Nearby points of interest
Nearby points of interest
About Prelude at McCaw Hall
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.
Seattle, WA 98109
Hours of Operation:
Prelude opens 2.5 hours (Opera performances) and 2 hours (Ballet performances) prior show start.
4th & Mercer
$31 to $50
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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.
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.
Private Party Contact:
Susan Cuturilo: (206) 615-0254
Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Cocktails, Corkage Fee, Full Bar, Non-Smoking, Private Room, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine
Prelude at McCaw Hall Ratings and Reviews
We ate here shortly after it first opened. It was "okay." We decided to try it again and we liked it. The convenience if attending a McCaw Hall event makes it a great selection. The food was good and the service Excellent. Sierra was an outstanding server. We will be back (Opera + Ballet season subscribers) and request to sit in Sierra's section. Give the place a try, you will be pleased.
The food was really terrible. Miso soup, nice presentation, but extremely salty and two little tough cubes of tofu. The chicken was the worst. Luke warm and dry, with a small chunk of equally cold blue cheese stuck on. Four half grapes nestled on a bed of some raw and maybe some cooked kale did nothing to help. There was a bizarre smear of jam on the lower third of the plate that was impenetrable.
All of it near inedible, but it was expensive!
Our waiter was charming!
To begin with, the online menu I reviewed with my daughter and aunt before booking was completely different than the restaurant menu. The online version had a kid's menu, and my well-dined aunt approved of the rest. The real menu was very limited, and no kid options. Our server was pleasant, agreed that the menu online is completely different, and told us there was not even an option to get a dish of pasta. My aunt and I finally opted for the "Harvest Table," which is a crudités display not listed on the menu and later found to be $20. Diners are given a very small appetizer plate to fill buffet style. Crackers, no bread added to the chintzy feel. We heard the people near us commenting about the menu discrepancy to their server, saw another table leave shortly after looking at the menu upon being seated, and the guests at the Harvest Table grumbling about the selection and plate size.
Having parked and awaiting the ballet that evening, we were captive to this disaster dinner, which was to be a special occasion. Never again.
It's a great location if you are going to an event at McCaw hall. The food quality for the price was poor. The pork was dry and tofu chunk in the miso soup was cold in the center. I asked about gluten free entre options and of the four, only the cod was GF. I asked about the couscous side with the cod which he verified was not GF, and he said he'd substitute a green salad for it. A different server delivered a dish of cod on a bed of couscous. I sent it back. I thought my dinner redo might take awhile but a plate of cod on a bed of greens came out right away. I thought maybe they had just mixed up the plates. As I about finished the cod, I noticed some couscous sticking to the bottom of the fish. We pointed out these things and the server was very apologetic. When he brought our bill, he had removed the cod entre and the miso soup.
Poor Prelude still can't quite get it together. Last time we were there pre-ballet, they completely ran out of all of our entrees. We had to go to the Harvest Table, which I believe is over-priced by about $5.00. This time, the service was slow, the food was good, but maybe a wee bit over-priced. My friend ordered a dessert at the time of the initial order for the entrees and they brought everything together. One should be served dessert AFTER the table has finished the entrees. We ALWAYS have to ask for bread. Why can't they bring it automatically ? Once they get some of these things worked out, I think it will be a perfect place to dine before the ballet. It seems as though it has taken a very long time for Prelude to figure out how to do fine dining. The setting is quite elegant, and the service should be of the same caliber. It's not there yet.
We had a wonderful waiter and great table. But, the food was not good and overpriced. We ended up paying $180.00 for a very mediocre meal (we did have two before dinner drinks and a glass of wine each with dinner.) . But, the crab cakes were bland, the pork loin was not heated and the greens with it were also tasteless. The squash dish with paneer was great to start with the squah chips, but the paneer was rock hard, not even chewable, and there was so much squash all tasting the same - I couldn't eat or finish it all.
So, there have been some improvements, but the quality of the food has to change or only offer tapas, sandwiches, etc. and not try to be something that is impossible given the timing issue.
This restaurant is consistently and seriously understaffed. The servers are friendly, but management should really step up here. Due to the lack of personnel, the service overall suffers. The food was cold. We finally got our wine when we were almost done with dinner. Overall, the place is just too expensive for that to happen.
I would not write this, if this would be a one time mishap - unfortunately however, this happens every time now. I get the feeling the restaurant management is testing on the security of being the closest deal and convenient for opera goers. It’s a shame and I wished they would step up .... or lower the prices to reflect the service they are willing/able to provide.
We have had some wonderful meals in the past but last Saturday was terrible. The smoked cauliflower was so bad we sent it back The harvest table was a disappointment and the pork chop was cold and dried out. We won’t be back unless we are assured that there is new management to ensure the food improves.
There is a very limited menu, my chicken was dry and over cooked. It tasted like nothing. The pasta looked like canned spaghetti. All of this was waaay overpriced. My father-in-law’s meal was over cooked pork chops. It’s a shame because it’s so convenient to have a pre-opera meal there.
We went to Prelude for dinner before the last performance of The Barber of Seville. The service was excellent. The waiter even brought me a drink off-menu: the digestive fernet branca. On the downside, however, the smoked cauliflower was a big disappointment. The taste was all smoke and no cauliflower. The chicken pasta was only ok. Prelude is best for atmosphere.
Made reservations for dinner before the opera, we were seated quickly upon our arrival, and the waiter was attentive. Due to low number of guests (just opened for the night) our order came out quickly. As it got busier, naturally service slowed as well. The food was delicious and filling.
We had one of the worst dinners we have ever had. The chicken Milanese was almost inedible. Talk about rubber chicken! Can’t order a salad: there is this rediculous salad bar.
We have eaten at the Opera House for decades, and Prelude continues to get worse and worse.
I've been to Prelude many times and have always been pleased with the meals! This week was the exception. I ordered the chicken which was overcooked and dry. The pasta dish left something to be desired. This was an exception to their normally good meals. However it was very disappointing. They do stand by their meals however and did not charge me for the chicken entrée.
Our Server, 40058 James, on 10-25-17, was superb. Upon being seated @ exactly 5:45 pm, James introduced himself and proceeded to answer out menu questions. We asked to breeze through our dinner so we could take in the Pre-Opera lecture. All was friendly, prompt, and spot on. We made it to the lecture with 5-minutes to spare.
On the negative side, we were seated along the 'back wall'. The ceiling lighting there is intense and for us we got serious glare reflections on our eyeglasses. We wish there were some 'zone lighting' options..
Creative menu but pricey! I know it's the opera but for the food it was a little high. The service and attention to detail was worth it. Our waitress had dessert ready and waiting for us at intermission. The convenience is nice. Drinks and the harvest table are a nice alternative to full entrees.
My friend and I have been going to Prelude for years and for the most part have enjoyed our visits there. The food this time, before the opera, was mediocre, especially for the price. I was disappointed as last season the food was great! They discontinued soups in favor of a "harvest plate" which is a buffet of mainly pastries and fruit that sits out in the open with no cover. Everyone coming to the restaurant walks by. The dessert was cake which I can honestly say was terrible. The service was uninspired as though the server had been doing her job way too long. My friend had coffee and had to ask for her two refills even with our server as well as the restaurant not being busy. Overall fell short across the board.
The special table of harvest goodies, including a FABULOUS butternut squash tart, was a great value and very tasty. The fig crepe was, well, inedible. No taste, and a thick rubbery consistency, a basically white saddle blanket, presented in the middle of a white plate, with a couple of figs sprinkled over the top. It needed a thinner crepe and a LOT more figs and some kind of sweet sauce to dress it up.
The desserts were absolutely delicious! There was more to be desired with our brunch. The squash triangle shaped tarts had an unsavory flavor. The carmelized grapefruit tasted funky. It would also be nice to have a waiter with sommelier experience or have the ability to suggest wines. One last note was when we arrived the hostess sat us at a table right next to the entrance and harvest table. We were one of the first groups to arrive and we had a reservation. But, when we requested a booth, they graciously moved us to a more private table.
James our server was attentive, gracious and delightful.
However I was quite disappointed that the menu listed on Prelude or OPEN table website since it was dated. It was 'family' day at the opera, have a kid's menu for goodness sakes - make the day special for the kids. I asked to see the 'manager' and said manager never came at all. I saw waffles for brunch on line so I thought my two nephews would enjoy having brunch at Prelude prior to our opera (the first opera for my 10 year old nephew, 2nd for my 12 year old nephew). To my surprise was an overpriced glorified McMuffin (served luke warm), if you're going to have the gall to ask for that price make the muffins special instead I'm sure they were packaged. I wanted my nephews to have scrambled eggs and of course I would be paid for what they asked but news back from the kitchen was a definite NO, how hard is it to make scrambled eggs? They should at least have a basic breakfast on the menu instead of those pretentious offerings(Fig Crepe?). I then asked for a 'modified' McMuffin where my younger nephew ate the egg and 'ham', the older nephew ate the muffins (he already had some protein with the 2oz yogurt dish). I am not afraid of paying for something of VALUE, the offerings on the menu were lacking. My nephews thought we were going to the Center House for brunch (which they enjoy on our outings at the Center) but I told them we were doing something special today because we're going the Opera! I'm sure they're thinking their Auntie missed the target on the food front. Might be a good idea to have the restaurant food relate to the Opera, types of food/pasteries from Seville maybe (still could use local ingredients)?
Good thing The Barber of Seville was SPECTACULAR!
Prelude is a superficially attractive choice before the opera in the winter months, when it's nice to avoid walking in the rain somewhere else nearby. But the prices are unreasonably high for the food and drink available. The options are limited, the servings of food are on the small side. (One somewhat bright note: the wine pourings were generous, as appropriate for the charges by the glass, but the prices were still high). The food was ok but nothing more--a real disappointment at the high prices charged. There's no reason to go there unless you're going to a performance at McCaw Hall, and even then you may want to consider other options.
We have been eating dinner befor the opera at McCaw Hall and its predecessor for over 15 years. The restaurant has been contracted out to various food purveyors over that time and some have been better than others. After this past Saturday, I am ready to simply visit a neighborhood gem and pass up this current little wonder.
Here’s why. You be the judge:
I got up to ask for bread after the salad and before the entree because our waitperson was nowhere to be found;
We learned that you can indeed ask for a green salad even though none was listed on the menu thanks to the people at the next table;
My wife explained to our waitperson that they had brought the wrong bottle of wine to the table only to learn that this wrong bottle had been retrieved from a numbered storage shelf and it must have been in the wrong place. The waitperson hadn’t bothered to even read the label. The right bottle came several minutes later;
The chicken breast was anemic and the pasta was warm - sort of;
I was happy to keep our water glasses full - at this point it was clear I should lower my expectations, a lot;
I got up to ask for hot coffee for dessert during the intermission because the prepoured coffee at our table was cold. I had to break up a little funfest amongst the wait staff as they clustered up by the kitchen door to get the coffee;
I retrieved forks on my own from a nearby table to eat our dessert because we are unaccustoned to eating cake with a soup spoon.
All this for the low, low price of $175. A terrific interactive experience with a restaurant that apparently also holds several fast food stores. Do these people eat with wolves in the forest? I swear to God, the talent and attentiveness of the nearby Dick’s is head and tails above this experience
Going to the opera in Seattle is only special to people that don’t get out much. The attitude and price of the night out are inversely proportional to the quality of the experience starting with the dinner.
Please think twice.
We have eaten at Prelude before the opera many times in the past and have appreciated good food and rapid service. Last Saturday was either an off night or the restaurant has slipped substantially. We arrived at the time of our reservation and were seated immediately. The wait staff seemed frantic, lots of dashing around (not a relaxing atmosphere). There was a substantial wait until our orders were taken. Usually the food comes right away. This time there was a long wait and when the food arrived my chicken was cold and tough. My two companions vegetarian meal was skimpy and not very tasty. Both entrees were overpriced for what we got. We were all disappointed in the food and the experience.
We have attended the Seattle Opera for more than 20 years now and always dine at Prelude at McCaw Hall prior to a performance. We have had outstanding meals there, and we have had awful meals there. Last Saturday was one of those awful times. We both ordered the Seared Aged New York, clementine jus, beat chips & late fall vegetables @ $36/pp. So, not an inexpensive meal! Prior to ordering we were assured that the meat would be medium rare. The meat was dry, not jus that I could detect, the beat chips were so dry you couldn't even bite into them, the vegies were cold. We sent our dinners back. Then I ordered the Chickan a la Milanese and my husband ordered the vegetarian offering of Smoked Roasted Cauliflower. Both of them were awful. The chicken was so dry it was almost impossible to cut into it. The roasted cauliflower was black. We were hungry and ate what we could.
I'm not sure how the same restaurant can produce a superior meal one time and the next time once that is almost inedible. Different chefs?
We will probably go back, as it is such a convenience to dine in the same building where our event takes place. But maybe next time we'll choose the cheese plate. There isn't that much that can go wrong with that, I think????
We went to the Seattle Opera location. The reservation worked well and was convenient. The food didn't come for about forty minutes and it was nothing great for the price. We had to hurry to eat and get to our seats. I may go back but I'm looking for alternatives.
I thought food and wine selection was A+ but the front end house experience was crap. Felt like mcDonalds. The hostess was kind of meh and the whole set up was confusing. Fix front of house. Big deal. Enough that I wouldn’t spend money on it again. Sucked
The rest was awesome! Wine sommelier happen to be our server and was fantastic as was food!
We eat at Prelude before one of our Seattle Operas. This time it worked very well, as outside it was stormy and rainy. Everything was fine, except that the quality of the food was good, except the temperature bordered on "cold". Looks, however, some changes have taken place. Thank you.
We have been dining at Prelude before the operas (we are subscribers) for many years. The quality of the food (tastiness0 has been declining over the past few years. Our last visit was extremely disappointing and I left quite angry. The previous time we had been there (August I believe) there had been an elaborate role-out of the new Harvest table and it was good, with a considerable variety of foods including several salads and several types of charcuterie. So when I came again last week (10/18) I was planning to have the Harvest again, since - as I mentioned - I haven't been enjoying the entrees recently. This time the Harvest table had almost nothing - two cheeses, crackers, and a little bit of prosciutto which was quickly gone and not replaced. Would it be very difficult to provide some salads, and other cold cuts - especially since you had created the expectation that that is what I would find. Okay - so I looked at the entree menu and there were no salads there either, not entree salads or side salads. (What restaurant worth it's salt does not offer salads these days? i am on a low carb diet, and my wife is a vegetarian, so this is important to us. The only vegetarian option was smoked cauliflower for the ridiculous price of $28). I ended up reluctantly ordering the pork chop entree, which was tasteless and unenjoyable. Right now I consider Prelude to be extraordinarily overpriced relative to the quality of the dining experience. As much as I like the convenience of eating there before the opera, I will not go there again unless the situation improves.
The Brie appetizer was a great start. Everyone in our party had the chicken entreé, two out of three were tender and moist. The Pinot Noir was an excellent pairing -- light enough to go with the chicken very well. The apple tart finished things nicely, though the accompanying ice cream was more than a little soft. Service was prompt and polite, though we got the wine without a pre-taste. The timing was perfect, as one would expect for a restaurant in the theater. Will return -- especially if rain is in the forecast.
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