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Party Size
For 2
Tue, 2/20
7:00 PM
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You must make reservations at least 5 minutes in advance of the time at Prelude at McCaw Hall.

Prelude at McCaw Hall

2295 reviews
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$31 to $50
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Contemporary American
Top tags:
  • Pre/post Theatre
  • Quiet Conversation
  • Special Occasions
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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Contemporary American
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Hours of Operation
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 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
Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Cocktails, Corkage Fee, Full Bar, Non-Smoking, Private Room, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine
What 2295 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
3.3  based on recent ratings
Noise · Moderate
58% of people would recommend it to a friend
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CaroleS (Seattle)
5.0  Dined on 11 February 2018

My daughter and I dined at Prelude before a Swan Lake performance. Frankly, I wasn’t expecting much, and chose the restaurant for it’s easy access to McCaw Hall. I was very pleasantly surprised at the quality of the food and the extensive wine list. My daughter ordered the braised elk w/mushrooms, and I had the braised beef short rib. Both were excellent. The suggested wine pairings were spot on. Our server Charles was funny and engaging,and very knowledgeable about the menu & preparations. I would absolutely recommend this restaurant before any McCaw Hall performance. It’s so nice to come early, have no parking hassles or delays, and have a very good, relaxing meal before a performance.

OpenTable Diner (Seattle)
2.0  Dined on 11 February 2018

I have been going to Prelude for many years before the ballet. The menu change has not been good. I had a mediocre meal in September and yesterday ordered a grilled cheese sandwich that had no resemblance to a grilled cheese. It was so dry the bread did not stick together and was terrible! I sent it back and had what was left of the buffet. The server saved the day in bringing me lox since there was none left on the buffet table. I am not coming back, sadly, unless someone tells me the menu has improved.

Missysmom (Seattle)
5.0  Dined on 11 February 2018

We have eaten twice at Prelude at McCaw Hall before a ballet. We have had their seasonal “buffet” twice, which is both interesting and delicious. For dessert we had the sesame gelato and the blackberry meringue, both of which were generous and delicious! The wait staff was been excellent every time.

OpenTable Diner (Seattle)
4.0  Dined on 10 February 2018

The food was good. The staff was friendly. Super convenient for dinner before the Ballet.

suzanner (Seattle)
2.0  Dined on 10 February 2018

Menu too limited and the buffet was terrible! Few choices, not interesting, not tasty, no substantial elements, way overpriced.

Only positive is that it’s convenient to a performance.

AJJD (Seattle)
3.0  Dined on 10 February 2018

Always pleased with the staff. Any delay in service can be attributed to kitchen staffing. That delay often means the hot items are not "hot" upon delivery. Example, Saturday night's consomme' was barely worm. (It also totally missed the mark on taste).
As for the food: choices are limited and unfortunately too much effort goes into making the menu exotic looking rather than concentrating on taste and portion size. There is a disconnect between those portion sizes and value. Might want to consider adding a vegetable side to many entrees.
We continue to frequent Prelude because of the ease of moving from dinner to the ballet or the opera. Otherwise, this would not be our first choice for evening dining.

OpenTable Diner (Seattle)
4.0  Dined on 10 February 2018

The food is not great but the friendly service and convenience to performances at the Opera House make it well worth it!

BellevueOz (Seattle)
3.0  Dined on 8 February 2018

This is a like cafe at the end of a hall with ok service and food but Super expensive!!!

CamilleR (Seattle)
2.0  Dined on 8 February 2018

We dined at Prelude because it is so convenient for the ballet. Unfortunately, my food was awful. The consomme was poured over cold raw cauliflower and dried mushrooms. I wanted hot broth and instead had cool broth because of the cold bowl and cold cauliflower. The mushrooms were fine but the cauliflower was dissonant. The consomme had a strong vinegar flavor. My next dish was recommended by my server; do not listen to the server. It was squid ink pasta stuffed with ricotta. The pasta was overcooked, limp and soggy. The ricotta filling was tolerable. What made the dish intolerable was the pasta ricotta pockets were floating in at least a quarter cup of melted butter. It was like a bowl of melted butter, awful. I had dessert at intermission which is nice. The dessert, billed as a chocolate cherry cake, had no cherry flavor at all in it. It was a tolerable petit four style chocolate mouse layered very small square piece of cake. The bread served at the table with dinner was very good and the wine was good. Otherwise meal a bust. Also, the server disappeared and we had to go find someone to pay our bill to. I really want to like Prelude but this meal makes it very very hard.

OpenTable Diner (Seattle)
2.0  Dined on 3 February 2018

Service could be better in terms of promptness and attention to detail. We got assigned a small table in a busy area when there were clearly quieter tables. We had to be asked to be moved.
We then sat there for quite some time before our server came. Servers in this restaurant has an extra challenge. They need to know that everyone there is on a time crunch due ballet or opera start times or limited intermission times. Food ordered for intermission needs to be ready and waiting. Servers assigned to a given tables need to be dedicated to those tables.

mrgoth (Seattle)
1.0  Dined on 3 February 2018

The food sucked and the prices were outrageous, especially when one considers the small food portions.

Susanj (Seattle)
1.0  Dined on 3 February 2018

When we went to see Nutcracker, our server was sullen and inattentive, the buffet food was so salty as to be inedible, the brownie dessert was dry and tough. Definitely not worth the exorbitant price. Very disappointed. We decided to give it one more chance yesterday for Swan Lake. Server was nice, courteous and attentive. But he couldn't make up for the lousy food. My grilled cheese was dry and burned black. One tiny piece of cheese didn't even cover the bread. My friend's grilled cheese was not burned but also dry and almost cheeseless. The fritters were ok, but kind of leaden. The arugula salad's dressing tasted like oil, vinegar and salt. Our server offered to bring another sandwich, but if it took as long as the first one to be delivered, we would have been late for the show. It took 35 minutes for our order to arrive, even though we'd allowed an hour for lunch, we felt rushed. The convenience of having the cafe close to the venue does not outweigh the poor experiences. We will not be coming back. We felt the menu was pretentious and trying too hard to be unique. We would much prefer decent food at a good price. We will discourage our friends from going there.

OpenTable Diner (Seattle)
4.0  Dined on 3 February 2018

The salmon blini was delicious but the portion size was small for the price.

Lennon (Seattle)
2.0  Dined on 3 February 2018

Use to love dining at Prelude before the opera or ballet. The menu has changed and now one of the entrees is "quail hash" as well as confusing other offerings. For $20 a person can go to a "buffet" table for cheese, frisce salad, cold cuts and a bizarre grain salad. Insulting. I very rarely write such a negative review but this one deserves it.

slsl (San Francisco)
2.0  Dined on 2 February 2018

While the food we ordered was delicious, I was disappointed in the extreme lack of vegetables on the menu. Be prepared for meat/fish and carbohydrates. Wait staff was pleasant and efficient to the point of overly efficient as they tried to clear my mother's plate 3 times before she was finished.