A City stalwart, this St. Swithin's Lane restaurant and bar inhabits an address with plenty of history - it played host to the first cellar from the Sandeman port house. It's this brand's cloaked motif that gives this venue its name, and port still plays an influential role on a lengthy wine list.
There's a French slant to the modern-European menu, with dishes such as ballotine of foie gras, crispy poached duck egg with a mornay sauce and grilled Dover sole meunière alongside fillet of beef 'Rossini' with foie gras, potato dauphin and a Madeira sauce, and ravioli of pumpkin and ricotta with sage, amaretti crumb and beurre noisette.
The Don's wine list boasts more than 400 bottles from the old world and new, with a further 25 Champagnes also available. 25 bottles are available by the glass, alongside 14 sherries, ports and sweet wines. The list is categorised by region, with France playing a prominent part.
|Venue name:||The Don||Contact:|
20 St Swithin's Lane
|Opening hours:||Bistro Lunch served noon-3pm, dinner served 6-10pm Mon-Fri. Restaurant Lunch served noon-2.30pm, dinner served 6-10pm Mon-Fri.|
|Price:||Main courses lunch £8.95-£14.95, restaurant £12.95-£25.50.|
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Saw the previous review and felt I had to say something here. I've eaten here many times - sometimes with business colleagues but also friends for a catch-up. I've never been disappointed. The quality of the food is always excellent (as well as the service) and imho although not a 'cheap eats' offers very good value for money.
No! This is not to be recommended. I have been here three times with clients and because I was with clients I decided against making a fuss. But three strikes and out as far as I'm concerned. On each occasion the delay in food service has been lengthy. The food served has been far below the standards that I expect from a City restaurant and the portions have been frankly laughably small. To give you an example of this, a woman diner in our group left the restaurant and stopped off at a sandwich bar on the way back to our office so that she could "now have lunch" as she put it. I had a Jerusalem artichoke soup which i had to flavour with olive oil and season with salt & pepper in an effort to turn it into something remotely edible. I am not a food snob, but I am a keen amateur cook and I wouldn't have the nerve to serve to my guests at my home what The Don serve to paying guests in their restaurant. A wide berth is thoroughly recommended.