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
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.
Visiting our daughters new home in Raleigh North Carolina !
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.
Scallops were wonderful as was the chocolate soufflé. Our server, Joseph, and his co-server were outstanding!
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.
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.
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.
This experience was simply amazing. Cannot wait to go back! Definitely recommend for food lovers, and special occasions!
This was our second trip to Second Empire and it did not disappoint. My husband and I each had an appetizer, entree and dessert. We polished off everything! I loved the caprese salad and chocolate cheesecake. My husband loved the fois gras special. I ordered the trout and it was yummy, however it was my first time eating trout and I personally don’t love the fish. The fact that I still really enjoyed my dinner speaks to the chef and the quality of the entree. I highly recommend Second Empire for a special occasion.
The food and service were excellent. This is the third time eating here and all the times everything has been excellent.
My dinner did not taste right and they apologised and offered to cook something else..i declined..the odd thing was they asked if I wanted to take it home lol
My wife and I went on a Thursday night to have a farewell meal prior to leaving the Triangle. Everything was great after we asked to be moved away from a party of 10 (very loud). Our food was excellent - as well as the service. We had a very memorable night. We would go back, except we will be living 1,650 miles away (in Denver).
We had a wonderful table downstairs in the Tavern. All of our entrees were very well prepared. Great experience.
Four guests. One appetizer and four different entrees. Each was delicious.
A favorite! Love the Tavern. Great food and service. Fine dining, but can also be casual.
Great food, great service! It is not cheap but it is worth it for a special occassion.
Our whole experience for a wedding anniversary dinner was just superb. All three courses we each chose were top quality fine dining dishes and were prepared and served at a five star level.
I have lived in Raleigh for over ten years and find the area very poor overall in terms of food. We have tried everything from simple to some of the areas top names and nothing to date comes close to our experience at this restaurant. It would hold its own very well in New Orleans.
The second empire restaurant was cozy and comfortable inside and out. The wait staff was very attentive but not pushy our waiter was very informative and knowledgeable. The food was outstanding I have to rate
this dinner in the top five of all time.If you are in Raleigh I highly and strongly suggest that you go to the second empire.
So many different tastes on the same plate. Excellent meal, service and ambience. Best restaurant in Raleigh.
We went for our anniversary. They personalized the menu for us and the chef signed it. Very memorable!
always awesome place
Celebrated my birthday with my friends. We ate in the Tavern & it was still nice. So if you want a good meal less the white table clothe this is the place.
The entire meal was sublime and the service was excellent. We will absolutely return to the Second Empire for another amazing dining experience!
Have never been disappointed - great food, great atmosphere - upstairs is more for special occasions. I really enjoy the tavern.
Great service, lots of attention without being pushy. "Atrium" pleasant, lower-key atmosphere than upstairs. Music a bit loud throughout. Linens and tableware first-class. Two appetizers excellent. Calamari best we've had. Shrimp & grits unique, but quite good. Main courses differed. Paella excellent. Swordfish WAY too blurred with veggies, potatoes and greens, seemingly random sauces over everything. Plates were warm/hot, and stayed warm through most of the meal, very nice. Menu descriptions of dishes were comprehensive. Wines by the glass were affordable and very good value. Waiter offered tastes of wine before we ordered. Desserts conventional, except for a basil/olive oil cake, which was good. Overall, expensive, but we knew that going in.
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.
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.
Matthew was an outstanding server and gave great suggestions
Amazing , always a great meal.
The dining was excellent as usual. Our server, Katlin did an outstanding job along with being knowledgeable on the wine selection.
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.
I loved the bacon wrapped trout awesome flavor with the sauces.
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.
One of our favorite restaurants in Raleigh NC.
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.
As usual .....great service and awesome food!!! Highly recommend! A bit pricey.
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