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Tavern at Second Empire

#18 of 1,253 Restaurants in Raleigh
Certificate of Excellence
$$$$
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330 Hillsborough St, Raleigh, NC 27603 (Harrington St.)
(919) 829-3663
Website
Today
4:30 pm - 10:00 pm
Open now
See all hours
Hours:
Tue - Sat 4:30 pm - 10:00 pm
Dining options: Dinner, 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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Good for:
Fine Dining
Romance
Large groups
Doing business
Local cuisine
Outdoor seating
Special occasions
Entertaining clients
Dinner
Reservations

TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 189 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 117
    Excellent
  • 43
    Very good
  • 17
    Average
  • 8
    Poor
  • 4
    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
Most recent review
Second Empire

Great restaurant. We prefer The Tavern, it is more casual and fun. Bar is great. Food is always good. Nice wine selection

4 of 5 starsReviewed February 19, 2015
joleec
,
Raleigh, North Carolina
Good for:
  • Fine Dining
  • Romance
  • Large groups
  • Doing business
  • Local cuisine
  • Outdoor seating
  • Special occasions
  • Entertaining clients
  • Dinner
  • Reservations
Add Photo Write a Review

189 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Raleigh, North Carolina
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 19, 2015

Great restaurant. We prefer The Tavern, it is more casual and fun. Bar is great. Food is always good. Nice wine selection

Was this review helpful? Yes
Raleigh, North Carolina
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 11, 2015

You always get what you pay for. Second Empire is no exception. Awesome staff, awesome food, awesome atmosphere. A true dining "experience". High end = High expectations and Second Empire delivers!

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Cary, North Carolina
Top Contributor
72 reviews 72 reviews
26 restaurant reviews
51 helpful votes 51 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 21, 2015

The Second Empire is a formal and elegant restaurant. The tavern below the restaurant is a little more casual. We had a wonderful dining experience for my Wife's Birthday. The food was amazing and full of flavor. The presentations on the plates were in fact works of art. We made reservations and were able to get a Saturday night seating... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Charlotte, North Carolina
Top Contributor
66 reviews 66 reviews
46 restaurant reviews
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 13, 2015 credit card Amex Card Member Review

The Tavern at Second Empire is a great way to experience the fantastic food of Second Empire without the stuffiness that comes with the formal dining experience. The service and food is fantastic and you don't need to worry as much about your attire.

Was this review helpful? Yes
London, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
174 reviews 174 reviews
117 restaurant reviews
127 helpful votes 127 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 8, 2015 via mobile

We were excited to be taken to this high end Raleigh restaurant. The reviews seemed generally good and some reviewers seem to think this place is the best ever....I am not sure how many other fine dining restaurants they have as a benchmark, but it's great that people like it. The 'Tavern' is a little confusing - there are dining... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 2
Garner, North Carolina
Top Contributor
66 reviews 66 reviews
45 restaurant reviews
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 1, 2015

I am a southern simple man. I like simple meals and am not much on formal dining. However, at times I like to take my family somewhere really nice. On New Year's Eve I reserved a table upstairs at second empire. I had eaten downstairs once before, but chose upstairs as it is a little more formal. I frown on... More 

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Birmingham, AL
Top Contributor
53 reviews 53 reviews
39 restaurant reviews
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 29, 2014

We were delighted by our dining experience in the basement, that is, "Tavern" of Second Empire. The atmosphere down there was perfect: sophisticated and elegant- yet cozy, charming and relaxed as well. As it turned out we were allowed to order from either the Tavern menu or the upstairs menu. Both offered appealing enticements, but the Tavern's a little less... More 

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Raleigh, North Carolina
Top Contributor
55 reviews 55 reviews
25 restaurant reviews
47 helpful votes 47 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 28, 2014

We had a nice meal at Second Empire, starters were very good, wine was excellent; however, I ordered the filet mignon, prepared medium and out came a well done portion that completely lacked flavor. Once I brought this to the attention of the wait staff, the plate was immediately taken away and a new filet brought out fairly promptly. That... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Charlotte, North Carolina
2 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 13, 2014

Staff was very helpful and friendly. Meal was awesome. Will be going back on my next trip. I had the Roasted Springer Farm’s Georgia Chicken Breast, would highly recommend!

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Raleigh, North Carolina
Top Contributor
121 reviews 121 reviews
77 restaurant reviews
59 helpful votes 59 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 10, 2014

Areas needing improvement in this fine dinning establishment and if improved... it may very well bring Second Empire to the #1 restaurant in Raleigh: [Area #1 - Getting into the door] I tried reserving the chef's table four weeks in advance and every time I called and was transferred to the lady that takes your reservation... (each week I had... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 8

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Restaurant Details

Location and Contact Information

  • Address: 330 Hillsborough St, 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: Romance, Large groups, Doing business, Local cuisine, Outdoor seating, Special occasions, Entertaining clients

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

Questions? Get answers from Tavern at Second Empire 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?