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Second Empire Restaurant

Certificate of Excellence
$$$$
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330 Hillsborough Street, Raleigh, NC 27603 (Harrington St.)
(919) 829-3663
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Sunday
Closed
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Hours:
Tue - Sat 4:30 pm - 10:00 pm
Dining options: Dinner, Outdoor Seating, Reservations
Description: Located in downtown Raleigh’s historic Victorian Dodd-Hinsdale House...
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 lighter fare menu and more casual environment. The Capitol Room, Raleigh Room, Pine Room and Atrium Room are available for private parties seating up to 55 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.
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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 231 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 147
    Excellent
  • 53
    Very good
  • 18
    Average
  • 8
    Poor
  • 5
    Terrible
Rating summary
  • Food
    4.5 of 5 stars
    Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
    Atmosphere
    4.5 of 5 stars
If you can't be pleased, you're the problem

For the people who gave this place a poor review(aside from a few mishaps here and there), you must have unrealistic expectations every time you dine out. This is a special occasion type of a place. It's been a week & my wife is still raving about our meal. We aren't the usual type of foodies that... read more

5 of 5 starsReviewed August 27, 2015
Giacobbie R
,
Clayton, North Carolina
Good for:
  • Doing business
  • Special occasions
  • Romantic
  • Large groups
  • Local cuisine
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231 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Clayton, North Carolina
Level Contributor
44 reviews
29 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 27, 2015 NEW

For the people who gave this place a poor review(aside from a few mishaps here and there), you must have unrealistic expectations every time you dine out. This is a special occasion type of a place. It's been a week & my wife is still raving about our meal. We aren't the usual type of foodies that go for white... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Level Contributor
6 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 25, 2015 NEW

The building was beautiful and the staff was more than happy to share the history with us. The food was great. My crab cakes were the best I've ever had. The rest of my party thought their dinners were very nice also. I would recommend dining downstairs in the tavern. You can order from both menus and it's more relaxed.

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Montgomery, Alabama, United States
Level Contributor
74 reviews
73 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 21, 2015

Took a group to Second Empire two weeks ago. Great old house made a great dining setting which was a very short ride from the heart of downtown. The orders at the table were varied. i had the grouper, perfectly prepared. We had a couple bottles of Miner merlot and the wine list, not extensive but good. All of the... More 

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Raleigh, North Carolina
Level Contributor
43 reviews
25 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 20, 2015

We chose Second Empire for our Raleigh Dining experience. The location and decor are elegant and the service is professional and slightly aloof and unobtrusive. The choice of special cocktails is extensive and the wine menu is impressive. Since we ordered from a price fixed menu we did not view the dinner menu. Our evening was delightful and a great... More 

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Raleigh, North Carolina
Level Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 19, 2015

This was our first visit to Second Empire and we were totally impressed with the food, service and atmosphere. We chose to dine in the tavern downstairs, which is a lovely, cozy space. Michael, our waiter, was wonderful! We started our meal with the calamari appetizer--delicious! I ordered the sautéed garlic shrimp, and my husband had the lamb and pork... More 

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Level Contributor
30 reviews
21 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 14, 2015

From our entrance to our exit, this was a luxurious dining experience! What a treat! We visited for my husband's birthday. The chef personalized his menu which was a nice touch to start. Our waitress was a doll, and was extremely knowledgable of the specials and menu. We started with a cheese plate which did not disappoint. The tartare appetizer... More 

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Apex, North Carolina
Level Contributor
8 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 13, 2015

The food, the setting and service are simply amazing. One of the best dinning experiences you will have in the triangle!

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Level Contributor
12 reviews
11 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 9, 2015

Great ambience. Great food. Perfect for couples night, date night, special occasion. Really good steak. Steak is somewhat personal. To me, I think this is similar to Sullivan's. Much better than Flemings, Angus Barn. Drinks are good too.

Was this review helpful? Yes
Level Contributor
10 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 25, 2015

Beautiful setting and even better food. Service was excellent and attentive. They know how to handle special occasions. They also have a bar downstairs for more casual dining or an after dinner beverage. Will be back.

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Level Contributor
698 reviews
240 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 173 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 18, 2015

This classically restored Victorian mansion is an absolutely wonderful setting for an elegant dinner, The menu was creative and delicious. We only wished its rooms were available for guests as this could be a top-10 mansion hotel.

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Restaurant Details

Location and Contact Information

  • Address: 330 Hillsborough Street, Raleigh, NC 27603
    (Harrington St.)
  • Location: United States  >  North Carolina (NC)  >  Raleigh
  • Phone Number: (919) 829-3663

Price and Cuisine

  • Average Prices: USD 31 - 80
  • Cuisine: American, Pub

Restaurant Characteristics

  • Dining Style: Fine Dining
  • Good for: Doing business, Special occasions, Romantic, Large groups, Local cuisine

Description

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 lighter fare menu and more casual environment. The Capitol Room, Raleigh Room, Pine Room and Atrium Room are available for private parties seating up to 55 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.
Open Hours
Tuesday
4:30 pm - 10:00 pm
Wednesday
4:30 pm - 10:00 pm
Thursday
4:30 pm - 10:00 pm
Friday
4:30 pm - 10:00 pm
Saturday
4:30 pm - 10:00 pm

Questions & Answers

Here's what previous visitors have asked, with answers from representatives of Second Empire Restaurant and other visitors
3 questions
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Questions? Get answers from Second Empire Restaurant staff and past visitors.
Posting guidelines
Typical questions asked:
  • Do you have gluten-free options?
  • Is there a dress code?
  • Do you allow dogs on the outdoor patio?