Sunday, February 8, 2009

Second Empire

Most of the time I'm a pretty casual girl, but every so often even I like to get a little fancy, pretend I've got some table manners and find a classy restaurant for a "grown-up" night on the town. 

Last Friday was such a night. Earlier that week Dan, Melinda and I were looking for someplace to go out to dinner and Dan found the website for Second Empire. One look at the menu and I was sold. ( I really advise you to check it out, its a beautiful thing. 

The restaurant itself is beyond fancy - old school style. Built in a historic house in downtown Raleigh, it really reminded me of places I used to go when we lived in Macon, very southern.  The staff was attentive and proper without making me feel like I didn't belong there, which can happen at the wrong kind of fancy place.  It's a rare thing for me to find a comfortably elegant place devoid of the kind of snobbery that is designed to elevate the status of a place when the food alone won't cut it. 

Second Empire doesn't need faux snobbery.  They could serve their food on sheets of bark underneath a tree and it would still be fine dining. I ordered truffle risotto as a first course, it was the special, and found it to be so earthy and rich, I had to stop myself from licking the bowl.  For an entree I ordered grouper. Now I love grouper and order it whenever I can so I was expecting a lot out of less than 6 ounces of fish. 

It was perfect. 

Not sort of perfect,  not perfect for that meal on that day, this was a meal I would eat anytime, anywhere any day.   

Now Second Empire is not an every day kind of place. It's expensive.  It's close to a three hour meal.  It's heaven. Go as soon as you can. Spoil yourself. 


Anonymous said...

Sounds a little bit like The Inn at Little Washington -- talk about a special occasion spot! (See:

Speaking of restaurants, where are we going for your birthday dinner? :-)

M said...

oooh, i dont know. where do you suggest?