Prelude at McCaw Hall

4
2706 Reviews
$31 to $50
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 2706 people are saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.0based on recent ratings
3.7
food
4.3
service
4.0
ambience
3.5
value
Noise · Moderate
84% of people would recommend it to a friend
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DP
DarleneP
Seattle
1 review
Dined on March 6, 2020
Overall4food3service5ambience5

The food is good. It is perfect for going to the Opera. Park once, check your coat and you are all set. They know you have to be done before show time so there is no stress worrying about getting done in time. And you don't have to travel to McCaw Hall.

BB
BobB
2 reviews
Dined on March 1, 2020
Overall4food4service5ambience4

Good option prior to performances …………………………………..

KS
vipKarenS
Seattle
35 reviews
Dined on March 1, 2020
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Everything was great but celery and prosciutto was excessively salty. Too much prosciutto I think.

BT
BellevueTravelers
Seattle
13 reviews
Dined on March 1, 2020
Overall4food3service5ambience5

Great service staff from begging to the table.

Portions are small and often more creative (fancy) than tasty. Missed the mark on healthy options by adding diary or a fancy meat decoration.

OC
OpalC
1 review
Dined on March 1, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This was the consummate dining experience for a matinee performance!
Staff was courteous and accommodating; food preparation and presentation were artistic and outstanding. Real whole food was delicious. The price was right.
Lauren was our wait person. She was great.

JM
JohnM
Seattle
27 reviews
Dined on February 29, 2020
Overall4food4service5ambience5

The food was good. The convenience was one of our main reasons to eat there before the opera.

IR
IRMAF
Seattle
18 reviews
Dined on February 29, 2020
Overall2food2service5ambience3

First of all, my husband and I were very disappointed when we arrived at Prelude. We have been Prelude patrons at most operas since the new restaurant opened 17 years ago. Seattle Opera had been part of our lives even prior to our marriage. This month we were celebrating our silver anniversary and had asked for a window table four weeks prior to our opera/dining date. When we arrived we were told we could not be accommodated as other parties had requested those tables prior to our request. Of course, we understand that you may only request and not reserve those tables. Still, as this was a special occasion, it was disappointing. It was also disappointing that our special night was not acknowledged in any way. Some restaurants will do this with a dessert. Actually, in the end, we did get a free dessert. This was because our meals arrived barely warm. Mine was the Braised Beef Short Ribs Bolognaise, which I sent back. My husband had ordered the Salt Crusted Leg of Lamb. His lamb was barely warm and the polenta was ice cold. He didn't send his back as he worried that they would simply nuke it and then the lamb would be overcooked. Prices at the Prelude Restaurant are on the high side, and the least one should expect is that food is served at the proper temperature. A high note of our evening was our server Bronte. She was delightful and apologetic for the kitchen's mistakes and eager to do everything to rectify the situation. In the many years we have patronized Prelude we have always been impressed by the lovely staff that have done their best to make our evening enjoyable.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Chicago
1 review
Dined on February 29, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Dinner with friends before an opera performance. Convenient and the food was delicious! Lauren was a very nice and attentive server. I would definitely go back.

GD
GinaD
Seattle
4 reviews
Dined on February 26, 2020
Overall4food3service5ambience4

Service was lovely and the waitstaff kept us focused so we would complete our meal before the opera.
Unfortunately, the lamb was leathery, polenta was like a rock, prosciutto arugula salad was delicious though served on a plate that too small to comfortably eat from.

T
Twograms
Seattle
6 reviews
Dined on February 26, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

We always eat there before attending the pre-performance lecture and opera.

c
cjp1
Seattle
8 reviews
Dined on February 23, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Loved the beat salad.
Excellent service.

w
wendy
Seattle
5 reviews
Dined on February 23, 2020
Overall3food2service5ambience4

We love Prelude but this visit was a bit off. Excellent service and beautiful deserts but the entree was undercooked and not up to their usual. We had asked for a window seat a few days ahead but were seated in the back of the room..

c
vipcarmenc
Seattle
2 reviews
Dined on February 23, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

I have been coming to the prelude for lunch before the opera and this was the best food experience this season. The Quality and quantity was outstanding. A good surprisel

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on February 22, 2020
Overall4food5service5ambience4

Service was excellent and food was good. The opera had a smaller attendance so it provided a leisurely dining experience.

E
Ehelent
Seattle
2 reviews
Dined on February 22, 2020
Overall4food3service4ambience5

The Harvest Table is a true bargain and most of the dishes were really good. Exceptions: the panini bread was stale and the soup wasn't hot and on the bland side.

JS
JayS
1 review
Dined on February 22, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Our Waiter, Charles, a long term server we have known for many years, was outstanding with great suggestions and service. Had window seating and watched the very long line Progress over 1 1/2 hour to attend the Warren town hall event at the Seattle Center. Quality of the food was superb, thank you. A great meal and conversation before the opera.

BQ
BarbaraQ
1 review
Dined on February 22, 2020
Overall4food4service5ambience3

A good place to have dinner before the opera. Menu always interesting and varied Seating a little tight.

Q
Quailwatcher
Seattle
3 reviews
Dined on February 9, 2020
Overall4food3service5ambience4

The best thing about Prelude is its proximity to the theater and the fact that staff know you have to finish eating before the performance starts. Our server was excellent.

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on February 9, 2020
Overall3food2service4ambience3

The service was excellent as always. I ordered the Cloud Eggs. The French toast served with the fru-fru poached eggs was very tasty but the entree was luke-warm. The tuxedo tiramisu was not that great: too much coco powder covering the dessert.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Seattle
1 review
Dined on February 9, 2020
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Lovely food and waiter was a doll!

O
Operafans
Seattle
2 reviews
Dined on February 8, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The whole experience here is lovely. I've found it to be consistently delightful for several years - and we've never missed a curtain call!

JA
JohnAKA
Seattle
9 reviews
Dined on February 7, 2020
Overall5food4service5ambience4

Service has really improved here. Either our server had the 110% mentality of a natural hospitality business person or the management has given them more rein to do a good job instead of just following procedure. Certainly won’t be my restaurant last choice when attending the opera or ballet henceforth.

N
Nigel
Seattle
1 review
Dined on February 6, 2020
Overall2food1service2ambience4

It was really convenient and ambiance was good. Service was pretty good and quick. Everything, including the prices, lent itself to fine dining; except the food. The food was no better than opening a can of Chef Boyardee. Really disappointing. If you’re going to McCaw Hall, don’t eat here. Go to a real restaurant nearby.

P
janciP
Seattle
1 review
Dined on February 6, 2020
Overall3food2service5ambience2

Convenient when attending a performance. Food was mediocre. My granddaughter ordered chicken strip and they were very overcooked. My beef dish had great flavor, but the first two bites were fat meat and I stopped eating. Dessert seemed stale. Service very good.

S
Spike
Anchorage
6 reviews
Dined on February 6, 2020
Overall2food1service5ambience3

The staff was very pleasant and the service was excellent. However, while the sections of king crab served with the crab bisque were generous the bisque was cold and the tiramisu was disappointing. It appears the food is not prepared on site and therefore suffers from the delay necessitated by the transport to the Hall.

JG
JoanneG
1 review
Dined on February 6, 2020
Overall2food1service4ambience3

The service staff were friendly and made it ok that we were running late to our table because of the commute. The location is perfect for that venue , not having to go outside , stand in line to verify tickets again etc was perfect. The prices seamed reasonable .. but the food was disappointing.
I am leaving this in-depth review because I believe this place could really have a good thing if they stepped up the menu and cared a bit more about the flavor of the food ..
The buffet was much like a charcuterie tray.. lots of cheese did I say cheese ! some cold cuts, olives and lettuce, cold pesto pasta.. and cheese soup with minimal flavor and slightly curdled..
It would have been nice to have another hot dish or some sort and another protein.
I ordered Chicken Strips and Tatter Tots from the kids menu for my 5 year old granddaughter. I could smell them before I even tasted them .. old grease.. yuck … No wonder it wasn't a big deal we were late ! there were many open tables..
I think this place has so much potential because of the location.. however I wont be coming back unless I hear that changes have been made with the menu..

SH
vipSusanH
Seattle
24 reviews
Dined on February 2, 2020
Overall4food3service3ambience4

I would recommend Prelude for anyone attending a function at McCaw Hall. However, I would not visit this restaurant if I weren't seeing a performance. The food is always ok but not great. I like that they have brought in the harvest table, but I wish they would label items like salad dressings and soups. The soup the other night was very thin and a yellowy color. What was it--I couldn't tell. It tasted ok but who knows what I was eating. The mixed lettuce salad had some cherry tomatoes and rather large carrot slices, but nothing else of interest. The salad dressings, however, were very good. (but not labeled) There could have been one or more other salads--maybe a vegetable salad or pasta salad. The price of the harvest table is fair, but I often feel the entrees are overpriced for what they are.

NT
NinaT
Vancouver
7 reviews
Dined on February 2, 2020
Overall3food2service3ambience3

It’s a great location for those going to see a performance at PNB, but sadly the food is expensive and isn’t good.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Seattle
4 reviews
Dined on February 1, 2020
Overall3food2service3ambience4

You'd expect a better experience.

KB
KayB
Seattle
6 reviews
Dined on February 1, 2020
Overall3food2service3ambience3

I have had season PNB tickets for over 25 years, we have lunch before each performance. The menu in the past several years has not been up to par. There are entrees that you have no idea what they are until explained by your server, combinations of food are different (an example: short ribs w/egg!!) or a great omelet wrapped around asparagus, with "pork belly" and maple syrup poured over, why the greasy pork instead of bacon and why the syrup. It is a challenge to have lunch there, and we will continue to do so as it is very convenient for my party. Perhaps a different Chef?!?! k. betts

TC
TobieC
Seattle
2 reviews
Dined on February 1, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience3

The food was great and the menu was great. We very much enjoyed it. Next time we attend an event at The theater, we will eat here again.

O
Out2lunch
Seattle
7 reviews
Dined on January 31, 2020
Overall5food4service5ambience4

Pleasant way to relax and dine prior to ballet performance. Will plan to do this again.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Seattle
42 reviews
Dined on January 25, 2020
Overall4food3service5ambience4

Pre opera dinner

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L
Larry
Seattle
9 reviews
Dined on January 25, 2020
Overall3food1service3ambience2

The beef was grossly under cooked. The pasta also was under done. I could not eat the meal.
Very disappointing. Fro "$30.00 you expect the food to be properly prepared.

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on January 24, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The staff was amazing and got us to the opera on time and the food was outstanding.

GS
GrouchyinSeattle
Seattle
8 reviews
Dined on January 24, 2020
Overall3food3service4ambience3

I would recommend it because of its convenient location.
I found the menu very limited , with somewhat unusual dishes. Macaroni and cheese accompanying a good cut of beef is different. The macaroni and cheese dish was cold.
The service is good.

C
Chris
New York Area
1 review
Dined on January 22, 2020
Overall3food3service4ambience4

The best feature of this restaurant is the location right in the opera house, especially in poor weather. The service and ambiance are very good. The food is good but not great. The only real problem with the food is that the menu is very limited - only 4 entrees and they are always the same. It gets very boring.

JT
JenniferT
Seattle
1 review
Dined on January 19, 2020
Overall3food3service5ambience5

Very convenient for a pre Opera lunch at the matinee. However, the portion sizes are quite small, so be prepared with perhaps having had a little something to eat before or have some more to eat after. I'm actually fairly certain that my avocado toast was merely schmeared with guacamole. The service is absolutely impeccable. As long as you're prepared for it, it's a terrific place to very convenient for a pre opera lunch At the matinee. However, the portion sizes are quite small, so be prepared with perhaps having had a little something to eat before or have somewhere to eat after.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Seattle
2 reviews
Dined on January 19, 2020
Overall5food5service3ambience5

When I dine at Prelude I enjoy the harvest table with all of the salads, cheeses, soup, etc. For $20.00 you can't beat the value.

S
Savorer
Seattle
14 reviews
Dined on January 18, 2020
Overall2food2service1ambience2

The Harvest Table offerings were disappointing.

FAQs

Prelude at McCaw Hall is rated 4 stars by 2706 OpenTable diners.

Yes, you can generally book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size on OpenTable. Due to local restrictions, this restaurant may not be accepting reservations at the moment.