About Prelude at McCaw Hall
Welcome to Prelude - on the Promenade Level of Marion Oliver McCaw Hall at Seattle Center. Sophistication, artistry and signature dishes designed by Executive Chef Shawn Applin await your visit. Prelude features the freshest local produce, artisanal products, a large selection of Northwest wines by the glass and half bottle, and Shawn's 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 Reservations.
Hours of Operation:
Prelude opens 2.5 hours (Opera performances) and 2 hours (Ballet performances) prior show start.
3rd & Mercer
$31 to $50
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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.
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, our team is experienced and ready to handle the details for you.
Banquet, Beer, BYO Wine, Corkage Fee, Counter Seating, Full Bar, Non-Smoking, Private Room, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine
Prelude at McCaw Hall Ratings and Reviews
The food was good. Service slightly slo ...
The food was good. Service slightly slow but otherwise good.
Tables are quite close together; I felt that I might bump elbows with the woman sitting at the table-for-two next to ours. Difficult not to overheard their conversation.
We had dinner at Prelude before a ballet ...
We had dinner at Prelude before a ballet performance. Our reservations were for 6 pm and the ballet began at 7:30. We had plenty of time but note that the service is slow and opera- and ballet-goers should plan on at least an hour. We both had Caesar Salads--done Maytag style with a whole piece of dressed romaine garnished with a white anchovy--nice. And a chicken breast over a marvelous creamy polenta with perfectly executed slices of zucchini.
We have eaten at Prelude multiple times ...
We have eaten at Prelude multiple times before Pacific Northwest Ballet performances. They are very uneven--some of the food is very good, some is really poor (e.g., a "poached" pear that was rock hard and very cold, for dessert). The service can be very slow, and tends to get slower yet towards performance time, when we are most anxious to leave!
I ordered smoked salmon and there was no ...
I ordered smoked salmon and there was nothing to it. Two slivers of salmon, a funny looking lettuce and little peas that I have no idea what they were.
Take it off the menu until you come up with something different.
We ordered the fix-price dinner menu, pr ...
We ordered the fix-price dinner menu, providing the three course information all at the beginning of the meal. When the check came the meal courses were all billed separately adding close to $20.00 to the bill. Very uncomfortable when we flagged the waiter and told him what we had expected. He took it to his manager and she apologized but..................
I had dinner at Prelude before the opera ...
I had dinner at Prelude before the opera. I had the spinach ravioli with summer vegetables in a light parmesan cream sauce with a honey lavender panna cotta with berries. The food was excellent and not too heavy, just right before a performance. I drank a glass of a very good prosecco with the food.
Prelude has a daunting task of feeding a ...
Prelude has a daunting task of feeding a large group of people very quickly. This presents obvious limitations to the menu and the service. Check the menu ahead of time to make sure there is something that appeals to you.
We found some of the food to be disappointing. The mushroom tart was a small quiche without many mushrooms. The chocolate dessert had a boring crust. The filet was served very rare, and when we requested that it be cooked a little more, we were informed that they could microwave it, but that would ruin the special way it had been prepared.
The location can't be beat if you are going to a show in McCaw Hall, but the food isn't good enough for the price. If you can walk a couple of blocks, there are many preferable restaurants.
Prelude is convenient, certainly, for op ...
Prelude is convenient, certainly, for opera-going, but I doubt there would be reason to eat there if one were not going to a show. The food is decent in view of the high prices, but perhaps only decent. The service is efficient, maybe too much so, although in fairness it bears recognizing that the restaurant needs to move theater-goers in and out quickly because of 7:30 curtains. The ambiance reflects the overall design of McCaw Hall. As a tall guy, however, I find the seating cramped. Overall, Prelude is more than meh, and I will go back in the future, but only I attend the opera.
Again I enjoyed a meal in your restauran ...
Again I enjoyed a meal in your restaurant. The food is creative and changing frequently. The service very good, there is no rush and it's wonderful to continue the evening by going to the opera.
Thank You for being right there.
Excellent staff, limited menu more like ...
Excellent staff, limited menu more like expensive small plates for entrees,
portion size small. Drink menu good but expensive. Pasta dish was no better than frozen at home. Fresh sea food non existent.
But it saves parking twice for the opera which is always worth every penny!
As usual, the experience was an excelle ...
As usual, the experience was an excellent one. We were more than a half hour late because of detours and delayed ferry crossing, but we were accommodated anyway. Good service. Helpful and friendly people. Noise level a bit high.
We were late due to gridlocked traffic a ...
We were late due to gridlocked traffic and the staff was more than understanding. We called and they went way beyond what anyone would expect to facilitate our meal. We had appetizers and salad before the opera began and our entree at intermission. The service was prompt, knowledgeable about dietary issues and our experience was just terrific and made up for the incredibly bad traffic getting there. We would recommend Prelude to anyone attending events at the Opera House or the theaters nearby. Great place!
A traffic accident had blocked Mercer an ...
A traffic accident had blocked Mercer and we sheepishly arrived 1/2 hour late for our reservation. Staff whirled into work and had a table for us in moments - 45 minutes before curtain time - and squeezed us into the serving queue, pleasantly recreating the lovely evening we thought was lost. Frantic, good-humored efficiency and the arrival of a lovely wine set the stage for truly EXCELLENT tenderloin. Dessert and coffee awaited us at the same table during intermission. Our thanks to a wonderful staff matched nicely with wonderful entrees!
Very overpriced. The only reason I go th ...
Very overpriced. The only reason I go there is because my friend who comes to the opera with me is elderly and cannot walk to any place else. The food is fine, just way too expensive--a salad, a soup, a glass of white wine and the bill is $50.00? I cannot recommend it to others.
Reservations are certainly recommended, ...
Reservations are certainly recommended, as there will be large crowds prior to Seattle Opera performances. The seating is immediate, and the attention from wait-staff comes within minutes. Staff are very attentive and responsive with notable "joie" (joy) of service. The wine list is not exhaustive, but covers all budget spectra. Meal selections are well explained in the menu and by staff, and are
accompanied by wine suggestions. The food is beautifully prepared and served in impressive time-urgent promptness. And the meal is delicious!
I will attend again soon, and I would highly recommend "Prelude" to all aficionados of fine dining and opera.
This was our first opportunity to dine a ...
This was our first opportunity to dine at Prelude. It was also our first attendance of an opera performance in Seattle in at least 7-10 years, or before the renovation of the existing Opera House. (In late June 2016, we moved back to Puyallup from Longview, TX.) We decided to dine at Prelude since we have a long travel time from Puyallup. We always like to arrive early for concerts so we can take advantage of pre-concert talks and other events. I made reservations for an early (5:15PM) seating not knowing how long our travel time would be. As it worked out, we arrived with time to spare. This allowed us to explore the new (for us) opera house. Our dining experience was superb from seating to final course. Our food choices were prepared to perfection. The host and wait-person made the experience great. Based on our first experience at Prelude, I can assure you we will return whenever we are attending an event at McCaw Hall that requires our early arrival.
This, once again, was a really nice way ...
This, once again, was a really nice way to start an evening at the opera. The restaurant has a menu that allows for a variety of styles of eating ( full meal, appetizer-soup,..). The convenience of having a place to eat at the opera makes the evening so relaxing. We always eat here before the opera or ballet, but it is important to make reservations because lots of folks agree with us.
The very nice food was overshadowed by t ...
The very nice food was overshadowed by the very poor service. Our waiter told us it was his first night at Prelude, and maybe his first night ever as a waiter. He got our orders wrong, and the service was very slow. We never got a basket of bread, although I believe it was complementary and should have been served. The menu is limited and the prices are quite high. Dinner before the opera was the reason for our visit. I have dined here before, and had a better experience. Would go again if attending an event at McCaw Hall.
Prelude is a decent option for eating be ...
Prelude is a decent option for eating before an event at McCaw Hall, though it would never occur to me to eat there otherwise. Back when the renovated opera house first opened, the restaurant (not yet named Prelude) was a great option for pre-show dining, because the food was fast, decent, and not expensive. A couple of iterations later, it is slower and costs a lot more, so not the go-to option it used to be. The menu is a little spotty--I had the terrific tuna tartare and pea soup, but my mother's tortellini and my dad's pork chop were only so-so. This was unfortunate particularly since those two were the most expensive dishes ordered (entrees as opposed to starters). Also, we asked for separate checks because there was a friend with us who wanted to pay for her own dinner, and although our waitress agreed to this it did not happen. She was overly attentive and a bit pushy when we arrived, but at the end of the meal when we would have liked to get this sorted out, she did not appear. So we used the OpenTable app to pay the bill via Apple Pay and took the itemized receipt with us in order to figure how who owed what. (Only later did I realize OpenTable had e-mailed this to me so it was unnecessary to take the printed one. I did get a call from the restaurant later looking for it, which of course I did not answer because we were in the opera by then.) The bottom line is this: it is absolutely great to have an in-house option for dining before a performance, but I think the execution could use a little work.
We started out with some champagne!! Th ...
We started out with some champagne!! The creamy pumpkin soup was superb with a side of beet salad. The tangerine dressing and the addition of pears was outstanding. Great combination of flavors. We had a difficult time deciding because the new menu offered many entrees that that we also woulds have liked. Next time!!!!!
I actually did write and sent it to Maca ...
I actually did write and sent it to Macaw Hall to forward it to you. I was there with
a friend on August 6th prior to the opera. The main concern was the delay in getting our second course. It arrived just prior to seven with little time to enjoy before rushing to pay the bill, visit the washroom, find our seats and read the program. We arrived at 5.45 so had plenty of time.
The salad arrived in good time and was very good. However the bread was cold , dry and uninteresting. The Steel head was dry and at the price was not good value.
Our waiter was good, and did give us more wine which was appreciated. However, over all, we probably would not attend again
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