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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Foodspotting photos
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Ambiance
Prelude reviews from OpenTable diners
18 reviews since May 23, 2014
Overall Rating4.1
  • Food3.7
    Service3.8
  • Ambiance4.7
    Noise LevelModerate
100% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
great for outdoor dining (11)special occasion (10)good for groups (5)fit for foodies (4)neighborhood gem (4)scenic view (3)notable wine list (3)romantic (3)great for brunch (2)vibrant bar scene (2)great for lunch (1)Show More
  • Elegant, relaxing
    Sara
    Dined on 11/23/2013
    Eating at prelude was a great treat. Beautiful surroundings, great ambience, lots of space around tables, a great place to have conversations. Service was attentive and sensitive to all our needs. We had a great time there.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, notable wine list, romantic, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great place to dine before
    Fred
    Dined on 11/9/2013
    Great place to dine before a concert at the Green Music Center. Great service and great food.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Can stand on its own
    Doofus
    Dined on 11/9/2013
    No longer must Prelude exist as just a convenient spot before a performance. Food preparations are superb. The table next to ours gushed, "This is the best filet mignon we've ever had!" Menu items are quite limited, however and inconsistently priced. Why should the farro risotto be priced the same as the filet mignon? Dessert offerings are weak. A fresh fruit tart should be listed. Wines tend to be very high in alcohol. But the ambiance and service are exemplary.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • I had to ask for a server
    SueG
    Dined on 11/9/2013
    I had to ask for a server to come and take our order after sitting and waiting for awhile . I am never impressed when the server says "what can I get you guys". I am less impressed when the server says "who has the steak". Food was good. We were going to symphony that night ( which was fantastic) and wanted a close restaurant location
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Best filet mignon ever!
    Boondocker
    Dined on 11/9/2013
    We chose the three course fixed price and both had the filet mignon. We eat meat about three times a year so had great hopes it would be good. It was by far the best filet mignon we've had at any restaurant! The salad (with duck confit) was outstanding and so was the chocolate semifreddo. Love that students are the waitresses and waiters. The service isn't fabulous but the enthusiasm is.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Not so Great
    lovesfinedining
    Dined on 11/2/2013
    This restaurant is quite convenient if one is going to a concert at Weill Hall at Sonoma State. However, the service was questionable, with our order of salmon cancelled half way through the meal because they'd gotten too many complaints that it was "fishy." The person who told us this blamed it on the sauce, but we all know that fish is too "fishy" when it's old. The senior staff was quite solicitous but the younger ones seemed to not know what they were doing. When I ordered a glass of their pinot noir -- I got the glass but not the wine. When my friend ordered the same thing, she got a glass with wine, but in a completely different type of glass. And the wine is overpriced.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great Pre Concert Dining
    TJay
    Dined on 10/29/2013
    Relaxing and comfortable atmosphere, excellent attentive staff, wholesome and delicious food.
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Prelude: A Perfect Fit
    Temudjin
    Dined on 10/29/2013
    We enjoyed our evening at the Weill Center. As first time attendees we decided on dinner at Prelude before the performance. Arriving earlier than our reservations, we were seated immediately. Staff were friendly and helpful. The food was fresh and plentiful. The food presentation was lovely and the flavors perfect for our fall evening. Prelude is a certainty for our next evening on campus.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, notable wine list, late-night find, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Post event
    Davio
    Dined on 10/27/2013
    Small menu but sometime for everyone. Food was very good and presented beautifully. Service was fantastic. It is a must after a event @ the GMC.
    Special Features:
    notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Weill Hall Experience
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010VIP
    Dined on 10/26/2013
    This was our first time at Weill Hall at Sonoma State and I booked dinner at Prelude. The food was good, the ambience great and being next to the theater makes it a delightful experience. . All in all a great experience with the theater.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Our food was only WARM when
    hoping
    Dined on 10/26/2013
    Our food was only WARM when we got it and cold when we finished it. My husband ordered an espresso which also arrived only warm. Great service but why do they have to walk around with one hand behind their backs???????????
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Wonderful ambience but the
    None
    Dined on 10/12/2013
    Wonderful ambience but the food (black cod) was nicely presented but tasteless. We were terribly disappointed especially considering the prices.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • First choice for pre-concert dinner
    Dmitri
    Dined on 10/7/2013
    We chose Prelude for our pre-concert meal because of its proximity to the Weill Music Hall and good reviews by word of mouth. Prelude offers a prix fixe menu with choices of three starters, three entrees and three desserts, along with a good selection of local wines and a full bar. All of our food was perfectly cooked and seasoned, and beautifully presented. The hospitality was first-rate. We'll be going again.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • I see they have made some
    Symphonynightreview
    Dined on 10/7/2013
    I see they have made some postive changes from last year. Did NOT like the prix fixe menu. Options very limited and very expensive. I wasn't expecting to pay $55 for a green bean salad and an acorn squash main dish with my (1) glass of wine! Food was better then last year which I am happy about, but our waiter did not know the two items we inquired about on the menu, so please educate them prior to serving.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Enjoyable
    Mopy
    Dined on 10/6/2013
    We dined following a symphony afternoon performance. It was very quiet, not many diners. The interior is pleasant, the food OK, the service very friendly if a little slow and lacking in professional touches ( our server couldn't answer questions about menu items, missed on who ordered what every time, delivered our coffee cold). Nonetheless we were glad we went. Go figure.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, great for brunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Food
    franny
    Dined on 10/6/2013
    I don't like the new menu of "small plates". The selections are awful. GO BACK TO THE BRUNCH MENU you used to have!
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Suggestions from a fan
    poohbear
    Dined on 10/6/2013
    We loved the setting, the servers were attentive if in training, and convenient for symphony. HOWEVER, although the food was yummy, the portions (soup) were much too small for the prices and we found little we could do for lunch (we would have been happy with brunch) on a Sunday--the menu had 2 salads which appeared challenging to interpret although we are experienced diners, the menu had 1 soup, potato cakes, and then a hamburger plate. We ended up with soup and ordering the dessert cheese platter to share--lunch would have been a disaster without the cheese. We spent $75 together for soup, a split cheese platter, wine, coffee, a shared desert. That seems too pricey and for a non-red meat eater, there were few options.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Delicious and beautifully presented
    CharVIP
    Dined on 9/12/2013
    We had a wonderful dinner before the symphony concert at this lovely restaurant. The food was delicious, artistically presented, service outstanding and ambience lovely. Greatly improved over the last time we were there.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Not great for food and service
    BobsVIP
    Dined on 7/24/2013
    Prelude is a very attractive space and is very convenient for concert goers. It's quite disappointing that the menu is so limited and some of the food not really very good . Last night was my fourth and most disappointing visit. A starter turned out to be just a small bowl with six or eight grilled prawns. Not very imaginative. The salmon entre was overcooked and very dry. My guest had the skirt steak which didn't taste bad but was very tough. This level of food quality, presentation, and preparation was consistent with prior visits. Student servers worked hard but were quite disorganized and slow. We arrived two hours prior to the performance but had to forgo dessert and coffee. Our waiter seemed quite lost and confused.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Doesn't quite make it....
    CharVIP
    Dined on 7/16/2013
    Great place to go before a concert at the Green Center at Sonoma State University. Lovely ambience. Student servers run around like crazy, but not very efficiently. They are very pleasant, however. Food varies. Cold pea soup outstanding. Rare hamburger came well done and dry. Skirt steak very good. Dessert so-so. I'll be anxious to see if they are more consistently good in the future.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • In Its Way
    symphony
    Dined on 7/14/2013
    We love the ambience of the restaurant. We were disappointed in the lack of choices before the concert since we had arrived at 2pm intending to eat a full lunch. The menu on the website was misleading on this. We could only have burgers. The appetizer (mozzarella) was difficult to share and eat and no small plates were brought out. We also had to stand in line while bags were checked. That said, we love the hall and the restaurant as a beautiful place to bring friends from out of town. Our waitress was charming and explained the menu limitation with grace. We will continue to support the venue and know that it will take time to work all of the logistics out. We also returned after the concert for wine and had a lovely time.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, notable wine list, romantic, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • 4th of July dinner
    Janess
    Dined on 7/4/2013
    This was our first time dining at Prelude, and I'm sure we'll return. Everything was delicious except for the hangar steak that I ordered. It was so hot with either cayenne or chipotle pepper that I couldn't eat much. Perhaps I should have paid attention to the spices before I ordered it. It was cooked and presented well, however. Appetizer and dessert were excellent. We will certainly return as we have season tickets to the SR Symphony.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Took awhile but good restaurant
    Symphonynightreview
    Dined on 5/13/2013
    Took awhile but good restaurant before a performance.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Prelude is a great gem in
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 4/21/2013
    Prelude is a great gem in the making. I highly recommend. Only real elegant dining in Rohnert Park, Petaluma and south Santa Rosa.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • The food was pretentious and
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 4/18/2013
    The food was pretentious and proved to be mediocre and over priced. The menu was too limited. Through no fault of the server our dessert order was lost. The flow of customers and service was geared to the theater timing so the rush at the end of our meal was chaotic for us and the rest of the restaurant. As an added note we had planned our reservation to allow ourselves plenty of time to dine without having to rush.
    Special Features:
    scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Convenient, very attractive
    CharVIP
    Dined on 3/18/2013
    Convenient, very attractive restaurant next to the Green Music Center, so it's a great place to eat before a concert. Food was a little disappointing, however. Variable. Tasty small "sorpris de chef," good salads, but my lamb chop dish was poor and expensive. Only one chop, too well done (I asked for rare), with an unpleasant tasting sauce. Came with beans and turnips without any flavor - tasted just boiled. My husband's gnocchi was very good. Desserts only okay. Lemon curd not sour enough. Bread pudding too bready, needed sauce or something. Student wait staff wonderful, obliging.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Prelude is only open before
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 3/18/2013
    Prelude is only open before or after concerts at the Green Music Center. I found the food very tasty and appreciated the suggested pairing of wine with menu items. Wait staff was very attentive throughout the meal.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • A very pleasant way to enjoy
    skidadVIP
    Dined on 3/17/2013
    A very pleasant way to enjoy a meal before a concert at the Green Music Center at Sonoma State University.The food was well prepared and served in a timely manner with careful consideration for the beginning of the concert. Outdoor dining opportunity adds a nice option during warm weather.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Prelude is a very attractive
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 3/16/2013
    Prelude is a very attractive restaurant with with very good service. The food is very good but the portions are quite limited. It is very convenient to dine there before the music programs.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • An excellent restaurant for
    DianeVIP
    Dined on 3/16/2013
    An excellent restaurant for dinner before or after the Santa Rosa Symphony concerts. Service staff is conscious of timing of lecture and concert.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Menu is small, needs more
    Northbay
    Dined on 3/6/2013
    Menu is small, needs more moderately priced dishes. I wish it was open on a more regular basis than on just concert nights.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Nice quick service prior to
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 2/13/2013
    Nice quick service prior to attending a concert. Would like to try outside next time
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • There was a remarkable improvement
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 2/11/2013
    There was a remarkable improvement from our last dinner at Prelude! The service was perfect, food delicious. We were very well cared for. The only comments I have are; there is not a table for 6. We were put at a table for 8-10. That makes it difficult to carry on a conversation. Also, for the prices $27-29, the servings were small. Several of our guests made that comment. Although everything was delicious.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • The restaurant is just beautiful.
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 2/10/2013
    The restaurant is just beautiful. Tables are set far enough apart to assure privacy. Food was excellent. Pricing was below what one might expect to pay at other restaurants. Service was friendly and not at all pushy. We were there for 2 1/2 hours. And the featured J. champagne is an excellent choice. I would definitely go back.
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion, scenic view, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Prelude is a prelude to disaster!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006VIP
    Dined on 2/9/2013
    This was the worst dining experience I have ever had: 1- We arrived almost 2 hours before the SR Symphony performance and barely got out of the restaurant in time. 2- No one even acknowledged our presence (besides seating us) for over 30 minutes. 3- We were not informed about the specials and never asked if we wanted coffee or dessert (thank God!). 4- The worst was the fact that once I asked about the specials, I was told by the Manager that the special was "lobster ravioli", which I then ordered. When it came, there was no lobster at all, so I asked the chef, who was walking the dining room and he said there was no lobster ravioli on the menu and no lobster in the kitchen at all!!! We will never go back to Prelude again!
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Meh
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 1/31/2013
    It is a sweet idea to have student waiters, but if you want to charge these prices they need to be trained! Our waiter was clueless. I had to remind him to bring things (like our drinks), he had no sense of when to come to the table, made us wait to give our order while waiting on people next to us who were sat later, etc. Food was good but not great given the prices. Clearly set up as an "airport type restaurant": captive audience for the green center so you can charge whatever you want.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Overpriced for a pretty ordinary
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 1/31/2013
    Overpriced for a pretty ordinary meal in an outstanding venue.
    Special Features:
    special occasion, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Love the idea (student-training);
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 1/14/2013
    Love the idea (student-training); superb food; enjoyable service -- all in a fabulous venue prior to enjoying a concert; spectacular combination!...
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • The restaurant is very well
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 1/14/2013
    The restaurant is very well decorated. On tables for two you are very close and there isn't much privacy. Students are waiting tables and doing a good job - will be better with more experience. It is a great way to have dinner and go to the symphony and not have to park twice. Convenient.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Young staff was kind but obviously
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 1/13/2013
    Young staff was kind but obviously inexperienced. We wondered if they were culinary students and if so it should be noted/advertised so there is not an expectation of professional staff. Our brunch arrived about 30 minutes after we ordered. Buckwheat crepes were cold and wait staff said it was a dish that was served at room temp...maybe something to note on menu. Otherwise very nice atmosphere and would love to have as 'go to' for symphony if it can come up to caliber of other offerings in Sonoma County.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate