Prelude
Prelude

Prelude

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.sonoma.edu/prelude/index.html
  • Phone: 7076644243
  • Hours of Operation:

    Dinner: M,T,Th,Sa 5:00pm-8:00pm
    Brunch: Su 12:00pm-3:00pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: American, Californian
  • Dress Code: Business Casual
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Fireplace, Full Bar, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Wheelchair Access, Wine

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Petaluma Hill Road
  • Parking: Private Lot
A word from Prelude
Enveloped in understated elegance and located within the Donald and Maureen Green Music Center, the restaurant is open on all concert evenings and available for hosting events. Exemplary culinary creations are focused on local products with exquisite attention to detail. Our bright and flavorful menu will pull from the bounty of locally grown foods from Sonoma County.
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Ambiance
Prelude reviews from OpenTable diners
31 reviews since June 23, 2014
Overall Rating4.1
  • Food3.7
    Service4
  • Ambiance4.7
    Noise LevelModerate
100% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
special occasion (20)great for outdoor dining (15)good for groups (9)fit for foodies (8)romantic (8)neighborhood gem (6)scenic view (4)vibrant bar scene (4)great for brunch (3)great for lunch (3)notable wine list (3)Show More
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 10/13/2014
    The Restaurant is in The Green Music Center at Sonoma State University. It is only open when there are concerts at the Center. The Ambiance is outstanding. The Service is by students who are on the whole very nice young people. Some have a lot to learn about servicing the table, but they do learn and are usually very good. The food is usually very good but there is a small menu because they serve a lot of people in a short period of time. If you are going to a concert at the Green Music Center make a reservation ahead of time and try it.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for outdoor dining, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Outstanding
    maryZ
    Dined on 10/12/2014
    A meal here complements a marvelous afternoon concert. staff is exceedingly courteous and informed. Food is presented beautifully and is uncommonly flavorful. The place is lovely and invites lingering conversations. We had a wonderful time.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 10/12/2014
    We enjoyed our brunch very much...had a very nice bloody Mary in the bar, and then our drinks were delivered to our table when we moved into the dining room. The food was very nice, tasty and hot, and the service was excellent. Loved talking to our "student- waiter, Keith. We will definitely come back. H.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for brunch, great for lunch, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Excellent pre-Symphony dinner
    likestew
    Dined on 10/11/2014
    The kitchen was slow so one needs to plan 1 1/2 hour symphony start. Lovely facility, good staff, very good food. We will use it again in the future when we attend the Santa Rosa Symphony.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • location location location
    houndie
    Dined on 9/23/2014
    We've eaten here several times now; the ambiance is insanely alluring with the spacious dining room and outdoor fire pits. Without doubt, the menu makes the dishes sound good but they are always bland. Our vegetable medley with summer squash had soggy vegetables. The grilled salmon also lacked panache. Desserts are usually good. Coffee drinks are disappointing. What a shame that they don't have a great chef at the helm to take this gorgeous space to the culinary perfection. We will continue to go there but only because it's close and convenient on performance nights.
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Marvelous
    Lidosailor
    Dined on 9/20/2014
    This is a marvelous way to begin a concert evening. The setting, the ambiance, the service and food is the way to begin a great evening out. Being at the Green Center makes this so convenient. It is simply a treat to have such a nice restaurant next to the Weil Hall.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • disappointing
    babs
    Dined on 9/3/2014
    Had eaten at Prelude once before and the meal was outstanding. This time the meal was mediocre. The pork chop and the fish were dry. The beets in the salad were overdone, soft, verging on mushy. What was outstanding was the sorbet dessert, which had a a bit of cream and fresh fruit on top. Great service.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for outdoor dining, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Ambiance perfect
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 9/3/2014
    The meal was not perfect, but the environment made up for it! Lovely inside & out.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Totally Unique!
    TheColonelVIP
    Dined on 8/30/2014
    This is a totally unique experience, a first class restaurant that serves wine located on a college compass at a world class music hall, with free parking and classic Sonoma County foods. They have hired renown Sonoma chef Joseph Keller as executive chef and manager, and the classiness shows.They have a 2 and 3 course Prie-fixe menu, The day I was there was this great whole chicken salad over heirloom tomatoes and I chose grilled Halibut as the main course and selected Anderson Valley Gewurtztraminer, and a Blue Moon, wheat beer. They have desert available but I chose to have a Simi dry rose instead. Calling or reserving ahead is a must, they are only open when there is a concert. It is in a classy comfortable indoor and outdoor setting
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Beautiful Place
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 8/16/2014
    This was the first time I had been to Prelude. The restaurant is beautiful. There was a prix fixe menu I assume because the restaurant is only open when there is a show. There were enough options on the menu for me. The food was very good, not the most inventive but higher end. The wine list does not have a wide variety but it does have some local favorites so I was happy. I sat outside which was amazing. They have built in overhead heaters on the patio. I did not receive service for quite some time after I sat down, but once I did receive a server, he supplied great service the rest of the night.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, scenic view, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Great theater venue
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010VIP
    Dined on 8/15/2014
    Prelude is a great place for dinner before a performance at the Green Center. The food is very good, it has a very interesting small wine list and the ambience is terrific. It is also nice to have dessert and a glass of champagne after the performance.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, special occasion, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Nice before a show
    MRandMRSV
    Dined on 8/10/2014
    We enjoyed our time at Prelude but wished there were more entree options and at least a hamburger for kids
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • How lucky we are Prelude is open
    SatisfiedVIP
    Dined on 8/2/2014
    This is a lovely restaurant. Due to the fact that Sonoma State Students are waiting tables, the level of professionalism is somewhat variable depending upon how much experience the student has had. That being said, we really enjoy the opportunity to dine at such a nice restaurant before attending a concert
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good location to launch an evening
    SonomaCountyDiners
    Dined on 7/31/2014
    Prelude is a good restaurant. The spacious setting is very elegant and relaxing. It's location makes it a perfect place to dine before a concert in the Green Center. Service is energetic and cheerful, though not experienced. Food is good and nicely presented. The menu is understandably limited by open hours dictated by the concert schedules. We were very pleased that service was geared to getting us into the auditorium on time. This is not a destination restaurant yet, but we see it evolving.
    Special Features:
    good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 7/26/2014
    Excellent service by staff: Both the bar and the dining room! The vegetables that chef Joseph provided for the entrée were unique and well prepared.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, special occasion, great for lunch, scenic view, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Not Just Outstanding Pre-event!
    Patrick
    Dined on 7/26/2014
    Being the only convenient restaurant option before attending events at the Green Music Center, we half expected a more captive audience experience than a memorable one, but we found the restaurant to be beautiful, comfortable, and gave us excellent value. Prix Fixe dinners were two or three courses for $35 or $45. Each course had three or four options. We had the gazpacho with panzanella salad for starter, dayboat scallops provencal for an entree and shared a hazelnut torte and local artisan cheese platter for dessert. Everything was fresh, seasonal and nicely presented. Potions were very generous. We were happy with our choices but looking at other plates as they went by it didn't seem like we could go wrong. We will be back!
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, great for outdoor dining, special occasion, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Worth the Price
    littledragon
    Dined on 7/15/2014
    For the price of the prix fixe menu I had high expectations. I was not disappointed. The offerings were diverse and complimented one another nicely. As a lover of garlic, I appreciated the unapologetic spiciness of the green tomato gazpacho. My steak arrived at my table at the perfect temperature and doneness. It was flavorful and presented well. I especially liked the varieties of mushrooms and fresh green beans combined with the acidity of the heirloom tomatoes served with the steak and mashed potatoes. The espresso semi-freddo was a stylish and pleasant ending to the meal. All of the portions were generous and each dish was presented well. All the staff were cordial and attentive.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Lovely place to dine...
    CharVIP
    Dined on 7/15/2014
    and then go to a concert. It's right in the Green Music Center at Sonoma State. Wait staff - students, I believe -- try hard. Food could be better. They do seem to try hard in the kitchen to put out what looks like a gourmet meal, but it doesn't quite make it. Flavors could be improved. We had gazpacho there and at a restaurant in Sonoma --- and there was no comparison -- Sonoma so much better. Salad good, not special. Scallop entree excellent, but beans uncooked. Steak so so. Sauce needed improvement. But beans were cooked okay and mushrooms with them excellent. Dessert good.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 13 ratings-only reviews submitted since June 23, 2014
    • Overall Rating4.2
    • Food3.8
    • Ambiance4.3
    • Service3.9
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The following 98 reviews are from the Prelude reviews archive.
  • When couscous is not couscous
    DJPMo
    Dined on 5/18/2014
    I was disappointed in the food and the food choices. I had read one menu online without realizing it is changed monthly, I think I heard. I decided on the lamb because it was advertised as being accompanied by Moroccan couscous with merquez sausage and spices. In reality it was bland pearl barley and the veggies were pickled, not spiced. The same for the roasted veggie salumi tray: the veggies were pickled not roasted. I acknowledge Ketel One vodka as being expensive, but as I was told it was the well vodka I did not expect it to be $12 a glass on the rocks.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, special occasion, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Prelude fits the Bill!
    Chinzia
    Dined on 5/18/2014
    Enjoyed our delicious lunch at Prelude, relaxed before our piano recital by Richard Goode. Will definitely eat there again, bar area and outdoors look inviting as well. Servers need practice.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Quality over selection
    Austintatious
    Dined on 5/11/2014
    The limited selection allows the chef to deliver superb quality. Our salad Nicoise had several large and perfectly grilled thick tuna slices. Our main courses were superb too. The wine select was small but excellent. Service was prompt. We shall return.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • In the Mood at the Green Center
    Chuck
    Dined on 5/11/2014
    Creative menus, college student wait staff pleasant and eager to please and learn, nice selection of half bottles of wine.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Mother's Day Outing
    Kelley
    Dined on 5/11/2014
    I took all of my mother's (I have three total) to the pre-fixed Mother's Day brunch last weekend and have been praised by each of them for my outstanding restaurant selection. The food was above-and-beyond fabulous, the ambience was extraordinary and the staff was superb. I could not have chosen a better location and look forward to taking my husband to Prelude soon!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • OK but needs to improve service
    Murph
    Dined on 5/4/2014
    Prelude is a nice place to go if you are attending a show at the Green Center. It is very pretty and the outdoor area looks especially inviting. I felt, along with many reviewers, that the menu was very limited and pricey for what you get. I also agree with the many reviews finding fault with the service. I understand that they are all students, but some things were inexcusable. Our server was very stony faced and didn't seem to really want to be there. Every time we switched courses, our used silverware was removed (which we expected), but it was NEVER replaced. And we could never find our server. So, by the time our last course arrived, we were literally eating it with our fingers because there was nothing left on the table.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • A Great Experience
    RevandDon
    Dined on 3/29/2014
    Located in the Green Music Center on the campus of Sonoma State University, we dined here for the first time prior to the Jessye Normal concert. Reservations are a must because the place was packed and people even dined while sitting at couches and lounge chairs with food placed on low coffee tables. While not realizing dinner was "prix fixe," the several choices seemed to appeal ot all appetites. Two-course prix fixe: $35. Three-course prix fixe: $45. It's a beautiful place and the food delicious. My only complaint is that the tables for two are too close together which makes having private conversations challenging.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Very good for a part time place
    MyFathersSon
    Dined on 3/16/2014
    Mussels with chorizo - excellent. Asparagus salad - very nice. Beef entree - a bit tough, but nicely seasoned and cooked properly. They have marvelous steak knives. Beet risotto was pretty flavorless - the only real low spot. Nice wait staff. Friendly and helpful, but not professionals. I'm willing to overlook a bunch of details to give some job experience to college students. It would be great if they could be open regularly, not just on performance days. That would probably smooth out the operations.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, notable wine list, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Concert dining @ The Green Center
    DianaD
    Dined on 3/16/2014
    A wonderful way to blend dining before a concert! Lovely atmosphere...
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for outdoor dining, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • It's convenient
    virtualvivi
    Dined on 3/16/2014
    Prelude is convenient for dinner before a show at Weill Hall. The facility is beautiful. The food is mediocre; the plates are pretty, the flavors meh. The menu is limited and did not appeal to us; choices of sole, skirt steak, pork belly - not my idea of fine dining. The meal arrives quickly - one benefit of a small menu. Waiter was pleasant but did not provide professional level service - empty water and cocktail glasses halfway through dinner, nothing on the table to drink. Dessert was plopped down immediately after entree plates were removed. Coffee was not offered, we had to ask. One could think they were trying to get us out the door for showtime - but the show didn't start for an hour - more likely they wanted to re-seat the table.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • PRELUDE
    AdventurousFoodieVIP
    Dined on 3/15/2014
    This restaurant makes the perfect prelude to a performance at the beautiful Green Hall. Reasonably priced prize fixe menu makes ordering simple and delivery prompt. Our first courses of soup and seared scallop/frisée salad were EXCELLANT. second courses of risotto and "pork belly confit" not so good. Pork belly was salty cured ham. Still will go back next performance.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Pleasant end to a fine concert..
    Concertgoer
    Dined on 3/9/2014
    Pleasant end to a fine concert.. Location and convenience at the concert venue is outstanding.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for outdoor dining, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Convenient before or after
    mindmavenVIP
    Dined on 3/9/2014
    If you are going to a performance at the Green Center, it is very convenient before or after the performance. They need to have a lunch menu before the performance, not a dinner menu which is too heavy before.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Dining post symphony Weil Hall
    RagsVIP
    Dined on 2/16/2014
    This is an excellent choice for dining post any venue at Weil Hall on Sonoma State campus. It is truly upscale modern architechture delight and the food is exceedingly well prepared. Unusual find for a College campus dining experience. Weil Hall is a wonderful music hall and must do. Prelude is the recommended after concert dining.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Comfortable
    triesnewthingsVIP
    Dined on 2/15/2014
    Convenient, expensive place for dinner when attending a performance at the Green Music center.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Loved the vegetarian options
    eatsoutoften
    Dined on 2/14/2014
    We ate here for the first time on Valentine's Day, but it won't be the last. It is great to have such a nice restaurant as a part of the Green Music Center. So convenient - get there early for the concert, find a great parking space, eat a delicious meal, and walk only a few steps to the concert hall. As to the food itself, it was delicious. Several nice choices for vegetarians, which was great, and so appreciated. Portion sizes were also great, as one doesn't want to get stuffed right before attending a concert. The dining area is very attractive. Our server was quite chatty, but very nice, so that didn't bother us. We will definitely return to Prelude.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • Before the concert hot spot
    Mamie
    Dined on 2/14/2014
    Prelude is our "go to" spot for a cocktail or before a concert meal at the Green Music Center. Given the fact that culinary students prep and serve the meal, it makes us feel good about supporting the restaurant. The ambiance is lovely and has views of the surrounding countryside and mountains.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, hot spot, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • dining experience
    WrayVIP
    Dined on 2/9/2014
    limited menu, but well-chosen limited menu but well-chosen
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • A great prelude to a performance
    sonomakid
    Dined on 2/9/2014
    We were completely pleased by every aspect of our dining experience prior to a Sunday afternoon performance at the Green Center. The prix fixe menu selections are limited in number, but will please anyone's dining tastes. A good wine selection of by-the-glass and half bottles. Loved the crab salad and the seared sea scallops/mushrooms. Will definitely go again.
    Special Features:
    late-night find, special occasion, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Surprise in Sonoma
    SFFoodFashista
    Dined on 2/5/2014
    Prelude is a very beautiful and sophisticated looking restaurant with a menu fixe. The selections were adequate and the presentations were lovely with the exception of a sauce with the scallops that was an unappetizing gray and did not appear to harmonize with the scallops that were quite delicious. The salads were great, wine very nice. Our waiter was truly attentive and cares about his customers. Overall we felt that food was not up to the price -- albeit we enjoyed our dinner in this lovely restaurant before attending a performance at the Green Music Center in the same building. All very beautiful and convenient.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Yummy
    Yummy
    Dined on 1/12/2014
    We love this warm venue. Romantic, yet large enough for a big group. Love the fire place. We go with every performance.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Lunch at Prelude
    robertcommanday
    Dined on 1/12/2014
    This restaurant in the front part of the Green Music Center is elegant, spacious, quiet and the food was fine, the wine well chosen and less pricey than at most restaurants. The waiters, very young, probably students from the University there, served nicely but should be more attentive.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet