Nearby points of interest
Nearby points of interest
About Second Empire Restaurant and Tavern
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.
Raleigh, NC 27603
Contemporary American, Southern, French
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.
Harrington St./ Edenton St.
$31 to $50
AMEX, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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.
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.
Private Party Contact:
Nicolle Roberts: (919) 829-3663
Banquet, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Chef's Table, Corkage Fee, Full Bar, Non-Smoking, Private Room, Wheelchair Access, Wine
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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Second Empire Restaurant and Tavern Ratings and Reviews
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Our night out with friends to celebrate a retirement was perfect! Our server left us in awe with her exceptional knowledge of the menu and suggestions that we found very helpful. We ate in the upstairs dining room which has wonderful ambience, and was remarkably quiet, even though there was a table close to us. The food was outstanding! A great place for any special occasion.
It was everything all the reviews said it would be.
We started downstairs and the bar tender made wonder wine recommendations.
We then were seated upstairs where we tried the cheese plate, shrimp and soup before dinner. It was all so good.
Our entrees from the shrimp, veal and lamb couldn’t of been better.
The wine selection was tops.
Holy Lord. One of the best classic fine dining experiences I've had in North Carolina. An amazing duck breast, an amazing gravlax tostada and a very classy atmosphere added up to a great evening. Service was a little formal and stuffy, a bit of a throwback to an earlier day but the house and overall surroundings are beautiful and The Tavern is super cute downstairs.
This is our 4th or 5th dinner at Second Empire. We drive up to Raleigh from Wilmington, NC t get access to Southwest Airlines and we stay overnight in downtown to be able to include this wonderful restaurant as part of our trip.
My N.Y. Strip steak was delicious and properly cooked (sauce was excellent, it's one of their strengths). My wife had the duck and I tried a bite; this beef lover is going to have that next time. Wonderful.
Looking forward to returning on our next trip to Raleigh.
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