Nearby points of interest
Nearby points of interest
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.
Seattle, WA 98109
Hours of Operation:
Prelude opens 2.5 hours (Opera performances) and 2 hours (Ballet performances) prior show start.
4th & 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
Food is not bad, but not great either. Menu is somewhat limited. Food seems to be mostly pre-prepared which lends to a bit of an assembly line feel to the experience. Service was ok. Wait staff delivered food promptly, but then we were pretty much abandoned. The room has very high ceilings and and the lighting felt like being in one of those eco-conscious apartment building hallways, dim and gray.
I appreciated the hostess making it possible for us to be seated a bit earlier than our reservation since it made for a more relaxed experience for making the curtain. Our server, Anthony, was wonderful. He was attentive without hovering and friendly. The food was good. The chicken was a tad on the dry side but my companion's pork was reportedly excellent. We enjoyed the convenience as well as the experience.
Service was good this time, for a nice change. The food gets more mediocre everytime. I had a spinach and strawberry salad. The spinach was past prime, with some old wilted bits in it. The ricotta was bland and there was no taste of a dressing on the salad. Two strawberries, cut up, barely ripe.
We go here because of the convenience when we attend the opera, but, really, I'm about done. I think I'd rather just eat at home, or at a nearby restaurant. Prelude just continues to dissappoint.
I've been to Prelude many times, and have usually been very pleased with the entrees. This time, however, although the presentation of the food was lovely (I had the trout with artichoke hearts and fingerling potatoes), it was not warm. The trout was, however, nicely cooked. I would have sent it back to be warmed a bit, but our server was quite busy at other tables.!! Also, the fingerling potatoes were mush. I would have preferred that they had not been squished to fit a mold. (At least, that's what I think was done for the sake of the look of the presentation!)
My daughter & I were going to see the Opera - Daddy/Daughter date. This is a special upscale place to go if you make reservations early enough. I believe they are only open on days when there are events at McCaw Hall.
The service was very good. We had the Trout & Polenta dishes. If they needed to make a substitution they explained why and what they were substituting. You can also prepay for intermission fare and they boxed what my daughter didn't finish at dinner for us to pickup at intermission.
Outstanding preface (not to call it a prelude!) to a fabulous evening at the Opera. Made the evening very relaxed from minute one. Welcoming Maître D', attentive waiter and support staff, fast delivery, creative and tasty food (always different from one time to the next -- having dinner at Prelude is one of our preferred dining choices when attending the Opera or PNB). Everything is perfect.
Very much a three star restaurant in our book.
Prelude is a good restaurant for those attending events at McCaw Hall. I doubt that we would chose it if not for the convenience of eating so close to the performance hall. This time our food was excellent and the service very good. Being able to pre-order a dessert for intermission is a plus.
This is my second time at prelude, and it's a similar experience to the last time. It's hit or miss. When it hits, it's quite good. We really enjoyed the beet root and vodka cured salmon, and the braised radicchio salad. But, the misses are so bad. The belgian waffle benedict was so bad that my son said it's the worst thing he ever ate. He had 2 bites and lost his appetite. They were gracious about taking it off the menu, but it was really bad. I tried it myself. I think they're trying to be too fancy without really considering how the flavors come together (or don't). We tried the white gazpacho, and it was just weird. Anyway, I still like this place for ambiance and convenience, but you just don't know what you get.
We have eaten here many times, but I especially liked our last meal. The heirloom tomato salad was amazing! The server was knowledgeable and extremely helpful. If you want to eat before the Opera or at intermission, I would recommend this! (Intermission actually works - you order ahead and it's waiting for you!).
It used to be pretty good, but last two times I was surprised how bad it was. Do they have a different chef now? No flavor and meat was tough both times. I don't know if I want to go back there any more. I had to season S&P for my main course and I noticed people next to us were doing the same thing!
This survey site does not acknowledge attendance at the ballet or opera as a reason to visit this restaurant. That is what takes me to Prelude each time.
The timeliness of the service was appreciated. Allowed for non-rushed meal and yet time to get into the auditorium.
Once again, I chose convenience over deliciousness. Three diners going to the ballet and enjoying each other's company but the two of us who had the vegetarian entree -- polenta, pesto, goat cheese, etc. --got the pretty but tasteless plate. We found ourselves trying to salt it into SOME kind of palatability, but the salt shaker could not contain enough salt to give this any oomph. Wine by the glass pretty expensive as usual, and the server, once given the credit cards in plenty of time could not seem to get back to the table before making us nearly miss the curtain! This happens frequently, and management needs to figure out how to avoid those white-knuckle dining experiences. Season the vegetarian entrees! Help the servers check out faster!
We have had dinner at Prelude several times over the past several years, before performances at the Ballet and Opera. The dinner before the April 20th Ballet performance was not up to the level of previous dinners there. That night seemed short on staff, led to us waiting a while before our main dishes arrived. One of the main dishes seemed just out of the micro-wave, resulting in a rubbery look and feel. Even though we arrived for our reservation at 6 pm, our main dishes did not arrive until after 7 pm, and we pushed to make the Ballet on time. Hopefully, some aspects of that evening may be remedied.
Service was less than on previous visits. We were trying to make the pre-performance talk. Service was slow, had to ask for rolls, returned the wine but it was not taken off the bill. They are usually prompt making it easy to make the talk but not this time.
Before a performance, my mother and I often enjoy Prelude as a treat. It's expensive but the food is tasty - we love the charcuterie plate plus the half bottles of wine! This visit Matt took care of us and was great. He gave us time to chit chat over wine and nibbles without rushing us at all on to the main course. I enjoyed the salmon, which was a light, yummy dish, and my mother had the pork with bread pudding. Unfortunately, the pork was a little dry.
The worst lunch my husband and I had in the Seattle area and the food was not worth half the price charged. The Popcorn shrimp starter turned up to be just one single medium size tough shrimp. The five spiced tuna entrée we ordered was 5 small pieces of thin, dry seared tuna. It also came with a small tower of coconut rice of which was very frozen and even a knife could not cut through it. The only decent items we had were the beverages and dessert. Our total lunch bill was over $80+ and we would not mind to pay it if the meals were decent.... but they were not. We left the place with belly less than half full and very, very disappointed. We will not recommend this place to anyone unless there is big change in their food quality and serving size.
The Chinese food they served for the Shen Yun production was tasty. Prices were a bit inflated given that the portion sizes were small. However, the convenience of being near the parking garage and McCaw Hall were a major plus. This experience is definitely worth exploring if you are in the mood for food before a major performance event.
This is the first negative review I have ever made. The food was terrible and way over priced. Our waiter worked very hard to please us but the kitchen and the management let him (and us) down. The "crispy duck" was oily and undercooked. The "popcorn shrimp" appetizer was one shrimp. The "five spice tuna" was four pieces of tune, 3/4" by 1 1/2 inches and 1/4" thick. The management of this restaurant is even trying. They are just preying on the people who come to the theater to enjoy a concert!
Came here before Shen Yun. Service was a bit slow, but relaxed. We had plenty of time to finish our meal before the show. Food was delicious. Small portions, but very, very tasty. Would go here again before a show.
Menu stated server would take intermission orders, but when we asked our server, she had no idea what to do. Ended up not getting intermission snack.
We were seated very quickly. W#e chose a wine and the server brought the bottle opened and poured. We ordered our salad and an entree. The portion for the entree was miniscule both the duck and the pork belly were so small it was only two bites total. The green beans for salad was larger than the entree.By this time our server was caught up with tables elsewhere and we worried we would get our meal before the curtain time. We ordered a dessert to share and cancelled it because time was running out to pay the bill and get to our seats.
if the idea is small plates for a happy hour I can understand but the portion is totally inadequate for an entree. There was nothing to accompany the pork belly but a sauce with lentils. My duck was like a happy hour chicken leg and wing with virtually no plum sauce.
Very unhappy diner.
We went to Prelude in the hopes to have a comfortable dinner prior to the show at McCaw Hall. We unfortunately were very disappointed. I've never seen such small portions and although we could have been okay with it had it been explained up front, it was not expected. We noticed several people around us that had the same reaction. We ended up having to order several other dishes to have a descent sized meal. The food itself was okay - although nothing I would 'rave' about. The staff were friendly and tried their best to serve quickly but it seemed a single waiter had far too many tables. The place itself was clean and accommodating - I think the portions were just so disappointing, I don't think we would go back.
It took me over an hour to get to McCaw Hall for a show. I made reservations the night before for a quick bite to eat and a chance to wind down before the show. The service we received was very good from the hostess, to our server and the timeliness of the food and the bill. My only complaint was the food. The shrimp appetizer for $5.00 was described as popcorn shrimp so I thought there would be at least 3-4 popcorn shrimp but it was actually only 1 shrimp. Not sure why it was called popcorn shrimp. I ordered shu mai and that was fine, it was a normal size and I think it was 2 or 3 pieces. I also ordered spring rolls and they were 2 tiny springs rolls. They were the size of my finger but flat. The best part of our quick bite was dessert which was a rice pudding with a coconut cream sauce and mango pieces. It was delicious. I don't know if I would get the appetizers again but I wouldn't mind trying the entrees when I have more time.
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