The Don Restaurant

333

"EXCELLENT"

15 reviews

The Courtyard, 20 St. Swithins Lane , London, EC4N 8AD

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020 7626 2606

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The Don Restaurant
The Don Restaurant
The Don Restaurant
The Don Feb 2016 9
The Don Restaurant
The Don Restaurant
The Don Feb 2016 5
The Don Restaurant
The Don Restaurant
The Don Feb 2016 7
The Don Restaurant
The Don Restaurant
The Don Restaurant
The Don Restaurant

SquareMeal Review of The Don Restaurant

333

"EXCELLENT"

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Step off atmospheric St Swithin’s Street into The Don’s spacious foyer and prepare yourself for the sort of assured, personable and utterly grown-up experience that is a rarity among independent restaurants these days. Much of this is down to owners Robert and Robyn Wilson, who have been at the helm here for more than 18 years and in whom a veritable army of loyal City lunchers still place their trust.


With its vivid bursts of abstract artwork from John Hoyland, the well-spaced dining room has a personality that many of its corporate neighbours lack – and it’s adroitly manned by an ever-smooth team of waiting staff. The kitchen covers all bases, from the impressively inventive (tender octopus with different textures of tomato, lemon oil and saffron aïoli) to the reliably classic, such as buttery, deboned Dover sole meunière and a perfectly executed crème brûlée. Our only complaint is that portion sizes don’t always do justice to the City prices – our tiny pieces of monkfish with mussel ragoût and saffron cream left us needing to fill up on new potatoes.


The Wilsons are Kiwi vintners, and their love of wine is reflected in a lengthy global list, including bottles from their Trinity Hill vineyard in New Zealand. For a less formal experience, the Don Bistro downstairs has steak tartare and coq au vin, while the bar serves 30 wines by the glass alongside Adnams beer and croque monsieurs. We’d also suggest calling in at their sister site, St Swithins Wine Shippers, where four dozen wines are available to sample from an Enomatic machine.


The Don Restaurant Location

The Courtyard, 20 St. Swithins Lane , London EC4N 8AD

|

020 7626 2606

|
Opening times

Mon-Fri 12N-3pm 6-10pm

The Don Restaurant's Reviews

ratingratingratingrating

Food & Drink: 7.6

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Service: 7.1

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Atmosphere: 7.3

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Value: 6.5

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Food + drink: 5

Service: 5

Atmosphere: 5

Value: 4

Gold Reviewer
27 July 2016

Nothing to complain about here, excellent food, excellent service - what more could you ask for. A little on the pricey side but where isn't these days in London. I had the monkfish tail wrapped in pancetta which wa absolutely superb, so often monkfish is overcooked and rubbery but this was perfect - washed down with a glass of Champagne - a little bit of heaven!

ratingratingrating

Food + drink: 3

Service: 3

Atmosphere: 3

Value: 2

12 January 2015

I hadn’t been to the Don in some years, and vaguely remembered it as good quality, if expensive. We were four and booked into an early slot. I like the theatre of restaurants: so the discreet location, the corner wine cellar, the white tablecloths, the sommelier decanting the top Rioja, the carving up of the chateaubriand, the cheese trolley, all these confirmed my view of the way the world should be. The starter foie gras was presented as slices of sausage, tasty enough but hard and cold. I would have preferred it softer and room temperature (or even grilled). The artichoke veloute was pronounced “lovely” (though she did not finish it, on grounds of quantity). The accompanying bread of good quality, but if there was a wholemeal option in the basket, I missed it. The chateaubriand was the main success, adjudged huge, juicy and gorgeous; the venison was good but rather chewier than I had hoped. The nicely-sized crème brule and the chocolate-filled ginger sponge were both full successes. I left the restaurant feeling comfortably full, but also that once again the food had been fully priced.

ratingratingrating

Food + drink: 3

Service: 3

Atmosphere: 3

Value: 2

12 January 2015

I hadn’t been to the Don in some years, and vaguely remembered it as good quality, if expensive. We were four and booked into an early slot. I like the theatre of restaurants: so the discreet location, the corner wine cellar, the white tablecloths, the sommelier decanting the top Rioja, the carving up of the chateaubriand, the cheese trolley, all these confirmed my view of the way the world should be. The starter foie gras was presented as slices of sausage, tasty enough but hard and cold. I would have preferred it softer and room temperature (or even grilled). The artichoke veloute was pronounced “lovely” (though she did not finish it, on grounds of quantity). The accompanying bread of good quality, but if there was a wholemeal option in the basket, I missed it. The chateaubriand was the main success, adjudged huge, juicy and gorgeous; the venison was good but rather chewier than I had hoped. The nicely-sized crème brule and the chocolate-filled ginger sponge were both full successes. I left the restaurant feeling comfortably full, but also that once again the food had been fully priced.

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