About Prelude at McCaw Hall

321 Mercer Street
Seattle, WA 98109
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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.

Dining Style:
Casual Elegant

Cuisines:
Contemporary American

Hours of Operation:
Dinner/Brunch:
Prelude opens 2.5 hours (Opera performances) and 2 hours (Ballet performances) prior show start.


Cross Street:
3rd & Mercer

Dress Code:
Smart Casual

Price Range:
$31 to $50

Payment Options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

Phone Number:
(206) 615-0404

Website:
http://www.savorsmgmccawhall.com/

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.

Executive Chef:
Shawn Applin

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.

Additional:
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

5
4
3
2
1

3.8

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

3.7

service

4.0

ambience

3.6

value

3.0

noise

Moderate

79% would recommend it to a friend

Pre/post Theatre (68)
Special Occasion (28)
Creative Cuisine (15)
See All
Quick Bite (9)
Quiet Conversation (9)
Modern Decor (8)
Local Ingredients (8)
People Watching (8)
Great for Brunch (7)
Disabled Access (7)
Good for a Date (6)
Cozy (6)
Kid-friendly (5)
Sunday Lunch (5)
Worth the Drive (5)
Fun (5)
Romantic (5)
Fit for Foodies (4)
Casual (4)
Notable Wine List (4)
Good Vegetarian Options (4)
Great for Lunch (4)
Seasonal (3)
Neighborhood Gem (3)
Good for Anniversaries (3)
Authentic (3)
Good for Groups (3)
Family Style (3)
Good for Birthdays (2)
Gluten Free Options (2)
Live Music (2)
Tasting Menu (2)
Paleo Friendly (1)
Scenic View (1)
Great Beer (1)
Late-night Find (1)
Healthy (1)
Molecular Gastronomy (1)
Tapas (1)
Wood Oven (1)
Outstanding Value (1)
Afternoon Tea (1)
Afternoon Coffee (1)
Comfort Food (1)
Handcrafted Cocktails (1)
Dining Occasion:
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2025 reviews
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 (Seattle)·Dined on February 12, 2017

Convenient to dine here prior to a performance, good food, great service, and makes it a fun evening. We were late for our reservation due to horrible traffic, called and they held our table, no problem, very pleasant and helpful. Nice Staff, also great to come out to table and have dessert and coffee at intermission, waiting for you.

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food4
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (Seattle)·Dined on February 11, 2017

Even with a limited menu, this is a great place to eat before the ballet or opera. Food is generally good or better and the ability to book dessert and drinks during intermission and keep your table is perfect.

Tags: Romantic, Special Occasion, Modern Decor
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Seattle)·Dined on February 11, 2017

Got in early and was served quickly but then it went downhill. The food was lukewarm at best and bad! We went for lunch prior to a ballet matinee. The French Toast was rubbery, I had a lot of trouble cutting it, was thinking of asking for a steak knife, it was so tough. Presentation looked good but that is the only positive thing I can say about the food. Overpriced, who pays $14 for french toast? They have spent money on trying to improve the ambiance of the place, they should pay attention to the quality of the food.

Tags: Pre/post Theatre
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food1
ambience2
service3
value1

 
 (Seattle)·Dined on February 11, 2017

Location is great for quick service for ballet or opera. Pricey! And food quality varies.

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food3
ambience4
service5
value2

 
 (Seattle)·Dined on February 11, 2017

great service, delicious food and can even enjoy our dessert at intermission

Tags: Pre/post Theatre
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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (Seattle)·Dined on February 5, 2017

Service was super slow

30 min after ordering we were told they ran out of our entree

Brought s second entree 25 min later which we had to scarf down in order to get to the opening act of the ballet.

Then they billed us incorrectly and charged us for both the entree they ran out of and the one we actually were served

We had to come back at intermission to correct the charges

Altogether s very unpleasant and stressful experience

Think they should fave comped our entire bill

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food2
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service1
value1

 
 (Seattle)·Dined on February 5, 2017

Making reservations was easy. We were seated on time on a busy night. The three course meal was more than I care to eat but the soup,salad, desert option was good.

The only thing I can suggest is, since there are many seniors going to events, a few lighter choices (soups not with cream etc. one light main dish , would not go amiss.

Our waiter was super and I like the different decor that changed from the original restaurant when McCaw Hall first opened.

Tags: Pre/post Theatre
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food4
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (Seattle)·Dined on February 5, 2017

Have been here many times, this time was a disaster. New management and chefs. Food was very good, once we got it ! Our reservation was 5:45, concert at 7:30. Our plan was to have a nice relaxing dinner before the show. Took a long time to take our order. They brought rolls, three - there were four of us. Then one entree came out. Before salad and soup, Nothing else came out for about 5 minutes until we brought it to their attention. Then, two salads and two soups came out. (One soup was my entree) Then the entrees came out , but not my salad. Had to ask for that. Didn't want it by that point. Now it's 7:10 and we asked for the bill. That took ten minutes, all the while we are involving the manager in this, which did not seem to help much.. Two couples and each had their own ticket. But what they did was put all the meals and drinks on each ticket. So each bill was double what it should have been - a total of over $200. Plus there was stuff we did not order on ticket. Concert was starting so we were told to come back at intermission. We got back, bills were finally straightened out without gee we are sorry at all, then we got a certificate for a free entree the NEXT time we come in. Nothing taken off this bill at all. Don't think I am going back any time soon. It was a disaster. Don't go here if you are planning on making a ballet or opera.

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food4
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 (Seattle)·Dined on February 5, 2017

Prelude is located inside the concert hall where we were going to attend a ballet performance. We arrived at 530 pm so that we would have plenty of time to eat before going into the ballet at 730. We were served our entrees at 715 pm! And my husband was brought the wrong entree, but there was no time to exchange it.

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food3
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service2
value2

 
 (Seattle)·Dined on February 5, 2017

outstanding attention by our server at table #28 and positive response by administrative staff to fulfill my seating request.

Tags: People Watching, Great for Lunch
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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (Seattle)·Dined on February 4, 2017

This is the most convenient venue for pre-show dining for opera and ballet. I find it a bit overpriced, but basically you're paying for the convenience.

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food4
ambience4
service3
value4

 
 (Seattle)·Dined on February 4, 2017

Eating at Prelude before the ballet is not only convenient, but such a nice experience. The food is very good, the service is almost always very efficient and everyone leaves in a good mood.

Thanks for being there!

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food4
ambience4
service4
value5

 
 (Seattle)·Dined on February 4, 2017

We had brunch at the Prelude prior to attending the Ballet. As always, the service was quick as the staff knows most of the customers at that time must be served promptly. The food was excellent, portions a little too large for me. Very friendly staff.....all together eating at The Prelude is usually a very pleasant experience!

Tags: Comfort Food, Worth the Drive, Tasting Menu
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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (Seattle)·Dined on February 4, 2017

Prelude was perfect for our pre ballet gathering on a rainy Sat. Afternoon. However, the food was disappointing in light of the cost. My friend had a bowl of corn chowder that was very plain and looked as if it had been put in a blender. No bread. For $10 one would expect more. My strata for $16 was tasty but for that price I would expect an additional side of some sort.

Tags: Pre/post Theatre
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food3
ambience5
service5
value3

 
 (Seattle)·Dined on February 4, 2017

Always love coming here for pre-show brunch! Great food, great service.

Tags: Fun, People Watching, Good for Anniversaries, Handcrafted Cocktails, Neighborhood Gem, Great for Brunch, Worth the Drive, Cozy
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Seattle)·Dined on February 4, 2017

Well done menu selection and timing pretty concert. Short menu, three course pre fixe dinner option. Wines expensive.

Tags: Pre/post Theatre
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food4
ambience4
service4
value3

 
 (Seattle)·Dined on February 4, 2017

It was the second time that my friend and I had had dinner at Prelude before opening night at the ballet. We arrived promptly at our appointed time, 6:15, and we were promptly seated. Our frustrations soon mounted as we were unable to attract the attention of any servers for 10 or 15 minutes, not even for drinks. We ordered our dinners at the same time in order to expedite the service. We did not receive even our first courses until 6:55. Finally ~ 7:10 we were served our main courses. We requested desserts then and received them ~ 5 minutes later. The soup was lukewarm; the sherbet likewise. The dinners were expertly prepared, but we had to leave our dinners unfinished, and then because of a mistake in the bill got up to leave at 7:30, with plans to return at intermission to pay. The server and I met on the way to the exit. It was explained to me that they were understaffed and unprepared for opening night (every time there is an opening night, it's opening night).

Never again.

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food4
ambience2
service1
value3

 
 (Seattle)·Dined on January 29, 2017

The first surprise was the paper tablecloth, but I understand that it is to prepare the table faster, the old and unequal chairs, the table was too close to another, my plate had stains of coffee I asked for the change and the next one also had stains, Excellent food and service !!!

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food3
ambience2
service4
value2

 
 (Seattle)·Dined on January 29, 2017

My wife and I have eaten here before the opera and the ballet on several occasions. The food is always good, the staff always friendly and efficient, and the meal always worth it.

Tags: Special Occasion
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food4
ambience4
service4
value4

 
 (Seattle)·Dined on January 29, 2017

Had a lovely evening here prior to seeing an opera performance. Food and service excellent. Came for an early reservation so that there was time to enjoy the meal and good wine selection. Limited selection but everything was cooked well and a good evening was had by all. Lovely to be able to walk straight from the dining table to the opera hall.

Tags: Pre/post Theatre
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food4
ambience4
service4
value3

 
 (Seattle)·Dined on January 29, 2017

Food good as usual, but less so than at other times

Service Terrific!

Gave us our preferred seating even though we were a it late.

Tags: Pre/post Theatre
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food4
ambience1
service5
value3

 
 (Seattle)·Dined on January 28, 2017

We are Seattle Opera subscribers for fourteen years and continuing. It has been several years since we ate at Prelude, but Friday's performance was without intermission when we normally have a coffee and occasionally split a dessert.

There were four main courses, almost ordered, but before we did we saw three of them arrive at the table next to us. The portions were terribly brief on the plate, didn't look all that appealing, so we opted for two small plates each. None of the four were noteworthy, more fluff than substance despite the grand menu descriptions. Four plates and two regular coffees later, no other beverage or food, and our bill arrived for over $80. If the food were special, then at least we could have said, "OK, that was a nice treat." Instead we won't be back, until and unless things change. A new décor is not good enough. Food matters.

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food2
ambience3
service2
value1

 
 (Seattle)·Dined on January 28, 2017

For years I've eaten here before the opera. The food is delicious and creatively prepared. Have never been disappointed with the food or service.

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Pre/post Theatre, Special Occasion, Great for Brunch
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Seattle)·Dined on January 28, 2017

Location is the best for opera. Food I think is improved this year. Service good. Easy to make reservations online.

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Pre/post Theatre, Fit for Foodies
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Seattle)·Dined on January 26, 2017

The cheese tray, the chicken, the short ribs were all great. The corn soup could have been spicier but still very good.

The wine prices are high.

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food5
ambience5
service5

 
 (Seattle)·Dined on January 26, 2017

Prelude has markedly improved during the past year. Food quality, menu, wine choices and decor have all gotten better. It's now an excellent choice for pre-opera dining.

Tags: Pre/post Theatre, Modern Decor, Special Occasion, Quiet Conversation, Live Music
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food4
ambience4
service4
value3

vip
 (Seattle)·Dined on January 26, 2017

As usual, slow service, cold food, no attention to detail, and overpriced beverages. Also this time, tough meat, and the chairs are packed much more closely together. We only eat here because of the convenience when it is dark and wet outside. When the days are longer and warmer, we walk up the street to eat elsewhere. This place needs a major makeover, but I doubt it will ever happen, because it hasn't ever been good since it was opened.

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food2
ambience4
service3
value2

vip
 (Seattle)·Dined on January 22, 2017

Better service when only ordering appetizers. Anthony's service was good. Food is pre-made off-site and heated up onsite. No substitutions accommodated.

Tags: Quick Bite, Special Occasion, Casual
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food3
ambience3
service4
value2

 
 (Seattle)·Dined on January 22, 2017

My daughter and I had lunch here before the opera - this was a belated birthday present for her. The food was good - we had the quiche and the chocolate napoleon. The service was extremely slow, no check-back to see if we needed anything, no rolls (although we didn't ask for them), no pouring water for us as has been done in the past. The young woman was pleasant, just not very attentive to us. We had to wait quite a while for the check while she was engaged in conversation with the people sitting behind us. The food, as always, is overpriced for what you get, although the quiche and dessert were larger portions than I've had here before.

Tags: Quiet Conversation, Special Occasion
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food4
ambience3
service2
value2

vip
 (Seattle)·Dined on January 22, 2017

Here for brunch before the opera. Menu is overwrought. Food terribly overpriced and poor quality. Wait service was slow and surly--we had to ask several time for basic things like utensils. Needs a complete overhaul. Such a shame.

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food1
ambience3
service1
value2

 
 (Seattle)·Dined on January 22, 2017

Location is convenient if attending opera. Tables are small and crowded together. Noisy. Our service was very slow. All the staff seemed to work hard, perhaps they were under staffed the night we went.

Tags: Pre/post Theatre
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food3
ambience2
service1
value2

 
 (Seattle)·Dined on January 19, 2017

Outstanding. How they can make such good and creatively original food in such a short time is amazing.

Perfect before the Opera.

Made for a great introduction to a fabulous evening

Tags: Pre/post Theatre
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food5
ambience4
service4
value5

vip
 (Seattle)·Dined on January 19, 2017

If you were not a convenient stop before the opera I don't think I would eat here. My glass of red wine was corked and I had to ask for a replacement. The salmon was cold, mushy and not very good and there was not very much food on the plate for the price. I requested a hot chocolate that arrived after the check and had to be gulped down- it was also not very warm. We had to request bread when the food was served since there was none.

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food2
ambience3
service3
value2

 
 (Seattle)·Dined on January 19, 2017

Quality food especially for being served at the theater! Was pleasantly surprised. The variety wasn't huge, but each item was tasty. I was very happy and would definitely do it again. Very nice to not be rushed or hurried.

Tags: Fun, Special Occasion
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food4
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (Seattle)·Dined on January 19, 2017

We enjoy making each opera evening a special occasion- delightful dinner, enlightening class, mesmerizing opera

Tags: Notable Wine List, Special Occasion, Good Vegetarian Options
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food4
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 (Seattle)·Dined on January 15, 2017

Prelude is an excellent option for a meal before the opera. We can arrive, park, get settled, and enjoy our meal without worrying about getting anywhere else before curtain time. We have always enjoyed the fine selection of food and wine.

Tags: Pre/post Theatre
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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (Seattle)·Dined on January 15, 2017

We enjoyed our lunch prior to the Sunday afternoon opera.

I was worried about the portions and quality of food given the price, and I was quite pleased with our lunch. I do have to say, Seattle a coffee mecca, they could do better with a coffee that tastes good.

I would suggest having a place in the reservation to indicate if you need a disabled area. We were accommodated in our seating for our needs.

Tags: Great for Brunch, Pre/post Theatre, Disabled Access
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food4
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service3
value3

 
 (Los Angeles)·Dined on January 15, 2017

If you don't have time to go our for a lunch or dinner before the opera, it is a good place to go. Lunch menu is very short. I have not seen the dinner menu.

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food4
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 (Vancouver)·Dined on January 15, 2017

Wonderful. Convenient in same building as opera, and service and food were excellent. We normally have dessert at intermission, but this time there was no intermission--not Prelude's fault.

Tags: Outstanding Value, Quiet Conversation, Neighborhood Gem, Good for Birthdays
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Seattle)·Dined on January 15, 2017

We like to eat here before the Sunday matinee performances of Seattle Opera. It can be very slow, however, but at least you are already at the theater. Also they ran out of one of the main entrees. I consider it ok for a light meal before the show and convenient to get early parking.

Tags: People Watching, Disabled Access, Pre/post Theatre, Special Occasion
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food4
ambience3
service2
value3

 
 (Seattle)·Dined on January 15, 2017

Incredibly expensive for what was served. It was convenient to be at McCaw hall, but we'll be going somewhere else next time. It is hard to enjoy when you feel taken advantage of.

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food5
ambience2
service2
value1

 
 (Seattle)·Dined on December 29, 2016

Prelude, I am going to review this dining destination as a top tier restaurant (as it wishes to be known as) rather than as just a regular restaurant destination. If this were a "regular restaurant" I would have said that it was easily an 9 (on a scale of 1 to 10) but the grading criteria is a little more difficult if you want to be a "top tier" restaurant as this destination I would say rates a 6 on a much more difficult scale when being compared to other "fancy" destinations.

First, the setting at McCaw Hall is PERFECT regarding its appropriate ambiance prior to any ballet or opera to get you into the mood.

  • The portions are small to moderate as you would expect from a top tier restaurant. This is only

a positive if the portions are expertly plated and the ingredients are top notch.

  • Service was friendly but I didn't feel as if I was the only concern. A top tier server has no

problem making you feel as if your table is his or her only table, even when thats not true.

  • The ambiance was only slightly skewed by the horrible positioning of the servers station.

  • No coat check was offered by the wait staff nor was it spoken of as a do it yourself option by

the wait staff. You have to ask. At a 10 star destination (my star ranking system) this would have

been a no brainer. This is especially usefull as the restaurant is often the first stop for a patron.

  • The seasonal Pumpkin Ravioli was delicious.

  • The Braised Short Rib had no ribs and tasted more like a soft pot roast. Was it

good...yes....could it be better...yes.

  • The smoked duck was fantastic.

  • The butternut squash soup was very good.

Tags: Quiet Conversation, Local Ingredients, Good for Anniversaries, Pre/post Theatre, Creative Cuisine
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food4
ambience4
service4
value4

 
 (Seattle)·Dined on December 28, 2016

The selection for entrees was poor. A small menu must have great selections. I had soup and salad since none of the entrees enthused me. Farm raised salmon seriously!! The pear tart was bland. My friend had the braised beef and it was dry. I appreciate that the meals are small since we were going to the ballet afterwards. The dressing on the salad was tasteless. The butternut squash soup was fine.

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food2
ambience3
service4
value2

 
 (Seattle)·Dined on December 27, 2016

Way over priced and very limited selection. Almost $100 for 2 orders of salmon (good) with 2 whole carrots, 3 green beans and 1 dessert. No salad or appetizers.

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food2
ambience3
service5
value1

 
 (Seattle)·Dined on December 26, 2016

We had a lovely time eating at prelude before our annual Nutcracker event. This year it was especially enjoyable - great service and food.

Tags: Special Occasion, Pre/post Theatre
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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (Seattle)·Dined on December 20, 2016

The other two members of my party enjoyed very tasty food. Not so with me. I ordered the salmon with cream cheese and bagel. The salmon was rather tasteless and the bagels were very dry. I didn't finish the first one and did not even try the other.

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Great for Lunch
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food4
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Seattle)·Dined on December 20, 2016

Service was superb! We were seated very early for brunch (12:15 PM) during a weekday before Christmas to attend the Nutcracker, thus the room was very quiet. The Children's menu was important option for my grandchildren because the adult brunch menu required a sophisticated palate. Although had we dined in the evening, the Salmon entree would have been just fine for both Children. The smoked salmon with cream cheese bagel was not to their liking.

However, it was my choice and I felt overall it was a good choice. The bagels were a little small and too dry. They may have been cut earlier that morning. However the amount of Smoked Salmon provided was more than adequate. The wine selection was superb!

Tags: Special Occasion
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food3
ambience4
service5
value3

 
 (Seattle)·Dined on December 19, 2016

Very enjoyable beginning to our evening to see The Nutcracker. Dining there added to the festive event.

Tags: Special Occasion
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Seattle)·Dined on December 18, 2016

Service and ambiance was great. The food options were limited and not very appealing. I'd recommend finding a restaurant outside of McCaw Hall to eat beforehand

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food1
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 (Seattle)·Dined on December 18, 2016

Other than convenience, this restaurant left a lot to be desired. The menu was incredibly limited and although the food was good, it was exceptionally high priced considering there were literally 5 green beans on my plate as a side.. they were very accommodating with my daughter, but in general, the service lacked any sort of personality or attention to detail... there are so many AMAZING restaurants within walking distance to MCaw Hall.. go to any of them instead.

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food4
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