Raleigh >Restaurants > Tavern @ Second Empire
330 Hillsborough St, Raleigh, NC | Directions 2760335.780739 -78.644824
Open for Dinner Tuesday - Saturday 5pm - 10pm
Tavern opens at 4:30pm
Located in downtown Raleigh?s historic Victorian Dodd-Hinsdale House (circa 1879), Second Empire combines history, atmosphere, exceptional service and gourmet cusine 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 the AAA Four Diamond Award and the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence since 1998.
Not very Attentive to detail or common sense! – I was very disappointed with a phone request involving a birthday surprise. I spoke with a hostess whose name I have decided not to mention. I explained that I would like to surprise a relative who had a reservation later that night by treating them to appetizers and drinks. All details were covered and my credit card was taken. I later texted them to see if they enjoyed their treat and was told they had already ordered dessert NO appetizers and one drink and their server had never mentioned any birthday surprise or that they could have ordered an appetizer and more than
one drink and it was already paid for! When I spoke to the on duty manager and the hostess they just said sorry
the waiter was going to surprise them when he brought the bill! I asked how that would be any benefit for non
ordered appetizers and drinks?? They apologized to the
diners never offering to even comp their dessert or really any concern over the oversight to them or me! Totally
didn't care that they ruined the surprise or that the bill
would have been more had they revealed the big "surprise" of appetizers BEFORE dessert was ordered!?
I guess the surprise at the end was going to be "Surprise you could have ordered appetizers and drinks and they would have been free.....so sad too bad you didn't! Happy Birthday!"
Still Hungry – Me and my wife went there last night hungry and left hungry. I orderded a item from the starter menu and for $12 bucks I got two shrimp with the head on them and two 1/8 inch sausage slices. I ordered Monk Fish for the entree and I'm not kidding for $28 bucks the fish was half the size of a candy bar! The total price for the meal with only two glasses of wine was $155 dollars. We stopped at BoJangles before the night was over because we were starving. Way Way overpriced and not nearly enough food!! Ver y Disappointted!
First time there and so dissapointed! – My fiancee and I was looking for a place for our church lunch rehearsal. We were excited about the location and that it's such a cute historical home. So we thought we try out the menu that would be the same for our lunch rehearsal. The appetizers which weren't on the special events menu was awesome (we had the duck salad and the crab dip)! But then things just went down from there. We ordered 2 out of the 4 menu items to try, the pulled chicken penne pasta and the seafood paella. This is from the pub menu downstairs. Upstairs is a different menu. My fiancee wasn't impressed with the chicken penne pasta, and mine had hair in the shrimp. Yuk! We told the waiter and they said the chef will examine it. Then later they came out with another paella dish but lesser scallops this time. We both couldn't eat our dish. They all came out so burnning hot! I don't know why they won't let it cool before serving their dishes. Someone could burn their tongue from the dishes. So we thought, well okay, the entree isn't so great, let's try the key lime pie. And another disappointment. They should have a pastry chef there right? Wrong, the key lime pie tasted like it came out from the box, not homemade at all. They add a layer of cheesecake to the top. We were like, huh? After dinner was done, we waited for 15 minutes for our check. Our original waiter didn't seem to care about us afterwards. And he did try to push us to drink liquor/beer/coffee to up the tip on his tab early. Very disappointed, we won't go back. Giving this a one star since of the waiter who didn't really serve us came to apologize for the hair and the event coordinator too. But we walked out of there feeling as if we overpaid for everything that was bad and bad service. No compensation, just an apology. We won't be having our rehearsal here or coming back.
Long time fans dissappointed – I have been visiting the Tavern for over 5 years and have always felt it was one of my favorite places in Raleigh to take friends and colleagues. Last night we had a terrible experience with poor service and the quality of the food.
First, we sat in a mostly empty restaurant for over 20 minutes without a waiter acknowledging us. After bringing this to the attention of the staff, it took another 25 minutes to have our entrée orders taken. From the “comfort food” menu, I ordered fried chicken. The “Colonel” does a better job! While the manager knew we were not pleased, he never made an attempt to apologize.
We left very disappointed knowing how good this restaurant has been in the past. I doubt we will be back anytime soon with so many other great establishments opening in downtown Raleigh.
Food Pretty Good but Random; Service Very Slow – Charming atmosphere, feels more casual than the prices. The menu is much more extensive than the more formally appointed upstairs, but can be a little overwhelming as there does not appear to be much rhyme or reason to the menu choices- it's more like a smorgasbord of randomly assembled entrees. I have heard service was slow here, and it lived up to this reputation last Thursday night. We had to snag other waiters to help us for water, bread, the check, etc. as our assigned waiter was not really around. The place appeard 70% empty so we could not figure out the reason for the inattentive service.
A Great Place – I had a great time during my business trip to Raleigh at Second Empire. Chad, Michael and their manager Jason were awesome. Drinks were served fast and carefully prepared. Wine selection is excellent and is not over priced(the part I liked the most ^.^). Chad is a very attentive professional bartender. Michael is quiet but an extremely efficient guy. Sometimes it is very busy in here so they can be preoccupied.
Food is awesome and THE CHEF Daniel Schurr is amazing. I had a chance to talk to him and he was the most nicest chef with a passion for creating an art. He constanly thanked his staff for working hard and gave them credits. I am a very picky eater but the food here is simply amazing. Tuna Tartare is my favorite and is a work of an art!
I think Raleigh has a great potential and this restaurant represents it. It is an expensive establishment to go to, but if you have a special occasion to celebrate I recommend this place for a treat. Having a great restaurant attracts people and it really helps economy too. Think of jobs and businesses associated with a great restaurant and its domino effect.
Great restautrant and I prefer Tavern because I like a little relaxed ambience.
Located in the restored Dodd-Hinsdale house, this tavern offers upscale drinks and casual food in a warm atmosphere. – In Short
Located in the lower level of the renovated mid-Victorian Dodd-Hinsdale house, this bar and restaurant is a favorite for after-work cocktails and light meals. Resembling a wine cellar with warm exposed brick walls, curved archways and dim lighting, the Tavern nevertheless seats a surprising number of diners. The appetizers and entrees make the most of seasonal ingredients and change frequently.
Way Overpriced – Pretentious food at unreasonable prices. Small servings, and expense make it not a lot of fun. Definitely an expense account establishment.
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