About Prelude at McCaw Hall
Seattle, WA 98109
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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).
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 !!!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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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