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“Beautiful location and Excellent Food”

Second Empire Restaurant
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Ranked #10 of 1,502 Restaurants in Raleigh
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $31 - $80
Cuisines: American
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Restaurant details
Good for: Business meetings, Large groups, Local cuisine, Special occasions, Romantic
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 January 25, 2014

While in Raleigh for my husband’s business conference we were fortunate enough to stumble across Second Empire. We ate in the restaurant section, and it was unlike anything we have ever experienced. This restaurant is in a converted mansion and it is stunning! Our server was fantastic, and the food was first rate! We braved torrential rains to try this place, and we had absolutely no regrets.

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Thank KimTC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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298 - 302 of 438 reviews

Reviewed January 12, 2014

OK, this is NOT a tavern. They may have tavern facilities, but this is a genuine, international gourmet restaurant worth 5-stars in any restaurant guide. Housed in a Victorian-era house with 15?-foot ceilings, this is a restaurant worthy to compete with any in New York, San Francisco or Washington, DC . Service was excellent. Food was excellent (some interesting/odd flavor pairings, but they all worked). The best duck I've ever had. Price were not outrageous. And despite being in downtown Raleigh, it had its own parking area (which, on a dark rainy night in a tangle of one-way streets, is worth a star right there). Go there to celebrate a special day, or to impress a client.

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Thank RobinL270
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 11, 2014

Living in Raleigh area (Cary 25 yrs) Have enjoyed great restaurants that have come and gone. Ate here last night for special evening in Tavern downstairs. They give you both menus to chose from. Have eaten in upstairs, but prefer the Tavern atmosphere. Service is ALWAYS THE BEST! Food…best anywhere…yes, as Chef says…Eat with your eyes! Even better with the mouth! Quality the best, presentation the best, taste? THE BEST! Recipes to die for…they pour a huge glass of wine. Could not be better! Thanks for wonderful birthday dinner! Our newest favorite place to dine(best fillet anywhere….duck breast the most tender and yummiest) We travel the world. Believe us…does not get any better!

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Thank tangofrl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 5, 2014 via mobile

It is what you would expect from a five star restaurant. The staff were professional and knowledgeable, not summer help. The atmosphere was upscale yet cozy. It is a historic property that offers elegance with a private dining feel due to spacious dining areas. The bathrooms were upstairs and offered individual floss picks, mouthwash and lotion as well as monogrammed towels just another indication of their attention
to detail.
The seasonal menu made it difficult to choose just one entree. We started with duck confit appetizer and drinks and it did not disappoint. I had the ribeye with fingerling potatoes and
root vegetables and it was cooked perfectly. My husband ordered the rack of lamb with risotto and it too was perfect. We also had dessert...I mean it was New Year's Eve...and it was the perfect end to a perfect meal.
At the conclusion of our meal we were invited into the kitchen for a brief tour which was nice.
This is a definite for anyone in the area wanting one of the City of Oaks finest dining experiences.

Thank 2Bares
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 28, 2013

Whenever friends call and suggest we meet for cocktails or dinner in Raleigh, we always choose the Second Empire. It is almost a guarantee that the evening will be something special. We met with friends that we had not seen in several months. We expect great food, service an ambiance and we got it. We choose to eat in the Tavern. The bar service there is outstanding. We then were seated in one of the several dining areas which give you a sense of a private dining room.
We all ordered something different and we were all very pleased with our selections. If you are looking for a special, memorable evening, choose the Second Empire

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

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