Prelude at McCaw Hall

4.1
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2627 Reviews
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$31 to $50
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Contemporary American

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Pre/post Theatre
Welcome to Prelude - on the Promenade Level of Marion Oliver McCaw Hall at Seattle Center. Sophistication, artistry and signature dishes designed by our Executive Chef await your visit. Prelude features the freshest local produce, artisanal products, a large selection of Northwest wines by the glass and half bottle, and our sublime take on cuisine executed by the Spectra 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.
What 2627 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.1based on recent ratings
3.9
food
4.2
service
4.0
ambience
3.6
value
Noise · Moderate
81% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OT
Seattle
5 reviews
Dined 7 days ago
Overall1food1service1ambience1

Food is really terrible and overpriced. We’ve tried this restaurant several times now and won’t be back.

Y
Seattle
17 reviews
Dined 7 days ago
Overall4food3service3ambience3

Prelude is a convenient place for dinner before a performance. The service was a bit hit and miss. We had to search out our server a few times. My granddaughter was anxious for her dessert and we waited .. waited....for the dessert menu. The farm-table buffet was good with a nice variety. Although the deviled eggs and noodle dish did not have much flavor. I did love the beef barley soup.

KB
Seattle
5 reviews
Dined on November 17, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience5

Our meals this season have been great, much improvement from several years ago. New Chef? We enjoyed our lunch on this past Sunday very much.

KW
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on November 17, 2019
Overall2food1service3ambience4

Try some real food. People want simple food at a good value.

HK
1 review
Dined on November 16, 2019
Overall4food4service2ambience3

Stand alone appetizer for $20 is good deal and my friend and I enjoyed very much.

OT
Seattle
1 review
Dined on November 15, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Buffet was great

LK
Seattle
5 reviews
Dined on November 9, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Last Saturday at Prelude was the best experience we have had in a long time. The Harvest Table which three out of the four of us had, was by far the best we've had. I'd stick with the Mediterranean theme of cold meats, hummus, grape leaves, crostinis, artichoke hearts, wheat berry salad, etc. as it was outstanding. The addition of a sweet as dessert was excellent. We loved the tiny chocolate mousse tarts. The quality of the meals produced has improved so much. Keep up the good work ! Please also keep the Harvest Table option.

KP
Seattle
1 review
Dined on November 8, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

My steak was perfect! My mom had the cod chowder which was outstanding!

JW
Seattle
7 reviews
Dined on November 1, 2019
Overall1food3service1ambience4

Typically the service here is very good but the evening we went prior to the performance of La Cenerentola, we waited and waited and waited for our dinner due to what I assume was a problem in the kitchen. Our server was very kind and apologetic as was the manager who comped us the entree. We did receive our food with only about ten minutes to bolt it down before the performance. Oddly enough, no one else around us seemed to be having this problem, so I’m still not sure why we alone had the issue. The food tasted good so if you are thinking of going, either get there 2 hours before a performance (we got there 90 minutes before) or select the buffet to be sure you don’t have to rush. Very disappointing.

CK
Seattle
4 reviews
Dined on November 1, 2019
Overall4food3service4ambience3

Pleasant waitress but the food average. My black cod chowder (a dish that was new to me) was surprising in several ways: 1-the cod was barely cooked 2-the chowder itself tasted strongly of cream and
not much other flavoring and 3-the few carrots were sad looking little fellows. My husband liked his osso bucco but felt his portion was small. I fear it was not a gourmet meal for the price.

TH
Seattle
4 reviews
Dined on October 30, 2019
Overall4food5service3ambience3

Going to the opera

O
Seattle
4 reviews
Dined on October 30, 2019
Overall4food3service3ambience3

Moussaka was very good. One of the desserts (lemon tart) was outstanding. The pumpkin Puree was not very good it was too expensive for what was on offer.

PF
Seattle
1 review
Dined on October 30, 2019
Overall3food3service4ambience3

The menu had either very heavy food or salads. Something like chicken, fish, or warmed quiche would be good. The quiche we had was cold.

JS
Seattle
56 reviews
Dined on October 30, 2019
Overall3food3service3ambience3

The lamb osso bocco on mashed parsnips was the most unappealing and unappetizing color and presentation. It looked like a bowel movement on a plate. Presentation is as important as the taste. Really, there needed to be some green on the plate to brighten it up. Just a few sprigs of broccolini would have made all the difference. Once I got over the offensive look of the thing, the taste was ok, the lamb tender, the mashed parsnips well seasoned, but good god, please make things look appetizing. It doesn’t take that much to do so.

RK
Seattle
1 review
Dined on October 27, 2019
Overall2food5service5ambience5

I appreciate so much being asked how the noise level of the restaurant affected me. Thank you for caring about that. It really was exactly as it should have been for my comfort as a hard of hearing person. I enjoyed the experience immensely.

DJ
Seattle
2 reviews
Dined on October 27, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

As always, the food and service were great! It's so nice to be able to have a leisurely meal before the Opera.

OT
Seattle
37 reviews
Dined on October 26, 2019
Overall4food3service5ambience4

Opera night out

s
Seattle
11 reviews
Dined on October 20, 2019
Overall4food4service3ambience4

We were seated promptly. Our server was prompt, helpful, and did a good job. Our food selection was good and was tasty. The only drawback was from time of making our food selections until served was close to 30 minutes...longer than we have experienced in past...It made it tighter than we prefer between the time we finish eating and the start of the opera.

OL
New Orleans
6 reviews
Dined on October 20, 2019
Overall2food2service4ambience3

We've eaten there several times over the last few years, but only when we haven't had much of a choice. The service is very good, but the food quality and quantity is almost always disappointing. In addition, it's a bit overpriced.

BN
Seattle
3 reviews
Dined on October 20, 2019
Overall4food5service4ambience4

Very pleased with the newer menu selections…..I stopped having lunch here before the operas since the change in menu was rather drastic. Enjoyed lunch on October 20th, staff was very friendly and conversive. Lunch options were very good.

AD
Seattle
4 reviews
Dined on October 19, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience3

Convenient for opera thereby more relaxing. There were no options on the menu for those who are lactose intolerant. So we wasted a lot of time with our server running back to the kitchen to check on what our guest could eat. NOTE to Chef! It would be nice if you included menu options for those with lactose or gluten issues or could alter items to accommodate. The Harvest Table is a nice solution but not a substitute for a hot meal. NIH studies indicate 65% of the human population has some level of lactose intolerance.

B
Seattle
22 reviews
Dined on October 19, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience3

Our major complaint is that the menu seems to be fairly static. It would be nice to see new things. Prelude is very convenient to the opera and the serving staff is first-rate

R
Seattle
13 reviews
Dined on October 19, 2019
Overall3food3service3ambience3

Attending opera

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KB
Seattle
6 reviews
Dined on October 6, 2019
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Have been a member of PNB for over 30 years, and mostly, especially in the last 10 years, have had lunch at Prelude before performance. This past Sunday, October 6th was the most enjoyable menu that has been presented. Lunch was excellent and I could understand the entree's offered. Thanks perhaps to a new chef, wherever the food is coming from.

KF
Seattle
9 reviews
Dined on October 6, 2019
Overall3food3service3ambience3

Could use more choices such as soups,salads, and sandwiches. Pea salad was ok but not great. Items are quite pricey!

MK
1 review
Dined on October 6, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Relaxing, great food, fair pricing. So convenient for the ballet!

OB
Columbus
3 reviews
Dined on October 6, 2019
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Convenient for attending ballet. Understandably it is a bit pricy, The menu varies

SH
Seattle
22 reviews
Dined on October 5, 2019
Overall3food3service3ambience4

I would recommend this to anyone going to a performance at McCaw Hall--it's convenient and the restaurant is very pleasant. The food isn't always the best. I had the eggplant mousaka, which had a lot of potatoes--almost too many. I asked the server if they had cracked pepper. She said she didn't know but would find out. She never returned so I guess they didn't have any.
The casserole was good, but nothing great. However, the salad with figs and oranges was delicious.

BT
Seattle
12 reviews
Dined on October 5, 2019
Overall4food2service5ambience5

We are always pleased with the service staff. However, would urge the restaurant to find more "learning" from those patrons who provide a rating of less than 4. The 4's and 5's are great. The 3's are likely there because of the convenience factor. Prelude is so convenient for those attending a performance at McCall Hall. Management should then analyze why there are so many empty tables for the ballet performances - particularly when you consider the House is pretty full for the performances. Is there an effort to get more of those folks to eat at Prelude?

It is understandable to have a limited number of items on the menu, given the need for quick turn-around. We are noting more vegan and gluten-free items. But also consider one or two non-dairy entree's. Don't get too fancy and forget the basics.

JB
1 review
Dined on October 5, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience4

Loved having a quality meal before the Ballet. The biggest issue was not having any designated gluten free entree options. There were two options for starters and desserts but not one of four options for entree was stated as gluten free. Our server did say the sirloin and lamb were gluten free and side dishes could be substituted to make the plate gluten free. We choose the sirloin and it was wonderful but the garnish was fried onions that we were not told was gluten free so we scrapped off and ate around. Overall it was a great meal but I will check ahead on menu choices to be very informed for dietary needs if making reservations in the future.

RM
Seattle
4 reviews
Dined on September 27, 2019
Overall2food2service2ambience4

The food has deteriorated over the last few years. The chef over-relies on cheese for flavor. There are no vegan entrees. The only soup/fish dish was laced with cream. "Heart healthy" is an unknown concept to this chef. Far too much fatty meat or other animal fats. The salad bar is unappetizing with few choices, poor quality meat and cheese and few healthy choices. On Friday, we had to wait for an ordered salad for 20 minutes while other guests who ordered later received the same salad. Our waiter was very bad-tempered although in the past the wait staff have been pleasant. Prelude relies on having a captive clientele. While Prelude has to serve a lot of customers in a short time period, a lot of the preparation can be done ahead of time and the menu could be healthier regardless of time pressure.

l
Seattle
18 reviews
Dined on September 27, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Good service, timely (in time for ballet performance), interesting menu.

NS
Seattle
9 reviews
Dined on September 27, 2019
Overall4food3service4ambience4

Prelude is conveniently located for those going to the Opera or ballet. Our waitress was prompt, warm and helpful. We enjoyed the Harvest Table buffet, which included a delicious hearty fall soup/stew and various appetizers and a salad. Loved the convenience and style of the restaurant.

AJ
Seattle
18 reviews
Dined on September 27, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Such an easy way to have dinner, and enjoy conversation with friends before sharing a performance at McCaw. The improvements to dampen the noise are appreciated

AW
1 review
Dined on September 27, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Service let me taste different wine by the glass before I ordered one. Excellent friendly service.

Lesson learned; If you want a booth, it is good to ask at the time of reservation...we still got a booth but not by the window. If you want to be in the back corner, ask when making a reservation.

Oh and bring your own A-1 sauce for the steak. They didn’t have it.

DT
1 review
Dined on August 28, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Despite the variety of sitting times, they always seem to get you on your way with absolutely no rush. Great service and I appreciate the portion sizes are not huge - I can order all courses (well not always dessert.) Great place to catch up with an old friend before the opera.

A
Seattle
21 reviews
Dined on August 25, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Very pleased that the menu has been expanded to include several breakfast/brunch items. Our server Lauren was delightful!!

i
Seattle
4 reviews
Dined on August 25, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Wonderful Harvest Lunch table of appetizers as an option. Two of us really enjoyed that. Our server was attentive without being intrusive.

JG
Seattle
1 review
Dined on August 24, 2019
Overall2food1service5ambience3

Food is very poor and significantly overpriced. I will not return.

B
Seattle
6 reviews
Dined on August 24, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent seating. Great waitstaff. Black cod soup
was lovely- a little too much cream, though.