Prelude at McCaw Hall

3.7
2408 reviews
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$31 to $50
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Contemporary American
Top Tags:
  • Pre/post Theatre
  • Creative Cuisine
  • Special Occasion
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 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.
Dining Style
Casual Elegant
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Cuisines
Contemporary American
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Hours of operation
Dinner/Brunch:
Prelude opens 2.5 hours (Opera performances) and 2 hours (Ballet performances) prior show start.


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Phone number
(206) 615-0404
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Payment options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Smart Casual
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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, or larger events our team is experienced and ready to handle the details for you. For larger parties please ask for our Catering Director and we will be happy to put you in contact with her.
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Private party contact
Susan Cuturilo: (206) 615-0254
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Catering
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.
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Cross street
4th & Mercer
Additional
Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Cocktails, Corkage Fee, Full Bar, Non-Smoking, Private Room, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine
What 2408 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
3.7based on recent ratings
3.4
food
4.1
service
3.8
ambience
3.1
value
Noise · Moderate
70% of people would recommend it to a friend
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3.0Dined 5 days ago

Had to request bread and butter twice. Never asked if we wanted coffee or a dessert...but the bill came anyway.
One of our party wasn’t very hungry and was hoping for a cup of soup...not a lot of options for a “snack”.

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3.0Dined 5 days ago

I’ve eaten here 3times and every time it’s been a different experience. First time terrible service, mediocre food. Second time great service, great food. Third time mediocre service, poor food.....eggs were over cooked and hard. Menu changes were not for the better. Don’t know if we’ll be back. We patronize because of it’s convenient location in the lobby of McCaw Hall for a pre opera performance meal.

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4.0Dined 5 days ago

We have enjoyed lunch prior to the Sunday matinee of the Seattle Opera for many years. Prelude Restaurant is a convenient place to have lunch as we have a rather long ride to get to Seattle for the performance. The service is good, the food is good and sometimes outstanding. My one complaint this time is that there were no gluten free desserts available. In prior visits, we could just order ice cream, but that item has been taken off the menu. So please, gluten free dessert options, the more gooey chocolaty the better or, at least, ice cream as an option.

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4.0Dined 5 days ago

Good service and food; like especially the idea of intermission dessert and coffee

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5.0Dined 5 days ago

As usual, the food was great and the service was excellent. But for me, the best thing about Prelude is that it’s right in McCaw Hall.

So we park once, take the skybridge, and then have a delicious, relaxed pre-Opera brunch. That gives us just enough time for the lecture and to get to our seats. Perfect!

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3.0Dined 6 days ago

While in the past the food was good, this time the main dish of Ox Tail was 90% fat--not tasty. The service was slow and confused. It took a few different times to get things correct,

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2.0Dined 6 days ago

My wife and I are season subscribers to the opera, and we thought we would give Prelude restaurant another try at the beginning of this season. Terribly disappointed again, as always: limited menu; pretentious; awfully slow service (not enough servers available, so the wait was considerable); horribly over-priced. Cannot recommend that you patronize this restaurant. Go somewhere else for a bite to eat before the performance or production. This restaurant is an embarrassment to McCaw Hall. Everything else about the Hall and its productions are spectacular and fun and fantastic. But, dining at the Hall is just not a very good or very satisfying experience...and we have dined there multiple times. We are slow learners, I guess.

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2.0Dined 6 days ago

I've dined at Prelude a few times before an opera. As a season ticket holder, I like the idea of dining in the same complex as the theater. My previous experiences have all been quite positive but Saturday's dinner was poor. I understand the purpose of the restaurant so won't fault it for the crowded conditions and high noise level. I prefer quiet restaurants and the noise level was quite high, which is typical. Saturday's poor experience was notable because the food took an extraordinary long time to arrive and only came after we spoke with a gentleman who I assume was the manager. Service was confusing with one server telling us she would be right back, then a different server told us she would be helping us. She took our drink and food orders, bringing our drinks quickly, but then we didn't see her again for over a half hour. We were told that the restaurant had a new company providing the food which was the root cause of the chaos. When the food arrived, most of it was very good. The soup was cool (which was brought out at the same time as the entrees). The staff deducted the appetizer from the final bill. I may be persuaded to try another restaurant in the area before the next opera.

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4.0Dined 6 days ago

Would like to see more item selections on the Harvest Table, like chicken tenders, meatloaf, shrimps, etc. and more variety of crackers. The cold cuts this last time were very difficult to eat on a cracker.

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5.0Dined 6 days ago

Great way to do an event at McCaw Hall! Get there early for a stress-free meal before your event!!

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3.0Dined on July 1, 2018

Menu very limited, portions very small for the price, very limited options for small or side plates to turn them into a meal. Except for the chicken, which was a good portion & tasty, very small portions of protein. Outrageous $12 for a very mediocre glass of wine. Waiter was very accommodating about finding a way to get a green vegetable without paying $17 or $20 for the mixed salads. Proximity to the concert hall really the only thing to recommend it. Next time we will walk out to a restaurant on Mercer for far better value.

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4.0Dined on July 1, 2018

The service we received was great. Charles was an excellent server. The food was pretty good. The noise level was moderate. I would dine there again.

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2.0Dined on July 1, 2018

Making reservations thru OpenTable was great
Very convenient to eat prior to Bill Clinton event
Would consider for convenience
Staff friendly but not attentive
Had to repeat requests for plate or coffee
Salmon over cooked
Chocolate dessert rich but disappointing
Crab avacado salad not good value—add some lettuce
Butter over flavored

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4.0Dined on June 11, 2018

We always enjoy our evenings at McCaw Hall more when we dine at Prelude first. Great food, and opportunity to relax before the show. Early bird gets the best parking, too.

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3.0Dined on June 10, 2018

Convenient location when attending the ballet or opera. Unfortunately it's "hit and miss" when it comes to the meal. Menu always looks inviting as well as the presentations. Taste and quality often fail to live up to expectations and billing (descriptions). The cioppino "really" missed the mark on Saturday.

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4.0Dined on June 10, 2018

The setting for the restaurant is very lovely and it is very convenient if you are going to the opera or ballet. But I wouldn't choose this restaurant if I weren't going to a production at McCall Hall. I think it is a bit overpriced for what you get, and the quality of the food isn't always the best. Last Saturday I had an eggplant and sausage pasta which was very dry and lacking in flavor. I couldn't even taste the eggplant. The little buffet, however, was very good, which is what my friend had.

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5.0Dined on June 9, 2018

First time back in many years and Prelude just keeps getting better!

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5.0Dined on June 8, 2018

Very disappointing menu. The food was quite ordinary and not not very tasty.
The services a bit uneven.

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2.0Dined on June 8, 2018

First of all the menu is severely limited. This is because none of the food is prepared onsite in a real kitchen and it shows. Second the prices are way out of line for what you actually get. Third our table was totally uncomfortable because like most restaurants in Seattle they somehow feel it is necessary to blast air conditioning on you just because it is June. The meager portions combined with cafeteria quality food and an uncomfortable indoor environment, all at an exhorbatent price means I will not go back.

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4.0Dined on June 8, 2018

Service was great. The "fresh" table is a good new innovation, and we like that better than the high priced although tasty, small serving entrees.

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3.0Dined on June 2, 2018

My chicken and polenta were both dry and fairly tasteless. My husband said his ribs were good, though the asparagus that came with them was inconsistent; some pieces well-cooked and limp others nearly crunchy. The carrot cake was dry and tasted more like a ginger snap cookie than of carrots or spices typically associated with carrot cake. The bright spot was our waiter -- he was fantastic. Gave him a good tip for being attentive though the food, on the balance, was not that great, especially for the price.

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1.0Dined on June 2, 2018

Made a dinner reservation for Mom and I to eat before the Ballet. The restaurant was both empty and loud. They sat us far away from the windows for no discernable reason. The service was slow and unattentive. The food was really disappointing. The caprese didn’t have any tomato or basil, and the balsamic was overwhelmungly sweet. The salmon was definitely reheated, and tasted like it was cooked days prior. It was ruined. It was a restaurant trying to be upscale but falling short on basics (like don’t sit my mom where the sun will shine in her eyes).

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2.0Dined on May 20, 2018

Stopped coming before the Opera because it seemed too expensive for the quality of the food and wine. Tried it again Sat. . Have the same impression.

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3.0Dined on May 20, 2018

The food is usually very very good, but this time the beans that came with the only gluten-free option on the menu just tasted like chili powder, which I don't like. And there was no gluten-free dessert option.

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3.0Dined on May 20, 2018

Disappointing. I would pay for excellent food but the present selection is less than acceptable. A vegan main course should be standard. Bread is very disappointing. Our was dry cold and at least one day old. We’re looking for other places to eat before the opera.

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4.0Dined on May 19, 2018

We needed a pre-concert dinner reservation for 6, and Prelude was the only one available. We all enjoyed our food, and the service was very good. Wine and entrees are definitely pricey, so I wouldn't be a regular there. But it is very convenient for events at Seattle Center, and roomy enough to have seating available.

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5.0Dined on May 19, 2018

Great place at the theater to eat. Harvest Bar + appetizer + drink best value.

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2.0Dined on May 19, 2018

I ordered the harvest table (help yourself to meats, cheeses, etc.). Everything was picked over and hardly any options were available. Many platters were completely empty. Wine was very overpriced. Had 2 glasses of wine, bowl of soup, and harvest platter for $66! Not worth it at all!

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5.0Dined on May 19, 2018

I brought my out-of-town guests on Friday 5/18, and I could not be more proud of Prelude for living up to and beyond my expectations for our dinner prior to Aida. The well-prepared and presented, inventive selections reflecting the Egyptian theme of the opera to the exquisite desserts and selection of wine were as much a success as the production we saw onstage. Kudos! The next time I entice my guests to return, I will promise them another wonderful dinner experience at Prelude.

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4.0Dined on May 19, 2018

We chose this restaurant to eat a Friday night meal before a concert at Key Arena specifically because of its location within the Seattle Center area. We are from out of town and are not familiar with area restaurants, so the location worked very well for us. The food was good, but the menu somewhat limited with only four entries to pick from.

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4.0Dined on May 17, 2018

crab cakes were a little disappointing, along with the sides. Not a great value for the $. Service was good and quick; waiter knowledgeable and helpful about wine selection.
Need better gluten free options. We took a chance on the crab because was best choice, but lots of things could be served that aren't gluten free.

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3.0Dined on May 17, 2018

Convenient for pre-opera/ballet, etc. . . . . but otherwise nothing special.

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4.0Dined on May 17, 2018

The crab cakes were not good—too spicy, which made me suspicious it was covering up some not-so-fresh crab meat—and also strangely chewy. I’ve had much better at a small restaurant on Whidbey Island for half the cost. Disappointing. Strawberry short cake quite good.

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2.0Dined on May 17, 2018

Prelude is good if a convenient location is important. The food is fair. When i was there Wednesday night before the opera, Aida, my friend ordered a cocktail. The waitress said the bartender didnt show up so no cocktails. (No sub?) The ambience and convenience are excellent. The value i think is terrible. Expensive. Overpriced for the mediocre food.

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5.0Dined on May 13, 2018

Excellent restaurant for pre-opera dining. The menu had an Egyptian theme, consistent with Aida performances. The tabouli appetizer was good, with a strong lemon flavor. Unlike the dinner menu, the brunch menu featured quiche, which was very good (but oddly lacked egg). We avoided the "Egyptian soup," which we had returned previously (tasted like grass clippings in broth) and enjoyed our meal. The staff was extremely helpful, cheerful and polite. The best dining experience we've had so far in this restaurant.

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5.0Dined on May 13, 2018

Prelude is the ideal place for our pre-Opera lunch. It’s perfectly convenient. It’s elegant with good food and great service.

It’s our only choice for every performance!

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4.0Dined on May 13, 2018

Prelude did some Egyptian themed dishes for dinner before the Opera's performance of Aida! Our server, Charlies, did a fantastic job. Food was good.

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5.0Dined on May 13, 2018

5/12/2018. It was dinner before the opera Aida. The food was very good, tasty and attractively presented. The service was very good considering that they were faced with people arriving late due to accidents and traffic problems, and having to get customers fed and out in time for the opera. They did an excellent job of carrying out this daunting task.

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3.0Dined on May 13, 2018

Prelude ia very convenient for dining before the opera. The food is good, but the service is slow and sometimes inaccurate.

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3.0Dined on May 13, 2018

Excellent location pre-opera, very efficient reservation service and our waiter was very helpful and courteous. Then we get to the food--sadly, although we were among the first to dine, the food was warmed over and disappointing. Salads were OK but the lamb was tough. The pasta dish was cold and hard, a real disappointment. Beware of the Egyptian cake--very attractive presentation but you may need a steak knife to cut one of the layers. Good wine selection but the high prices are for the convenience of the location, not the cuisine.

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