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 chose to eat here prior to the Nutcracker for convenience sake. It was convenient but the food was terrible and cold. They have a very limited menu with salmon, steak, chicken, and a vegetarian option. The steak was cold flavorless ( not seasoned at all) served atop stuffing that would be better pared with poultry. The salmon was small, cold, over cooked served on black rice. Dinner for 4 with wine was $300 for one of the worst dinners I’ve had in some time. The wine was good but we had to ask for it twice every order. To top it off the bill was wrong.
4 generations of us went to Prelude before seeing the Nutcracker at a 5:30 performance. I had made the reservations after having a wonderful meal there last year around the same time. I should have checked the menu because during the year they changed it. My grandson was excited to order the cheeseburger sliders... was less happy when they came. Two sliders , each about the size of a silver dollar ,w/o cheese , on a dinner sized plate with no accompaniment. I waived a waiter down and asked if we could get some fruit $4 extra, but it never came. The rest of us ordered the harvest table which is served buffet style. Most items were inaccurately labeled with some having no labels at all. Bowls of salad were very small with over-sized serving utensils. My elderly mother has RA and was unable to use the tongs provided. Plus she is short and could not reach many items. They supply you with a maybe 6"x 12", it was very awkward. The food was good and we expected it to overpriced but it was ridiculous. Will not return or recommend.
I booked this as a holiday treat for my granddaughter and family. Prelude is conveniently located for brunch before attending Nutcracker matinee. The hostess and her assistant were charming, the space was festive and inviting and service was fast. What disappointed was the food which came 'reheated' and the French toast was stodgy. The cold salads in the buffet style open harvest selection would probably have been a better choice.
This time my experience at Prelude was better than I have experienced before. The harvest table is a great option if diners don't want a main course or don't want to spend the money for a main course. The selection was very good, some really great salads, and nice meats and cheeses. The olive bread served with the meal was delicious. I also noticed the prices for main courses seemed a bit more reasonable. Usually I find the prices very high for the quality of the food. If this quality continues, I would definitely recommend Prelude to friends.
We were promptly seated and given water. The waiter appeared soon after and gave great advice, answering all of our questions. The food at the Harvest Table buffet was good for starters or as a meal for those who weren't especially hungry. Two of us ordered the steak, which came medium rare as ordered. It was tasty but somewhat chewy. It was accompanied by a pile of bread stuffing, and a sprinkling of celery, so we were glad we had gotten some salads beforehand at the Harvest Table.
The food was not worth the price. I can get much better food at Arnnies, Ivars etc... for the same price. Not sure why they put stuffing with my steak considering everyone eat pounds of it for thanksgiving. I would really come up with a new and better menu for next year and have a quality tester! I would be ashamed if I was a chief and put food out like that. I do believe that he is a good chief or you wouldn't have picked him.
The menu is not bad for a venue restaurant. However it is not a food lovers place. One of the salmon dishes were severely under cooked and basically raw in the middle. The steak only ok, a little tough. One of the desserts contained tree nuts, which was NOT specified in the dessert menu. Having severe nut allergies it could have been a disaster evening if we haven’t looked closer before eating. And the positive side the wine was good and fairly priced and the service was good. But as a restaurant it is not very good.
I ordered the salmon and my daughter order the chicken. Our meals came to us almost too quickly, in about 5 minutes. You could tell the entrees had been pre-made and it tasted like they had been re-heated just before they arrived to our table. The salmon was over cooked and dry and so was the chicken. Way overpriced for what you get. They also added an extra entree on my bill and I had to ask twice for more bread. I hope this restaurant will improve because it is conveniently located inside McCaw Hall and perfect for a pre-ballet dinner (we went before the Nutcracker).
The beef entree was more like a starter plate- maybe 3 oz- but priced like an entree. The sticky toffee pudding was nowhere near that Irish dessert. It was a piece of fruit cake. Need to have a green salad on the menu. The charcuterie table very nice albeit expensive
Worst meal ever. We were seated up against a bussing station even though we had a reservation and the dining room was mostly empty. Broccoli was to have been roasted but was so burned, there was no green left and it disintegrated to soot upon trying to eat it. Salmon was overdone and oddly dry on the outside. Bread was at least a week old. Anthony was a lovely person and very attentive and professional. He was the bright spot in the experience. Prelude, clearly you don’t care about your restaurant, perhaps you should close.
I chose Prelude because I was seeing The Nutcracker with my daughters and it is very conveniently located in McCaw Hall. We've eaten there in the past and had a lovely time. This time was not so good. The food was very overpriced for the tiny portion sizes we received. The quality was ok, but not great. The menu is very limited, I believe there were 3 entrees to pick from. The sticky toffee pudding dessert was literally a piece of fruit cake with a bit of frosting, there was no sticky toffee at all. And we were sad to find out Prelude no longer serves cupcakes and drinks during intermission. Our food took a long time to arrive and we had to rush at the end. Our server acted like it was very inconvenient to split the check when we asked to have my friend's drink and dessert charged to her card. He then put the charges on the wrong cards, even though our directions had been explicit. He did get it corrected. Overall this was a 2 star experience and I would not recommend this restaurant to a friend.
Most of our food was good with the exception of the breakfast tacos - they were very dry and the french toast was not very warm when it arrived. The children's monkey bread and fruit cup was the best meal ordered.
Our service was terrible. The restaurant was not crowded when we arrived (with reservations) and still we waited to have our order taken. Our server never checked on us or refilled drinks and we had to wait very long just to pay our check.
We were very disappointed in our dining experience. The show was amazing, but I likely will not return to Prelude after this experience.
I would not recommend this restaurant to anyone! I had been before and had a pleasant experience, however, not so on 11/25/17. I went to dinner there before viewing the Nutcracker, accompanied by 2 friends. they are still talking about what a bad experience it was. Service was terrible. I got my drink 10 minutes before the other two at the table. We rarely saw our waiter, leading us to think they were understaffed. When the food arrived, it was cold and miniscule in portion size. We left hungry, despite stopping any employee we could find and asking for more bread. Three roles came with three small spheres of butter. My friends both had steak with"stuffing". A spoonful of stuffing was placed beneath maybe five small slices of steak with a pat of garlic butter on top. The food was so cold, the butter wouldn't melt. We would have sent it back, but as I said earlier, our waiter disappeared. When we complained about the ridiculously small portion sizes to the gentleman who delivered the plates to our table, he said the quality of the food made up for the scant portions. Boy was he wrong. I rate it one star. We will never return again, as we all left feeling cheated.
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.
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