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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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Today
4:30 pm - 10:00 pm
Closed now
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Hours:
Tue - Sat 4:30 pm - 10:00 pm
Dining options: Dinner, Outdoor Seating, Reservations, Seating, Waitstaff
Good for: Business meetings, Large groups, Local cuisine, Special occasions, Romantic
Description: Located in downtown Raleigh’s historic Victorian Dodd-Hinsdale House (circa...
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 283 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 188
    Excellent
  • 61
    Very good
  • 21
    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
Perfect place for a special occasion

I came across Second Empire while researching Raleigh restaurants here on Trip Advisor. The glowing reviews were spot-on, and my three colleagues and I enjoyed a truly top-notch dinner. I made reservations on Open Table and thus we were seated in the upstairs portion (the house), as it seems you... read more

5 of 5 starsReviewed 5 days ago
AyBeeOh
,
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
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283 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year
Language
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
78 reviews
37 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 5 days ago NEW

I came across Second Empire while researching Raleigh restaurants here on Trip Advisor. The glowing reviews were spot-on, and my three colleagues and I enjoyed a truly top-notch dinner. I made reservations on Open Table and thus we were seated in the upstairs portion (the house), as it seems you need to specially request seating in the Tavern, which also... More 

Helpful?
Thank AyBeeOh
Raleigh, North Carolina
Level Contributor
22 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 5 days ago NEW

This is a wonderful place for a celebration or occasion. We're often put off by fine dining and are let down by over-finery and frivolities that often have little substance, this place is not that place. The food is expertly prepared, layers of flavors, and portions that don't leave you asking for extra bread to fill the void so common... More 

Helpful?
Thank CaronBee
Montreal, Canada
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

Simple and Delicious! The food was really good, we had the scallops and Grilled Icelandic Char, we both didn't regret our choices, everything cooked to perfection with great flavors and a nice cozy environment downstairs. The service was real personal and made us feel special. We loved it and can't wait to go back soon!

Helpful?
Thank Patrick L
Chapel Hill
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago

No way I can not give Second Empire a 5 star rating. The 3 thinks that matter most, food, service, and ambiance are all in abundance at this restaurant. I love eating in the tavern because you do not have to get dressed up but the food and service are just as great as in the main dining room. Be... More 

Helpful?
Thank Nelson K
Raleigh, NC
Level Contributor
11 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago

We ate at Second Empire, downstairs in the Tavern and it was really nice. We ended up sitting in the "sunroom" but the rest of the downstairs looks awesome because of all of the exposed brick walls. The food was excellent! The service would have been nice except our server was a bit strange. We enjoyed everything that we ordered!... More 

Helpful?
Thank imsavdru
Level Contributor
34 reviews
13 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 weeks ago

We have dined at Second Empire a couple of times. We prefer to eat downstairs in the Tavern because you don't have to get as dressed up. The menu from upstairs is still available in the Tavern. The food is so good here. It is definitely more high end (so beware of the other snooty patrons). The service is fantastic!... More 

Helpful?
Thank Emily D
Cary, North Carolina
Level Contributor
88 reviews
59 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

I simply love this place. The quality is top notch in all aspects. The service is excellent, the food is over the top, the bar serves hand crafted drinks, the victorian atmosphere is charming. I will recommend this restaurant to anyone that wants a special experience.

Helpful?
Thank tkcary
Raleigh, North Carolina
Level Contributor
10 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 weeks ago via mobile

Exceptional service, very good, quality food. Great presentation also Go for special event. They give you menu signed by chef with date and note

Helpful?
Thank pocketmom4
Murrells Inlet, South Carolina
Level Contributor
52 reviews
41 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 4, 2016

Christmas eve dinner with family. Restaurant is beautiful. Food was spectacular and beautifully prepared. Service was first class. Sorry this restaurant is far from our home, however we are planning trips in the RTP area just to dine here again. Just outstanding in every way.

Helpful?
Thank Gwyn H
Level Contributor
104 reviews
89 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 3, 2016 via mobile

My wife and I treated ourselves to a dinner at Second Empire's Tavern. We loved the atmosphere and the service by Kevin was outstanding. I had the NC Trout dinner and the cauliflower and red pepper soup - both were extremely good. My wife had the Oyster appetizer and the Paella but was a little disappointed. The oysters were tiny... More 

Helpful?
Thank DaddioDon

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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

Restaurant Characteristics

  • Dining Style: Fine Dining
  • Good for: Business meetings, Large groups, Local cuisine, Special occasions, Romantic

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
4 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?