Description and review of the upscale Prelude Kitchen & Bar, located in Downtown Sacramento across the street from the State Capitol.
Prelude Kitchen & Bar has been on my list of restaurants to check out since it opened in late 2021. A friend and I recently dined there prior to attending a performance of Tootsie at the SAFE Credit Union Performing Arts Center.
The Prelude Kitchen & Bar describes itself as serving “…. modern American cuisine with French and Italian inspiration”. A farm-to-fork restaurant, the menu changes with the seasons.
The Capitol Garage (entrance of 10th Street/exit on 11th Street) is across from the Prelude Kitchen & Bar. You can’t get more convenient than that! There is also some street parking in the near vicinity
Prelude Kitchen & Bar offers a $5 parking validation for diners, so be sure to ask your server for one if you have parked in the Capitol Garage.
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I had made reservations earlier that day online for the dining room. The option to dine on the patio would have been my preference, but that option was not available. When I arrived at the restaurant I discovered why – there was an outdoor reception in progress.
I highly recommend dining on the Prelude Kitchen & Bar patio, especially on a nice summer evening. While doing so you can enjoy the view of State Capitol, awash with lights, directly across the street.
I spent many an hour on that patio when I was working as a lobbyist over my thirty-year career.
Prior to Prelude Kitchen & Bar, the building housed the relatively short-lived Diplomat, the relatively long-lived Chops and before that the equally long-lived Brannan’s. That is going way back in time, but then I go way back as well.
See related blog post: Chops Restaurant & Bar
Prelude Kitchen & Bar Review
Prelude Kitchen & Bar is light, airy and very attractive. The general layout has not been changed, but the modernization of the restaurant has resulted in a more open and spacious venue.
All of the extensive dark wood paneling has been painted white. New modern light fixtures, among other touches, add to the modern ambiance.
My friend had arrived before me and was seated at the bar drinking a “dirty” martini when I arrived. I went over to the bar before I checked us in with the hostess and looked around. At one point in my life, I would have known or recognized almost everyone in the room.
Six years into retirement, it was most gratifying to both of us to be warmly greeted by a former colleague. I should mention that I remember him when he was a young man learning the ropes in his first job as a lobbyist!
After we had the opportunity to catch up for a few minutes, I checked in with the hostess. We were seated immediately. The dining room appeared quite spacious as the tables were well spaced.
The Prelude Kitchen and Bar menu has a limited, but adequate, selection of options. While the menu is limited, one would be hard put to not find something that appeals to their taste buds.
After each ordering a glass of wine, we considered the menu options. My friend ordered two items from the appetizer menu:
- Fromaggio (local cheeses, house-made marmellata, marinated olives and honey-comb) ($22)
- Cream of Asparagus Soup (soup of the day) ($12)
I had not had pasta for some time, so I ordered the Fettuccine (shrimp, tomato, Calabrian chili, mint, saffron broth, arugula ($29).
The wait staff, from the time I entered to when I exited, were both friendly and helpful. Our server had the timing down so that we were able to relax and chat and then enjoy our meal before taking the short walk to the SAFE Credit Union Performing Arts Center for the show.
The cheese plate was most appealing and tasty. My friend thought it was the “just right” size.
The asparagus soup, which was topped with a crostini spread with a soft cheese, was said to be exceptional and every bite was enjoyed.
The fettuccine was likewise very tasty, although a bit difficult to eat. I was very glad I was not wearing a white top. It was necessary to cut the long, slippery noodles down in size so they could fit on a spoon with the broth. I was somewhat surprised to find the tails remained on the shrimp. No plate was provided upon which to place the discarded tail shell, a suggestion I made to our server when she brought us the bill. I was apparently not the first person to make this comment – so far to no avail.
To Sum Up
To sum up, the experience of dining at Prelude Kitchen & Bar was most enjoyable and I look forward to dining there again soon. It has everything going for it – location, ambiance, attentive staff and high-quality food. Next time I am there I hope to enjoy lunch or dinner on the patio.
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What has been your experience at Prelude Kitchen & Bar?
Prelude Kitchen & Bar Snapshot:
- 1117 11th Street, Sacramento, CA 95814
- (916) 898-1071
- Dinner: Monday – Saturday (4:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.)
- Reservations Recommended
- Closed Sunday
- Full Bar
- Coming Soon: Brunch, Lunch & Happy Hour
- Capitol Parking Garage Parking Validation & Street Parking
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