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.
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.
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.
The food was good. The staff was friendly. Super convenient for dinner before the Ballet.
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.
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.
The food is not great but the friendly service and convenience to performances at the Opera House make it well worth it!
This is a like cafe at the end of a hall with ok service and food but Super expensive!!!
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.
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.
The food sucked and the prices were outrageous, especially when one considers the small food portions.
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.
The salmon blini was delicious but the portion size was small for the price.
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.
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.
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.
I have always enjoyed dining here prior to attending a Ballet performance. I have always enjoyed my meal here.
One entree Good. Other poor. Wine too expensive.
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.
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.