Any suggestions for good pre-theater dining in Ashland?
Larks. That is the restaurant in the Ashland Springs Hotel. Given the time of year, you might do what we did last year. For about $99 get their package which includes one of their better rooms, two tickets to adjacent movie theater, and a $30 credit for dinner at Larks. We did it for three days last February or March and did not find eating at Larks for three consecutive nights to be a bad thing. Looks like the menu is a bit different than last year, but a pretty good variety: http://www.ashlandspringshotel.com/la...
Pretty much any restaurant in the general theatre area is quite used to providing pre-theatre dinners. I've had friends who have gone to New Sammy's in Talent before a play, but I don't find that very relaxing--it's not far, but I'd rather stay in town and save Sammy's for a night when we don't have a deadline. The place that we find the most consistent is Lela's. We also like Amuse, but they're not shy about charging for their food.
I recomment Thai Pepper on Main Street. we have always had great luck with both the food and the service. Others here have mentioned slow service, but we have never experienced that. I think if you let your server know when your curtain time is, you should be fine. As Nettie mentioned, all the restaurants in Ashland live and die by the theater, so are used to getting people there on time.
Beasy's on the Creek is another good option. Nicw view of the creek and still a short walk.
I prefer restaurants within walkking distance of the theater, so I will limit myself to those.
I don't remember the name of it, but there's a brewpub under the bridge just east of the main drag on the north end of the main street (just south of the Bard Inn) that has mastered all things fried (literarlly, everything from pickles to brownies are available to be fried in your choice of batters) and has quality BBQ and live music on the weekends. I believe it's where the Rogue brewery got it's start so they have a great selection of beers also.