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

Restaurant Photos

Chocolate Peanut Butter Torte With Banana Compote  - Prelude at McCaw Hall, Seattle, WA
Grilled Sardine Toasts With Minted Peas - Prelude at McCaw Hall, Seattle, WA
Lemon Thyme Panna Cotta With Riesling Braised Peaches - Prelude at McCaw Hall, Seattle, WA
Bucatini With Roasted Mushrooms And Asparagus, Shaved Parmesan - Prelude at McCaw Hall, Seattle, WA
Steak With Chimichurri Sauce - Prelude at McCaw Hall, Seattle, WA
Marinated Calamari With Capers, Orange, Arugula - Prelude at McCaw Hall, Seattle, WA
Grilled Octopus, Spanish Chorizo, Saffron Aiolii - Prelude at McCaw Hall, Seattle, WA
Bbq Beef Brisket With Scalloped Potatoes And Braised Kale - Prelude at McCaw Hall, Seattle, WA
Coconut Cake With Carmelized Pineapple And Rum Creme Anglaise - Prelude at McCaw Hall, Seattle, WA
coq au vin - Prelude at McCaw Hall, Seattle, WA
Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta With Balsamic Macerated Figs - Prelude at McCaw Hall, Seattle, WA
Octopus With Chorizo, Potatoes, Saffron Aioli - Prelude at McCaw Hall, Seattle, WA
Leonetti Merlot - Prelude at McCaw Hall, Seattle, WA

Prelude at McCaw Hall Ratings and Reviews

5
4
3
2
1

3.9

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

3.8

service

4.2

ambience

3.7

value

3.3

noise

Moderate

84% would recommend it to a friend

Pre/post Theatre (42)
Special Occasion (32)
Fit for Foodies (12)
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Creative Cuisine (10)
Notable Wine List (9)
Great for Brunch (8)
Romantic (7)
Good for a Date (7)
Good Vegetarian Options (6)
Quick Bite (5)
Modern Decor (5)
Quiet Conversation (4)
Local Ingredients (3)
Great for Lunch (3)
Disabled Access (3)
Seasonal (3)
People Watching (3)
Worth the Drive (2)
Good for Birthdays (2)
Casual (2)
Neighborhood Gem (2)
Sunday Lunch (2)
Cozy (2)
Healthy (2)
Gluten Free Options (2)
Happy Hour (1)
Late-night Find (1)
Comfort Food (1)
Hot Spot (1)
Good for Groups (1)
Good for Anniversaries (1)
Outstanding Value (1)
Afternoon Coffee (1)
Paleo Friendly (1)
Kid-friendly (1)
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Ate at Prelude pre-Nutcracker with my ki ...

 
 (Naples)·Dined 6 days ago

Ate at Prelude pre-Nutcracker with my kids. Very convenient and our server was prompt and friendly. My cocktail and salad were very good as were my daughters chicken fingers. Unfortunately my son's sliders were not fully cooked so beware! I did not notice until he had eaten about 1/3 of one of the burgers. The server was great about bringing a new plate with fully cooked burgers but it really bothered me that a child's meal with ground beef was not fully cooked. I would eat here again but will be very careful!

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food2
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Prelude is very convenient as a pre-show ...

 
 (Seattle)·Dined 6 days ago

Prelude is very convenient as a pre-show place to eat at McCaw Hall. They do have a kids' menu, which is a bonus, and the service is good. However, the food is overpriced and of average quality. At $29 for a smallish piece of salmon, I expect a better-than-average product with more than four green beans as an accompaniment.

Tags: Pre/post Theatre
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food3
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We regularly dine at Prelude before atte ...

 
 (Seattle)·Dined 7 days ago

We regularly dine at Prelude before attending the ballet on the Sunday post-Thanksgiving. With brunch reservation at 11am, we had a delicious leisurely meal without feeling rushed to make curtain. The quiche with cheddar and caramelized onion was the perfect size, and prompt pleasant service made this another great birthday treat for grandma and granddaughter alike.

Tags: Modern Decor, Great for Brunch, Pre/post Theatre, Disabled Access
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food5
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I made a reservation for brunch at Prelu ...

 
 (Seattle)·Dined 7 days ago

I made a reservation for brunch at Prelude prior to the 12:30 p.m. performance of the Nutcracker this past Sunday. I have had wonderful dinners at Prelude for evening performances of the ballet in the past but I was very disappointed in the brunch menu. For instance, my mother's bagels, cream cheese and salmon plate was overpriced and the bagels were not fresh (very dry).

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I don't expect great cuisine/fine dining ...

vip
 (Seattle)·Dined on November 27, 2016

I don't expect great cuisine/fine dining at Prelude: for my wife & I, it's main attraction is its convenience when we're attending an event at Seattle Centre (e.g., opera or theatre). The food is generally good and, usually, the service is fast (some might find it too fast). However, this last Saturday, the service was strangely slow -- it took well over 15 minutes for our entrées to arrive: our waitress had to speak to the manager to move our order along. Our waitress was friendly but seemed a little distracted -- e.g., she forgot what we ordered a couple of times; normally, I'd attribute that to how busy Prelude is but it wasn't at all busy on Saturday.

Tags: Quick Bite, Seasonal, Pre/post Theatre
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food4
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Way overpriced for extremely small porti ...

 
 (Seattle)·Dined on November 27, 2016

Way overpriced for extremely small portions of food that are mediocre at best. I had literally, 8 bites of food for my entrée that included no sides. When I still had 2 of my 8 bites left, the server attempted to take my plate away even though I was still holding my fork and chewing my food. We only ate there for convenience. NEVER again. Definitely not worth $142 for two people who were still hungry when finished.

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food3
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Good place with lovely decor and very pe ...

 
 (Seattle)·Dined on November 26, 2016

Good place with lovely decor and very personable service. We were dining prior to an afternoon event and had more than enough time for a leisurely meal before the ballet.

Tags: Paleo Friendly, Kid-friendly, Great for Brunch, Disabled Access
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Bread rolls better (usually they're sub- ...

vip
 (Seattle)·Dined on November 12, 2016

Bread rolls better (usually they're sub-par for the quality of restaurant. The chairs aren't comfortable, they're very cheap in quality. Considering the food isn't made to order on the premises, but pre-prepared and reheated like on an airplane, why does it take over 15" to get a salad when the restaurant is less than 50% capacity? Convenient, but generally disappointing. I keep hoping it will get better. Someone needs to go to the restaurant in NYC's Metropolitan Opera House to get some tips and ideas on how to run a restaurant at a venue such as McCaw Hall.

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food3
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We come for each ballet performance for ...

vip
 (Seattle)·Dined on November 12, 2016

We come for each ballet performance for the convenience and for the dessert and coffee at intermission. The servers are always very nice, but timing on the courses is almost always way off. Food is fine, but not great for the price.

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Service was excellent; wine pairing with ...

 
 (Milwaukee)·Dined on November 12, 2016

Service was excellent; wine pairing with our food choices was prefect; combining Prelude with the Ballet creates and lovely, low stress evening of dining and entertainment.

Tags: Notable Wine List, Local Ingredients, Quiet Conversation
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Always my choice for treating myself to ...

 
 (Seattle)·Dined on November 6, 2016

Always my choice for treating myself to an exquisite evening at the ballet! Fabulous staff!

Tags: Notable Wine List, Good for a Date, Romantic, Pre/post Theatre, People Watching, Special Occasion
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food5
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Prelude is convenient when attending eve ...

vip
 (Seattle)·Dined on November 6, 2016

Prelude is convenient when attending events at McCaw Hall, which I did with friends. The server was excellent. The food, however, was overpriced for the quality. I will probably seek other dining options the next time I attend an event at McCaw Hall.

Tags: Quick Bite
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I enjoy dining at Prelude before the Bal ...

 
 (Seattle)·Dined on November 5, 2016

I enjoy dining at Prelude before the Ballet. It is not only convenient, but has very good food and a comfortable and warm ambience.

Tags: Pre/post Theatre
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food4
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Crowded seating like middle seat on plan ...

 
 (Houston)·Dined on October 30, 2016

Crowded seating like middle seat on plane, couple on both sides

Extremely limited menu

Crowded table, lack of small plates

Tags: Pre/post Theatre
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food1
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This has always been expensive but the s ...

 
 (Seattle)·Dined on October 30, 2016

This has always been expensive but the skimpy serving of red wine (about 1/3 of the glass) at $12 a glass put us over the edge. Its too expensive for the quality. We will not be returning anytime soon.

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The Food is over priced but the restaura ...

 
 (Seattle)·Dined on October 30, 2016

The Food is over priced but the restaurant is very convenient for performances at McCaw Hall.

Tags: Pre/post Theatre
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food3
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The food was well prepared and beautiful ...

 
 (Seattle)·Dined on October 29, 2016

The food was well prepared and beautifully presented. This is the best meal we have had here out of the twenty plus times we have eaten here. They seem to be upping their game.

Tags: Pre/post Theatre
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food5
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As always, a spectacular pre-opera meal. ...

 
 (St. Louis)·Dined on October 29, 2016

As always, a spectacular pre-opera meal. Pork rillette, pumpkin soup and stuffed chicken breast. Top notch as always.

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food5
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We have been to Prelude before and there ...

vip
 (Seattle)·Dined on October 29, 2016

We have been to Prelude before and there are always ups and downs. The up this time was the food - fantastic. The beet and pear salad and the crab and prawn starter were innovative. The tenderloin was just right, with a large portion, and the feta stuffed chicken with polenta delicious. But the service is never friendly. We were told we could not have a table in the front section because we had not booked - so Open Tablers - book a Window table in advance. One of the servers was inapropriately dressed. Our server was chatty, but had no idea bout serving wine, and forgot our bread. More training is required. But overall, Prelude is a great pre-theater venue.

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Pre/post Theatre, Modern Decor
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food5
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Prelude is usually good and certainly co ...

 
 (Seattle)·Dined on October 29, 2016

Prelude is usually good and certainly convenient before the opera. This time was not good. My friend and I each had the crab, shrimp and avocado appetizer. The avocado - the best part - was more of a guacamole. The crab was chopped up in a very wet sauce of mayonnaise. And the worst part - the shrimp: two prawns sliced in half, carefully placed on the crab --- and they were raw. No attempt at cooking them and worse - no mention of raw seafood on the menu. Our server made no attempt to rectify this. Neither of us wanted, or expected, raw seafood. So - beware!

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Although pricey, it's worth it to assure ...

vip
 (Seattle)·Dined on October 27, 2016

Although pricey, it's worth it to assure you're ready for curtain. Traffic in McCaw Hall area is hideous at best so having an in-house restaurant is an additional incentive to getting there early. Also, you can return to your table during the interval for dessert/beverage. I have made this reservation before and am certain I'll continue to.

Tags: Local Ingredients, Seasonal, Pre/post Theatre, Notable Wine List, Good Vegetarian Options
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food5
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very limited menu good wine list small s ...

vip
 (Seattle)·Dined on October 23, 2016

very limited menu

good wine list

small servings for $$$$

best attribute: located at opera house

Tags: Great for Brunch
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Noise level not as bad if dine early Foo ...

 
 (Seattle)·Dined on October 23, 2016

Noise level not as bad if dine early

Food variable; crab and shrimp dish Outstanding.

Chicken dry and flavors disappointing.

Service Outstanding

Great for getting to opera on time and early dinner helps avoid bad traffic

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While the dining is very convenient for ...

 
 (Seattle)·Dined on October 20, 2016

While the dining is very convenient for eating before the Seattle Opera and the food is fine, the prices are a bit over the top. $29 for ravioli is hard to justify borders on institutional for the pre-opera rush.

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We enjoyed a delicious a pre-opera dinne ...

 
 (Seattle)·Dined on October 16, 2016

We enjoyed a delicious a pre-opera dinner. The food was innovative,fresh and beautifully presented. The service professional and unobtrusive. What a jewel we have at MCaw Hall.

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Pre/post Theatre, Fit for Foodies
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food5
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Great for an event but pricey

vip
 (Seattle)·Dined on October 16, 2016

Great for an event but pricey

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Food was a little bit slow coming out bu ...

 
 (Seattle)·Dined on October 16, 2016

Food was a little bit slow coming out but still plenty of time to enjoy before the opera started.

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The food was good. Service slightly slo ...

 
 (Seattle)·Dined on October 2, 2016

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.

Tags: Pre/post Theatre
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Third course came out before the second. ...

vip
 (Seattle)·Dined on September 30, 2016

Third course came out before the second. I wish the servers would tell us what is on cheese plate.

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We had dinner at Prelude before a ballet ...

 
 (Seattle)·Dined on September 30, 2016

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.

Tags: Pre/post Theatre
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We needed to be served and get our check ...

 
 (Seattle)·Dined on September 30, 2016

We needed to be served and get our check promptly so that we could attend the pre-performance talk for the Pacific Northwest Ballet. Our waiter gave us prompt service, so the timing worked perfectly.

Tags: Pre/post Theatre
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food4
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We have eaten at Prelude multiple times ...

 
 (Seattle)·Dined on September 25, 2016

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!

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food2
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Just a good place to grab a quick bite w ...

vip
 (Seattle)·Dined on September 24, 2016

Just a good place to grab a quick bite when you don't have much time before the performance but wants something more than bar counter.

Tags: Quick Bite
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I ordered smoked salmon and there was no ...

 
 (Seattle)·Dined on September 23, 2016

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.

Sam Tyler

Tags: Casual
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Overpriced Poor Service, extremely slow ...

 
 (San Diego)·Dined on September 15, 2016

Overpriced

Poor Service, extremely slow for prior to a show

Food was not great, stale rolls, fatty short rib

strong drinks were the only upside

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We ordered the fix-price dinner menu, pr ...

 
 (Seattle)·Dined on September 15, 2016

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..................

Tags: Pre/post Theatre, Healthy
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food4
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Excellent Waitress that asked about my f ...

 
 (Seattle)·Dined on September 15, 2016

Excellent Waitress that asked about my food allergies and was very knowledgeable.

Tags: Gluten Free Options
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I had dinner at Prelude before the opera ...

 
 (Seattle)·Dined on August 21, 2016

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.

Tags: Quiet Conversation, Creative Cuisine, Good for a Date, Good Vegetarian Options
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food5
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Prelude has a daunting task of feeding a ...

 
 (Seattle)·Dined on August 21, 2016

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.

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Prelude is convenient, certainly, for op ...

 
 (Portland)·Dined on August 21, 2016

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.

Tags: Pre/post Theatre
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