Second Empire Restaurant and Tavern

4.9
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3086 Reviews
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$31 to $50
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Contemporary American

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About

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.
What 3086 people are sayingWrite a review
Overall ratings and reviews
4.9based on recent ratings
5.0
food
5.0
service
5.0
ambience
4.0
value
Noise · Energetic
100% of people would recommend it to a friend
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HM
HusamM
Raleigh
1 review
Reviewed on January 7, 2020
Overall5foodserviceambience

Love it great place great food great service. We have been to this restaurant few times and enjoyed it every time

SA
vipSAAB
Raleigh
18 reviews
Reviewed on January 2, 2020
Overall5foodserviceambience

One of the finest restaurants in NC. A must for foodies and romantics alike.

CP
CharlesP
Raleigh
1 review
Reviewed on December 23, 2019
Overall5foodserviceambience

Perfect night, perfect food, perfect service. Need I say more?

SC
SeannC
Raleigh
1 review
Reviewed on December 23, 2019
Overall5foodserviceambience

A wonderful spot for a fancy dinner out on the town. The basement is a bit more casual, but still a worthy option.

VC
VickyC
San Francisco
1 review
Reviewed on December 6, 2019
Overall5foodserviceambience

One restaurant for special occasions! If you really want the whole cozy seating, classy atmosphere combined with magnificent food, go the the Second Empire. The sauces are magnificent

r
romantic
Raleigh
12 reviews
Reviewed on November 28, 2019
Overall5foodserviceambience

Cool old building with choice of tavern downstairs for less formal.

HG
HaleyG
Raleigh
1 review
Reviewed on November 11, 2019
Overall5foodserviceambience

One fo my all time favorite restaurants. We've done family dinners, anniversary dinners, and more at Second Empire, and it is SUCH a favorite.

AD
AliceD
Raleigh
3 reviews
Reviewed on November 3, 2019
Overall5foodserviceambience

I consider Second Empire Raleigh's premier restaurant for fine dining.

CR
ClaireR
Raleigh
1 review
Reviewed on November 3, 2019
Overall4foodserviceambience

Great food and ambiance for a formal dinner but it is very pricey.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Raleigh
1 review
Reviewed on October 14, 2019
Overall5foodserviceambience

First class experience. Excellent service, food, and atmosphere.

EN
vipENLIGN
Raleigh
42 reviews
Reviewed on October 8, 2019
Overall5foodserviceambience

The food is unique. Wine list requires descriptions from staff as the selections are not what you find often.

Price is premium. Really premium, but my girlfriend loves it so I shut up and enjoy.

AK
vipArtK
Raleigh
44 reviews
Reviewed on September 17, 2019
Overall5foodserviceambience

Most professional wait staff of any restaurant in the area. Outstanding meals, and cocktails.

AP
AndreaP
Raleigh
1 review
Reviewed on September 9, 2019
Overall5foodserviceambience

Superb and professional attention, good quality and food selection, impeccable table presentation, excellent infrastructure, fair priced.

SS
SherriS
Raleigh
1 review
Reviewed on August 8, 2019
Overall5foodserviceambience

Always good. Consistent. Special Birthday present for me a few years ago was Chef's Table. Fabulous.

LZ
LindaZ
Raleigh
3 reviews
Reviewed on June 21, 2019
Overall5foodserviceambience

Our favorite spot. Drive in from Sanford for special events and always take guests who visit from out of town.

JB
JerryB
Raleigh
1 review
Reviewed on June 18, 2019
Overall5foodserviceambience

Professional and friendly service. Delicious and unique menu. Wonderful ambiance for date or anniversary. Not overly priced for the experience.

KM
KarenM
Denver
3 reviews
Dined on June 8, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We have come to Second Empire for the last two years for our anniversary dinner. Wonderful place. Food is delicious, the service is impeccable. The duck is a favorite but I loved the steak that I ordered also. Dessert, wow! The staff really goes out of its way to anticipate needs through out the dinner service. Very nice gentlemen waiters.

EM
EthlynM
Raleigh
1 review
Dined on April 20, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience2

We enjoy coming to Second Empire on special occasions and on April 20 we were looking for king forward to eating upstairs. I had made the reservation at least 6 weeks in advance and when we arrived, the waiter took us downstairs. It was my date’s birthday and he preferred eating upstairs. They seated us in the Oak Room which was dark, and furnishings were “tired”. Very disappointing.

M
Martha
Raleigh
7 reviews
Dined on April 17, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Amazing as always.

LS
LorraineS
Raleigh
1 review
Dined on March 22, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent service, creative and delicious food.
Highly recommend.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Raleigh
5 reviews
Dined on March 16, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

By far the best restaurant in Raleigh...Beautiful space, innovative menu, exceptional service...

MB
MelB
1 review
Dined on March 12, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The staff was very accommodating. Our group thought the closing time was later than it actually was. We stayed past closing enjoying our desserts and conversation without realizing that the place had closed.

Staff showed kindness and patience. They did not tell us they were closed and did not rush us. Had we known the place was closed, we would have left much earlier.

We’ll be back to enjoy the great food and service. Next time we will mind the time.

h
viphsiegal
New England
29 reviews
Dined on March 9, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food, excellent service. Great spot for date night.

PL
PeggyL
Raleigh
5 reviews
Dined on March 9, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

An evening in the upstairs main dining room was perfect for several hours visit with relative having a birthday. The quality food, the beautiful preparation, and the great service are always standard for Second Empire. The choice of scallops was perfect, as were the recommended wine, and dessert of chocolate soufflé. Always a pleasure to dine at Second Empire in main dining room or Tavern (which I did 2 weeks ago).

LW
LynneW
Houston
4 reviews
Dined on March 7, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

It is a beautiful restaurant in a restored Vivaldi’s war era home. The chef does a wonderful job drinking foods from all regions of the east coast. Wish the restaurant was in Houston.

NC
NCbrownie
Raleigh
35 reviews
Dined on March 7, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

For a special occasion dinner Second Empire is a great choice. Varied menu, but everything had a unique touch that made it special. I am a lamb snob and the rack of lamb was outstanding. The bread pudding it came with was almost as good. My Ciopini app was probably the best thing we had. Great wine selection and service was top notch.

JS
JimS
1 review
Dined on March 7, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Clearly the best restaurant in Raleigh area. Superb food, excellent and polite service.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Raleigh
1 review
Dined on March 5, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The service was great and the food was delicious. Jason, our server, went above and beyond to make it a special experience for my mother-in-law's birthday dinner. We will definitely be going back for future celebrations!

OT
OpenTable Diner
Raleigh
3 reviews
Dined on March 2, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This was our second visit to Second Empire and both visits have been superb. The food, service, atmosphere and attention to detail is first class. Also, the staff really goes out out of their way to make sure it is a pleasurable and memorable experience. Easily one of our favorite restaurants and one of the best in Raleigh (and probably North Carolina) too.

MG
MeganG
Raleigh
4 reviews