About Elaine's on Franklin
Chef/owner Bret Jennings brings you authentic regional world cuisine made with only the finest local, organic ingredients, presented in an elegant, but not pretentious environment. With menu changes almost every day, you can expect to find fresh, seasonal meats, cheeses and produce served up all year round in a style that's fun without being fussy. A southern boy at heart, Chef Jennings specializes in wild game and seafood along with traditional southern recipes that would make his granny proud.
Three certified sommeliers on staff will guide you through Elaine's award winning wine list, while a friendly and accommodating service staff provide for your every need.
Come in today, and find out what we mean by "Food for the Soul, Prepared from the Heart."
Global, International, Seafood, Tapas / Small Plates
Hours of Operation:
Dinner: Tuesday - Thursday: 5:30pm - 9:30pm; Friday - Saturday: 5:30pm - 10:00pm
$31 to $50
AMEX, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
Elaine's on Franklin is proud to offer complimentary valet service on Franklin Street just steps from our front door. Just be sure to ask the host to validate your parking ticket before you depart.
Elaine's is located less than 50 yards from the nearest Chapel Hill Transit stop. Chapel Hill's buses run free of charge all year round.
Bar Dining, Beer, Farm to Table, Full Bar, Non-Smoking Area, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Personal wines welcome, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Smoking Area, View, Wheelchair Access, Wine, Wine Bar
Elaine's on Franklin Ratings and Reviews
We'll be back😍
Can't believe it took us this long to go to Elaines. It was awesome!! Can't wait to go back!
First time there but will be back. Great food and service.
Ate at the bar...had a great time!!!
Food is always local and fresh. We usually get something that is seafood from tne NC coast. The tuna was awesome!!
The swordfish was so perfectly prepared it created a memorable experience. The service was friendly and professional
The food and service were excellent. We will be back soon.
Wonderful Anniversary Dinner
So glad we finally dined at Elaine's. It's a bit far from Cary but very much worth the drive. The star on the menu for us was the soft shell crab. We split it for the appetizer, but next time we'll each order one. Our server was most professional and attentive. We'll be back!
It was good and it was not exceptional. ...
It was good and it was not exceptional. Nice menu. Great service.
Worth Trying At Least Once
My wife took me here for a special evening we do every month. I was very excited because of the buzz that constantly surrounds the restaurant and people rave about it online. We went on a Thursday evening so the seating was not overly crowded and we had a great server that was on top of everything. The noise level is commensurate with a trendy restaurant so do not expect it to be quiet but also don't expect to be yelling at others in your party. I must say that while I did enjoy the meal overall, the value was where I found myself scratching my head. For other comparable restaurants in the triangle that we've racked up similar bills at I can say that there are other places I would rather dine. The gnocchi small plate I ordered had 5 pieces on it and while delicious did not warrant the 15 dollar price (at least in my opinion); definitely worth ordering but I would have expected a bit more at that price point. That does not mean that Elaine's is not good - it is a very good restaurant with a lot of different options and a superb wine list. Everyone in the area should make a visit there at least once - their opinion may differ from mine about the value. The wine list and specialties are done superbly such as the salmon and hot lentils as well as the Sesame Seared Tuna and Moules Frites and come at a very reasonable price point for what you receive. The problem is that there the value is not consistent across all dishes and categories on the menu. Elaine's happens to be one of the finest places to dine in Chapel Hill and if you do not mind the price tag associated with it then I would definitely recommend it to anyone - but for those who seek luxury and value this may (or may not) be a good place for you. Regardless, the food and drink at Elaine's will please even the most discriminating of tastes... the question is will the bill match the experience for you?
Wonderful complex flavors
Very interesting appetizers and varied flavorful main courses. We ended up having duck, tuna, and lamb. All were imaginative but overproduced. All contained complex combinations of flavors in an artful way. We were very impressed. Excellent service and valet parking make this a Chapel Hill dining venue we will continue to come back to.
We eat here every time we visit our alma mater, and we are never disappointed. The menu changes with the seasons, and our meals are always beautifully prepared and perfectly cooked. The flavor combinations are exquisite. If you are visiting Chapel Hill and looking for romantic date spot, this is the place.
Took my girlfriend out for a romantic dinner and was not disappointed. Service was quick and the restaurant was small and intimate. Excellent wine list and great recommendations but there is also beer available. It is a little expensive, but it is well worth it.
We had been to Elaine's before, about 6 months ago. Then, it was so good that we booked dinner for the next night as well and weren't disappointed. I'm not sure what went wrong this time, but it was substantially less enjoyable. The server had a rather flat affect; we asked for non-alcoholic drinks and they didn't arrive until we were well through the entrée; and as the entrée was served (white lasagna), the server said, "It's good that you ordered this, because it doesn't seem as popular as it should be." Great. Thanks. You could've told us *before* we ordered it, and it really wasn't very good at all. It was pretty bad, actually. Considering all that, I doubt we'll be back. It was a very disappointing visit.
Always Dependable - good service, good food
Elaine's is a great restaurant in Chapel Hill. It has a reasonable and interesting menu that pulls from many local farms. The wine list is extensive, but also with many reasonable good finds. Service is professional without attitude.
Fantastic recommendation by the Carolina Inn
I was given a recommendation from the Carolina Inn of this restaurant for my husband's birthday dinner. We wanted a more upscale dining experience, but nothing too overly fancy. I'm a big foodie and I try to find places that please both our palates. I looked at the menu online and found this restaurant to be perfect for us both. The restaurant itself is very simple, very open, yet was fairly quiet (until someone loud came into the bar area) and we were able to sit at a table tucked into the corner front window where we could overlook the street. The food was fabulous and so was the service. The drink my husband wanted wasn't available so the bar tender came over himself to ask for an alternative selection. The staff seemed very ready to please. We would def. recommend this restaurant to others and go there again upon another visit to chapel hill.
The service was exceptional. We had a 8 and 10 year old and they were made to feel very important. Such a comfortable lovely place with a wonderful wine list. The food was really inventive and special. The prix fix menu option was very affordable and gave us an excuse to all enjoy dessert. The salmon dish was really different and surprisingly good. Fantastic evening.
Very consistent excellent wait staff. P ...
Very consistent excellent wait staff. Probably the most flavorful and tender Pork Tenderloin we have ever had. The Price-fix early meal (before 6:30) is a real value
great meal after the storms hit town
Elaine's always comes through with a quality menu selection upon every visit. The mussels are a delightful and fun app, and the three course menu offers some great choices and balance of flavors. Well done, my favorite consistent quality meal in Chapel Hill. Bon Appetit!
Valentine's at Elaine's on Franklin
We were seated immediately; great ambiance; fantastic food and wine!!; and the entire staff was super friendly and knowledgeable. we really enjoyed ourselves on Valentine's Day! Will definitely go back for more!
Our first time! Loved it! The wild caugh ...
Our first time! Loved it! The wild caught salmon was about the best I've ever had. Thanks
We dined at Elaine's just before Valentines Day as a treat for my wife who has wanted to try the restaurant for several years. The close-by valet parking is a bonus and we were quickly seated upon arrival. The menu was varied with reasonable prices for fine dining. My wife had the salmon; which she enjoyed though she thought it was a little undercooked. I had the beef ribs which were also very good, though the accompanying mashed potatoes were too creamy (taste was okay, but the texture was almost like artificial mashed potatoes). Overall, the dishes were tasty and well-presented, though the servings cannot be described as large. We enjoyed our evening out at Elaine's and it is certainly worth a stop on the Chapel Hill food circuit.
We had a delightful time at Elaine's. We had never been before but would certainly return. Our server, Laura, was knowledgable, friendly without being intrusive, and prompt. I had the cast iron chicken which was heavenly and my wife had the short rib. Both were cooked very well and delicious. The wine list is quite good and very reasonable.
Had a date night with my wife at Elaine's and it was great. The food was excellent and the service was fantastic. The tables were a tad close together, but that was not a problem and ended up created a more intimate atmosphere. We will be going back here.
Great experience for a date night! The p ...
Great experience for a date night! The pork chop was amazing! I thought the spare rib was tender but dry. Overall, I would dine here again. Loved it!
We loved Elaine's
We enjoyed our food, service, wine and highly recommend Elaine's if you are looking for an experience that is the right mix of fine dining with a comfortable yet upscale ambiance. The menu included french and fresh prepared dishes and the wine list matched accordingly. Our server was professional and attentive while allowing us to enjoy our evening and conversation. Highly recommend you save room for dessert and try the warm chocolate bread pudding.
We return to Elaine's because we know we can depend on everything being just right! Menu changes with local availability of goods so you won't find the same items on Menu all the time !
Great food and wine in downtown chapel hill
My daughter and I enjoyed a good meal and good wine at Elaine's. The only disappointment, they were out of both of the fish entrees we wanted to order.
Best Restaurant in Chapel Hill
We've been coming to Elaine's for years for special occasions and have loved every meal. The every changing menu is fantastic. Bret was wonderful and joined for champagne and to discuss his favorite items on the menu. Another wonderful meal Bret!
The service was fabulous! The building w ...
The service was fabulous! The building was pretty. The drinks were good. The food was just average. It was beautiful, but not as delicious as we wanted it to be.
The food was fantastic and service excep ...
The food was fantastic and service exceptional! Recommended the monk fish and the window seat.
Definitely one of the best places I've e ...
Definitely one of the best places I've eaten in Chapel Hill. The foie gras was excellent, as was the ravioli. I had been looking forward to the duck confit, but unfortunately they had taken it off the menu when I went. However, the Texas venison and the North Carolina catfish were great substitutes! I will absolutely be going back to Elaine's in the future!
Service was excellent. Charlie was a ple ...
Service was excellent. Charlie was a pleasure, knowledgeable and funny. Great meal, sweet night for us.
A gem in Chapel Hill
Visiting Chapel Hill for the first time, I felt lucky to select Elaine's for a place to meet old friends and new ones. The food was outstanding, especially the pork chops and chicken entrees. The service was attentive and our server didn't hesitate to share her recommendations. The wine list had a little something for everyone and half bottles which is a great option when parties are small or there is only one wine drinker in the party. The noise level was perfect for conversation.
dinner with friends
We had the right amount of time for conversation and eating. The food was as good or better than the other times I have eaten there. Jarred was an excellent server.
It has declined over the years
My entree was tasteless. Appetizers and desserts were very good
Elaine's is a staple when it comes to my choice for a restaurant. Food is always good and the service is generally pleasant. If tables are not available, they have a nice bar for cocktails and eating.
perfect date night
set at the bar.........Brian is the best waiter and bartender on Franklin St.
Chapel Hill fine dining
Elaine's has a nice vibe, upscale with just a little bit of off-kilter presence to make it unique for Chapel Hill. It reminds me more of Asheville. The staff was very accommodating, on our Open Table reservation we asked for a table at the window (which puts you right on Franklin Street), they were aware of that and that's what they gave us. We've found that many restaurants don't bother reading the notes we put with our reservations, so Elaine's gets extra points for that. The white wine list is extensive and has great choices. Our server was friendly and attentive, and fairly helpful with the wine list. We had the cheese plate (small but tasty) as an appetizer. The trout and venison entrees were outstanding, the fish was tender, fresh and only mildly seasoned so you could enjoy the taste of the trout; the venison was tender, moist with just enough game flavor. You will pay a little more here, and be sure to make reservations, but it's worth it.
World class restaurant in Chapel Hill
Surprised to find Elaine's in Chapel Hill everything one might savor in the best of the best. Delightful yet unobtrusive service, excellent menu -- our selections were very good -- reasonably apportioned and priced. Don't think you could do any better.
Every thing along the way was simply good: catfish with very light breading, soup, trout and delightful dessert. Lightly oaked Chablis was good rec by the glass to accompany fish. Elaine's is not cheap, but always is a value.
This was an exemplary food experience. The food was imaginative but not weird, most of it sourced locally. The flavors were complex and delightful: trout, mushroom ravioli, foie gras, duck confit. Absolutely marvelous. The service was attentive and friendly but not overly so. The dining room is artful and interesting, cozy yet formal in its own way. We highly recommend Elaine's on Franklin. I know we will be back. (Valet parking too solves the crush of parking along Franklin.)
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