it was phenomenal.

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4.0Dined on April 5, 2018

Nice classic ambiance, food was good, the steak was a bit tough. Otherwise, very nice experience with great service.

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5.0Dined on April 4, 2018

We went for our anniversary, and though we usually sit in the Tavern, we wanted to be a little more elegant this visit, so we reserved a spot in the Atrium. The setting was wonderful, the servers were great, and the food was AMAZING!

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3.0Dined on April 3, 2018

Beautiful Victorian restaurant with white linen service and knowledgeable accommodating staff. Drinks were a very good value. They started us off with one very thin slice of slightly stale bread each, and we needed to ask for another slice. Appetizers were a veal tenderloin salad, served almost raw, and mussels with duck leg meat, an odd combo that didn’t work. Entrees were a braised beef short rib that was shredded, then breaded and fried. Dry and lackluster. Also a rack of lamb that was just ok. Nothing special.
Desserts were a chocolate soufflé and a key lime pie. Again, just ok, especially the pie which was lacking any key lime notes. Coffee was served lukewarm and had to be returned.
A signed menu by the chef stated “taste with your eyes.” Seriously?
All in all a disappointing experience.

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5.0Dined on March 31, 2018

We came here for my birthday dinner as well as a big dinner before Easter. The food is incredible and though it is eclectic, the flavors are out of this world. It's pricey but you definitely get what you pay for! There are two off the menu options for vegetarians that are both absolutely amazing and also worth the prices. I am a huge meat eater and got a lovely steak which was cooked to perfection and melted in my mouth. The ingredients are fresh, the flavors are incredible and I am more than happy to go back again and again.

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5.0Dined on March 31, 2018

Second Empire is my family's go-to celebration restaurant. The food is always phenomenal with very creative preparations and the staff are always amazing - attentive, but not hovering with great recommendations and knowledge of the menu. The restaurant is in an Victorian house that has been painstakingly renovated to showcase its original glory, which really make this place unique. Can't say enough good things.

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5.0Dined on March 30, 2018

We ate in the Tavern which has a more casual atmosphere. Jeans and a button down shirt were just fine. Service was just as impeccable as upstairs. Full menu service in the Tavern. We had the filet special and were very happy with our selection. We will definitely return for another special occasion.

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4.0Dined on March 30, 2018

Overpriced for the quality of food. Service and atmosphere were good.

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5.0Dined on March 30, 2018

Great fun, wonderful customer service for a special night our.

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5.0Dined on March 29, 2018

Spent a perfect evening celebrating my lady’s birthday. Our server Josh was excellent and very knowledgeable. I would highly recommend this restaurant.

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5.0Dined on March 24, 2018

This restaurant exceeded my expectations. They gave me a chef signed copy of the menu and congratulated me on my recent wedding. I highly recommend it for a special occasion.

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5.0Dined on March 23, 2018

Service was attentive and prompt. Food was extremely good. Very creative combination of ingredients.

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5.0Dined on March 23, 2018

Birthday celebration

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3.0Dined on March 23, 2018

Haven't been to Second Empire since last year &disappointed at the overall drop in quality. Ambiance remains incomparably elegant/classy. Service still attentive, but all staff seemed more robotic as if just "going through the motions". Food was less consistently top-notch, most notably the heretofore always wonderful bread opening the meal this time terrible: flavorless, hard, plain white bread). Always thought Second Empire service & esp the food were worth having to pay a bit more than the average dining experience, but not worth the money this time.

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5.0Dined on March 22, 2018

Had great service with Xander - recommended an excellent bottle of wine. Prompt not pushy w service and excellent food as always

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5.0Dined on March 22, 2018

Outstanding

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5.0Dined on March 21, 2018

Ambiance was just wonderful. Six of us at a round table made for easy conversation.

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5.0Dined on March 20, 2018

Good menu with creative and traditional items, superb service-attentive but not over bearing, a pleasant dining area in a renovated old home. Fine food and attention to detail puts it above the crowd.

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5.0Dined on March 20, 2018

This is such a great restaurant. The building is unique and romantic. The service is impeccable and the food is amazing. I don’t think there is one thing they could improve on. It was a perfect evening.

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5.0Dined on March 20, 2018

As always everything was Fabulous

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5.0Dined on March 20, 2018

Outstanding food and service - again. This restaurant is perfect for very special occasions.

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5.0Dined on March 17, 2018

We got engaged here in 2006 and have been coming back at least once a year since. We absolutely love this restaurant. The food is amazing, the service is impeccable, and the experience is wonderful!

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5.0Dined on March 17, 2018

It was our grandson‘s eighth birthday. He attends Trinity Christian Academy and was able to go on a field trip to the restaurant management staff that out of their way to provide such a great memory that he was dying to go back for his birthday. Thanks again for having his favorite soup available in the chefs signature message on the menu was a nice touch. We will undoubtedly be back.

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4.0Dined on March 15, 2018

The menu selections are average. Not sure if menu has changed? Previous menu was better

Mussels were awesome. Trout wrapped in
Bacon was not good. Preparation was strange

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4.0Dined on March 13, 2018

The food was great and the service excellent, but I am hard-pressed to feel good about spending $175 (including tip) for dinner for 2 without an exceptional experience. My purpose in choosing Second Empire was to make my dining companion feel appreciated and special, and it did achieve that. What would have made it exceptional? Perhaps something creative beyond the food, but that's more about me than the restaurant. For what it offers, they do an excellent job.

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5.0Dined on March 11, 2018

Visiting our daughters new home in Raleigh North Carolina !

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5.0Dined on March 10, 2018

We have eaten here several times. The food and atmosphere are amazing. The desert selection was very disappointing. The pastry chef Amber needs to step up her game. There is no chocolate nor cake on the desert menu. Amazing dinner ruined by a lack of deserts.

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5.0Dined on March 10, 2018

Scallops were wonderful as was the chocolate soufflé. Our server, Joseph, and his co-server were outstanding!

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4.0Dined on March 10, 2018

Coffee was

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5.0Dined on March 10, 2018

I have dined all over the world at the finest restaurants and this visit to Second Empire was among the best I have had anywhere. The service was impeccable and the dinner kept moving. Pace was perfect! Every course was incredible and the value was unbelievable. I am still thinking about the experience 2 days later. I think I can easily say this is the best restaurant in Raleigh.

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5.0Dined on March 10, 2018

We had tickets for DPAC, and had been wanting to come here for a while ( we live 2.5 hours away, and don't get to come often). We are foodies, have a commercial kitchen in our home, and honestly don't eat out much because we cook so well. Absolutely was the perfect choice in every way. ALL the staff, from the moment we walked in the door, were absolutely top notch, no details left undone. From the person who brought the bread, water, took our orders and served our food and beverage it was just a delight from start to finish. Standouts were the mussel appetizer- gnocchi? Oh yes, and the sauce was heaven and the mussels perfectly cooked. I have never had a veal chop like that it was marvelous. The strip steak and lamb rack were perfectly cooked, and the plate accompaniments were beautifully prepared, presented, and complimented all. Wonderful and varied by the glass wine list. Only sorry we didn't have room for dessert....guess that means we'll just have to come back. Can't say enough about this dining experience.

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5.0Dined on March 10, 2018

We ordered the filet mignon, lamb rack, tiramisu, and key lime pie. Everything was absolutely perfect, the meat was cooked to exactly medium rare, all seasonings were fantastic. This restaurant is expensive, but well worth their price.

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