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For 2
Date
Today
Time
7:00 PM
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Booked 15 times today

Prelude at McCaw Hall

3.3
2295 reviews
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$31 to $50
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Contemporary American
Top Tags:
  • Pre/post Theatre (48)
  • Special Occasion (10)
  • Quiet Conversation (9)
Welcome to Prelude - on the Promenade Level of Marion Oliver McCaw Hall at Seattle Center. Sophistication, artistry and signature dishes designed by our Executive Chef await your visit. Prelude features the freshest local produce, artisanal products, a large selection of Northwest wines by the glass and half bottle, and our sublime take on cuisine executed by the SAVOR culinary team. Our seasonal menus provide the perfect prelude to a Pacific Northwest Ballet or Seattle Opera performance - or offer an exceptional dining experience on their own. Dinner reservations are encouraged prior to show time. Prelude also offers Brunch before Sunday shows and Intermission.
Dining Style
Casual Elegant
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Cuisines
Contemporary American
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Hours of operation
Dinner/Brunch:
Prelude opens 2.5 hours (Opera performances) and 2 hours (Ballet performances) prior show start.


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Phone number
(206) 615-0404
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Payment options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Smart Casual
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Private party facilities
Opportunities for private events abound at McCaw hall. Whether planning a large party in the dining room or looking for a private space, or larger events our team is experienced and ready to handle the details for you. For larger parties please ask for our Catering Director and we will be happy to put you in contact with her.
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Private party contact
Susan Cuturilo: (206) 615-0254
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Catering
Catering by SAVOR... is not limited to McCaw Hall. We apply our extensive experience in both large and small-scale events at most any location in the Seattle Area. For over 20 years, our culinary team and experienced sales staff have created custom menus and unique special events to successfully support world-class events for small groups or thousands of people. You can be sure we have the expertise to handle every detail of your event, from site coordination, to rentals, to securing a pleasant service staff. Contact us to learn more.
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Cross street
4th & Mercer
Additional
Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Cocktails, Corkage Fee, Full Bar, Non-Smoking, Private Room, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine
What 2295 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
3.3  based on recent ratings
3.0
food
3.9
service
3.6
ambience
2.6
value
Noise · Moderate
58% of people would recommend it to a friend
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CaroleS (Seattle)
5.0  Dined on February 11, 2018

My daughter and I dined at Prelude before a Swan Lake performance. Frankly, I wasn’t expecting much, and chose the restaurant for it’s easy access to McCaw Hall. I was very pleasantly surprised at the quality of the food and the extensive wine list. My daughter ordered the braised elk w/mushrooms, and I had the braised beef short rib. Both were excellent. The suggested wine pairings were spot on. Our server Charles was funny and engaging,and very knowledgeable about the menu & preparations. I would absolutely recommend this restaurant before any McCaw Hall performance. It’s so nice to come early, have no parking hassles or delays, and have a very good, relaxing meal before a performance.

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OpenTable Diner (Seattle)
2.0  Dined on February 11, 2018

I have been going to Prelude for many years before the ballet. The menu change has not been good. I had a mediocre meal in September and yesterday ordered a grilled cheese sandwich that had no resemblance to a grilled cheese. It was so dry the bread did not stick together and was terrible! I sent it back and had what was left of the buffet. The server saved the day in bringing me lox since there was none left on the buffet table. I am not coming back, sadly, unless someone tells me the menu has improved.

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Missysmom (Seattle)
5.0  Dined on February 11, 2018

We have eaten twice at Prelude at McCaw Hall before a ballet. We have had their seasonal “buffet” twice, which is both interesting and delicious. For dessert we had the sesame gelato and the blackberry meringue, both of which were generous and delicious! The wait staff was been excellent every time.

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OpenTable Diner (Seattle)
4.0  Dined on February 10, 2018

The food was good. The staff was friendly. Super convenient for dinner before the Ballet.

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suzanner (Seattle)
2.0  Dined on February 10, 2018

Menu too limited and the buffet was terrible! Few choices, not interesting, not tasty, no substantial elements, way overpriced.

Only positive is that it’s convenient to a performance.

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AJJD (Seattle)
3.0  Dined on February 10, 2018

Always pleased with the staff. Any delay in service can be attributed to kitchen staffing. That delay often means the hot items are not "hot" upon delivery. Example, Saturday night's consomme' was barely worm. (It also totally missed the mark on taste).
As for the food: choices are limited and unfortunately too much effort goes into making the menu exotic looking rather than concentrating on taste and portion size. There is a disconnect between those portion sizes and value. Might want to consider adding a vegetable side to many entrees.
We continue to frequent Prelude because of the ease of moving from dinner to the ballet or the opera. Otherwise, this would not be our first choice for evening dining.

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OpenTable Diner (Seattle)
4.0  Dined on February 10, 2018

The food is not great but the friendly service and convenience to performances at the Opera House make it well worth it!

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BellevueOz (Seattle)
3.0  Dined on February 8, 2018

This is a like cafe at the end of a hall with ok service and food but Super expensive!!!

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CamilleR (Seattle)
2.0  Dined on February 8, 2018

We dined at Prelude because it is so convenient for the ballet. Unfortunately, my food was awful. The consomme was poured over cold raw cauliflower and dried mushrooms. I wanted hot broth and instead had cool broth because of the cold bowl and cold cauliflower. The mushrooms were fine but the cauliflower was dissonant. The consomme had a strong vinegar flavor. My next dish was recommended by my server; do not listen to the server. It was squid ink pasta stuffed with ricotta. The pasta was overcooked, limp and soggy. The ricotta filling was tolerable. What made the dish intolerable was the pasta ricotta pockets were floating in at least a quarter cup of melted butter. It was like a bowl of melted butter, awful. I had dessert at intermission which is nice. The dessert, billed as a chocolate cherry cake, had no cherry flavor at all in it. It was a tolerable petit four style chocolate mouse layered very small square piece of cake. The bread served at the table with dinner was very good and the wine was good. Otherwise meal a bust. Also, the server disappeared and we had to go find someone to pay our bill to. I really want to like Prelude but this meal makes it very very hard.

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OpenTable Diner (Seattle)
2.0  Dined on February 3, 2018

Service could be better in terms of promptness and attention to detail. We got assigned a small table in a busy area when there were clearly quieter tables. We had to be asked to be moved.
We then sat there for quite some time before our server came. Servers in this restaurant has an extra challenge. They need to know that everyone there is on a time crunch due ballet or opera start times or limited intermission times. Food ordered for intermission needs to be ready and waiting. Servers assigned to a given tables need to be dedicated to those tables.

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mrgoth (Seattle)
1.0  Dined on February 3, 2018

The food sucked and the prices were outrageous, especially when one considers the small food portions.

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Susanj (Seattle)
1.0  Dined on February 3, 2018

When we went to see Nutcracker, our server was sullen and inattentive, the buffet food was so salty as to be inedible, the brownie dessert was dry and tough. Definitely not worth the exorbitant price. Very disappointed. We decided to give it one more chance yesterday for Swan Lake. Server was nice, courteous and attentive. But he couldn't make up for the lousy food. My grilled cheese was dry and burned black. One tiny piece of cheese didn't even cover the bread. My friend's grilled cheese was not burned but also dry and almost cheeseless. The fritters were ok, but kind of leaden. The arugula salad's dressing tasted like oil, vinegar and salt. Our server offered to bring another sandwich, but if it took as long as the first one to be delivered, we would have been late for the show. It took 35 minutes for our order to arrive, even though we'd allowed an hour for lunch, we felt rushed. The convenience of having the cafe close to the venue does not outweigh the poor experiences. We will not be coming back. We felt the menu was pretentious and trying too hard to be unique. We would much prefer decent food at a good price. We will discourage our friends from going there.

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OpenTable Diner (Seattle)
4.0  Dined on February 3, 2018

The salmon blini was delicious but the portion size was small for the price.

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Lennon (Seattle)
2.0  Dined on February 3, 2018

Use to love dining at Prelude before the opera or ballet. The menu has changed and now one of the entrees is "quail hash" as well as confusing other offerings. For $20 a person can go to a "buffet" table for cheese, frisce salad, cold cuts and a bizarre grain salad. Insulting. I very rarely write such a negative review but this one deserves it.

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slsl (San Francisco)
2.0  Dined on February 2, 2018

While the food we ordered was delicious, I was disappointed in the extreme lack of vegetables on the menu. Be prepared for meat/fish and carbohydrates. Wait staff was pleasant and efficient to the point of overly efficient as they tried to clear my mother's plate 3 times before she was finished.

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vipMABJ (Seattle)
1.0  Dined on February 2, 2018

Prelude is about the only viable option for dining before events at the Opera House. The food is variably mediocre. In this instance it was poor and the entrees delivered 70 minutes after arrival, 20 minutes before curtain time despite having been ordered 55 minute earlier. The quail with rice and kimchi was almost inedible.

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Barbara (Seattle)
4.0  Dined on February 2, 2018

I have always enjoyed dining here prior to attending a Ballet performance. I have always enjoyed my meal here.

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Mandy (Seattle)
2.0  Dined on January 27, 2018

One entree Good. Other poor. Wine too expensive.

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brokenart (Seattle)
4.0  Dined on January 27, 2018

The staff was very nice, no delay in placing orders or being served. the food was definitely mediocre. the elk was tough and over cooked, the soup was OK except it had charred spice on top that was inedible (like little sticks). it was convenient because we were going to the opera but next time, i will definitely find someplace else.

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CCCC (Seattle)
4.0  Dined on January 27, 2018

had reservation, was seated in timely fashion. initial table had a ceiling mount LED spotlight aimed directly at my face. As I didn't have my sunglasses with me, so asked to be reseated and was placed in a cozy booth next to a wait staff station. waiter was prompt and polite. food and beverages were served quickly. had a pre-dinner house wine, which was quite delicous. enjoyed the risotto vegetarian dish. my date had the elk, which i also tasted. Elk is gamey normally, so it tasted as I would expect. The piece I sampled was tender. overall it is not as tender as typical steak and that is expected. Sauces were robust and delicious, not overwhelming. An enjoyable pre-opera dining experience. Service was swift. I believe we were out within 1 hour.

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captain (Seattle)
3.0  Dined on January 27, 2018

We have found Prelude to be a very satisfactory restaurant for dinner before an opera performance. The prices are on the high side, but the food, the service, and the general atmosphere are well above average. We enjoy having a reliable, convenient, and relaxing place for a pre-performance dinner.

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Kathy (Los Angeles)
4.0  Dined on January 24, 2018

It is a very convenient place for a short and somewhat elegant dinner before the opera. The menu is short, but always includes interesting items. The wine list is also interesting.

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Cossifanmysogeny (Seattle)
3.0  Dined on January 24, 2018

The occasion was dinner prior to the Opera at the Opera house. The buffet was acceptable and is probably the best thing on the pre Opera menu. I had a salad ordinary but good) and an entree. I had the pork chops which were fine but the bed of garlic spinach was a soggy mess and the accompanying root vegetable was cold and hard. We each had a glass of wine which was probably the smallest pour for the highest price I have ever experienced. The best I say is the overall meal was mediocre.

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AJJD (Seattle)
4.0  Dined on January 20, 2018

The most impressive aspect of the night was (and always is) the attentiveness of the staff. Great service from check-in to table service.

The aim to be creative with the menu options is commendable. But, often misses the mark for flavor and portion sizes.
A bit pricey for what is being served.

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Karen (Seattle)
4.0  Dined on January 20, 2018

I love Prelude! The new wine Flights are a wonderful addition! Thank you!

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Savorer (Seattle)
2.0  Dined on January 20, 2018

While the appetizers and risotto entre were fine, the elk shoulder entre was almost inedible.

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OpenTable Diner (San Francisco)
2.0  Dined on January 20, 2018

Rather bizarre menu maybe trying to be strange for its own sake. All pre-cooked! Last week 4 odd entrees: Elk, rabbit, pork chop w/rutabaga or vegan risoto.; meat on tough side. And there was a parsnip soup that was bland and barely warm. Salad bar fairly decent though $15 for narrow rectangular self-serve plate. Service friendly. Have lots of help. Best reason is its right inside opera house and they can get a lot of folks in & out. So would recommend for convenience if you are going to opera. I don’t drink wine; maybe that is better.

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Fussy (Seattle)
4.0  Dined on January 20, 2018

Service Outstanding; Christine accommodated our seating request even though seating was full.
Charles provided much entertainment while imparting much knowledge.
Fun Night!!

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OpenTable Diner (Seattle)
2.0  Dined on January 20, 2018

Food was very good but server forgot to bring the wine. I had asked for handicapped seating in my online RSVP but we were put at a regular table. We were the first to dine (5am), so I asked the waiter and he moved me to a handicapped table.

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vipdottie (Seattle)
3.0  Dined on January 17, 2018

An offering of meats and cheeses has been offered as an appetizer or as a main course--think the plate offered for getting food was totally dinky and little; who wants to get up and refill; Good idea but needs a little more thought.'

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