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“Excellent wait staff! Very good food, but simple interior.”

Second Empire Restaurant
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Ranked #10 of 1,483 Restaurants in Raleigh
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $31 - $80
Cuisines: American
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Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Large groups, Special occasions, Local cuisine, Business meetings
Dining options: Dinner, Outdoor Seating, 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.
Reviewed June 27, 2013 via mobile

Awesome service! The waiter answers every question at length and the team was very attentive. The duck was too rare for my taste, but the rack of lamb was fantastic. Beautiful exterior structure and pretty standard interior decor. I would go at least once in your life!

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Thank Stlfinks
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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301 - 305 of 423 reviews

Reviewed June 23, 2013

We ate in the tavern last night, so we were presented with both menus and it was overwhelming. Everything had too many ingredients with all kinds of reductions and infusions and sprinklings ... not one simple dish in sight. Yes Chef, we know you have the technique down pat, but isn't the point of the whole thing to highlight the flavors, not pile on stuff until you can't really taste any one thing? It all looks pretty when they bring it in from the kitchen but the minute your fork tumbles the piles, it all turns into an unattractive jumble. Take a step back and simplify a bit so we can truly enjoy your obvious talent.

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1  Thank neriagechris
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 15, 2013

For my Birthday my husband and I enjoyed the Chef's Table at Second Empire and I now know how wonderful it would be to be royalty. We were wined and dined beyond our wildest imaginations. The table was set up in the kitchen which was spotless and well organized. The staff was exceptionally friendly, professional and skilled. Chef de Cuisine, Daniel Schurr, prepared this extraordinary menu with perfect wine pairings and his staff executed the meal with expert skill. I would recommend and encourage everyone to treat yourselves to this extraordinary dining experience.

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Thank Sue C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 9, 2013

We had patronized this restaurant and really liked it, but it went downhill to the point both the food and service are quite poor. We took my mother in law, who lives in France, here and she was appalled at the poor service and mediocre food. I had to apologize to her since at one time this was a decent place. They made her wait outside in the cold in winter, and treated us all badly. My food was acceptable but my wife could not even eat hers it was so bad. Save your money and stay away. This place is way too pricey to be treated poorly to bad food.

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1  Thank MothLarva
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 25, 2013

After making our reservation online I got a call to see if we would like to eat in the dining room or the Tavern. After being told the Tavern was less formal and more lively I choose the latter. We found the Tavern to be formal and surly not lively. I have not eaten in the Tavern before and we were seated on the left of the stairs in a room. The larger area on the right had an event going on, so that might be where the lively area is? Anyhow the place is pretentious. We had a waitress and two assistant waiters serving us. The assistants were very sweet and pleasant. The waitress less so. She got a bit irritated when my husband asked too many questions about the deserts. Also I asked her to remember the wine I ordered in case I wanted a second glass. When I ordered the second she said she remembered but brought me a different wine that cost more, which we saw later on the bill. The food was good but for the price and reputation surely not close to 5 star. I would give the food 4 star and the ambiance 3 stars. Don't thinks I will go back. Love the house though!

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Thank BelleBo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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