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All 1,219 Raleigh Restaurants

Tavern at Second Empire

330 Hillsborough St, Raleigh, NC 27603
(919) 829-3663
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Ranked #12 of 1,219 Restaurants in Raleigh
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Price range: $31 - $80
Tue - Sat 4:30 pm - 10:00 pm
Cuisines: American
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romance, Large groups, Doing business, Local cuisine, Outdoor seating, Special occasions, Entertaining clients
Dining options: Dinner, Reservations
Dining style: Fine Dining
Cross street: Harrington St.
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.
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173 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Cary, North Carolina
11 reviews 11 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 29, 2014 NEW

Second Empire is always such a great quality experience - from the moment you arrive they treat you like royalty - the staff are so friendly and knowledgeable - the food and service are impeccable - just always a superb place to go!

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Senior Contributor
49 reviews 49 reviews
30 restaurant reviews
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 27, 2014 NEW

If you are seeking a quiet spot, with a cozy dark corner, this would be a nice choice. Second Empire has several "venues" under the same roof, so when you speak to reservations ask them to help customize your experience for your event. I have dined here before but this was our first time at the Tavern. I had the... More

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12 reviews 12 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 20, 2014

Let me start out with this place is a very nice spot, the service was above average and you get the feeling your in a high end Resturant. Well just because you have that feel and they add lots of odd combinations to accompany meals, it did not cut the mustard for me. Extremely over priced by about 25%. I... More

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17 reviews 17 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
39 helpful votes 39 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 16, 2014

Have eaten at great restaurants all over the world, however, this one is one of the best. The service is perfect as is the food. Have been back several times and not disappointed. Just a perfect evening. Have only eaten in the Atrium which is a more casual area of this restaurant.

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1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 7, 2014

Having been to Tavern a couple times. We decided to eat in the main restaurant. Bret was our waiter, and he was on top of is game. The food was wonderful, two of us had the filet of beef and I had the lamb chops with veal sweetbread. We ended the meal with the chocolate souffle and a cheese board.... More

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Durham, North Carolina
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 4, 2014

outstanding food, ambiance and customer service. We were treated as if we were royalty; felt very special; lots of little personal extras. one of my best ever dining experiences hands down

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Winter Springs, Florida
15 reviews 15 reviews
11 restaurant reviews
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 1, 2014

I was expecting more based on the recommendations of others including Trip Advisor. I thought it was very good with interesting presentations but not spectacular. Fish was a little dry. Service was fantastic. There were 6 in my party and only two of the six raved about their choices. Parking is poor but the ambiance of the restaurant is very... More

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Top Contributor
103 reviews 103 reviews
42 restaurant reviews
140 helpful votes 140 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 25, 2014

We wrapped up restaurant week with a visit to Second Empire. For some basics. It has some limited parking behind the restaurant and there is a reasonably priced paid lot across the street from the main entrance. The restaurant has a tavern downstairs as well. The place is large enough to accommodate a number of people yet feels quiet and... More

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Top Contributor
95 reviews 95 reviews
71 restaurant reviews
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 24, 2014 via mobile

Lovely ambience, great service and the flavors were delectable! Our daughter ordered the mussels as her first course. All I can say is it was probably the most divine dish I have ever had the pleasure of tasting! The mixture of flavors on each dish are so creative and interesting. My husband raved about the duck , my son-in-law raved... More

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San Diego, California
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
23 restaurant reviews
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 5, 2014

I was working in Raleigh for a week and did a search for top places to eat. Second Empire came out in top 5, so I gave it a shot. The building is beautiful inside and out. The food was some of the best. I had the polenta/pear salad wihich was incredible (see picture). The halibut entree was succulent and... More

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