The Don Restaurant

££££
Modern European

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About The Don Restaurant

SquareMeal Review

Silver Award

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.

 

Good to know about The Don Restaurant

Average Price
££££ - £50 - £79
Cuisines
Modern European
Ambience
Formal, Quiet conversation, Widely spaced tables
People
Special occasions

Special offers from The Don Restaurant

2/3 courses £23/£27

From: 8 January, 2019
To: 8 July, 2019
Max: 6
From a set menu.
Availability: Mon-Fri 12:00PM-3:00PM 6:00PM-9:30PM

Location for The Don Restaurant

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

Opening Times of The Don Restaurant

Lunch
Mon: 12:00-15:00
Tue: 12:00-15:00
Wed: 12:00-15:00
Thu: 12:00-15:00
Fri: 12:00-15:00
Sat: Closed
Sun: Closed
Dinner
Mon: 17:30-22:00
Tue: 17:30-22:00
Wed: 17:30-22:00
Thu: 17:30-22:00
Fri: 17:30-22:00
Sat: Closed
Sun: Closed

Reviews of The Don Restaurant

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18 Reviews
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Ms/Mrs. Penelope S

First lunch of 2019
15 January 2019
I had not been to the City for lunch for some time but was thrilled to be invited by my chairman to an old favourite, the Don, which did not disappoint. Excellent courteous service and a lovely menu. Wine list, as always, very interesting and good value, enough to stop my dry January. I had delicious juicy seared scallops to start and my host had an amazing warm salad of pigeon with foie gras. My rump of lamb main course served with baby artichokes was really delicious.I felt portion size was perfect and dishes were well priced. Desserts looked very tempting but the Trinity Hill house white won me over. This restaurant has never let me down and consistently offers delicious food and wine with high level of service and great overall value for money. A great way to start 2019. I will be back.
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Ms/Mrs. Marcia W

Christmas Lunch
19 December 2018
The short walk from Bank station meant that the Don was easy to find . On arrival we were greeted well and seated quickly. The atmosphere was clam, relaxing but full of understated excellence. We had a slight a view of kitchen which was buzzing with action but was also low key and efficient. The food was well presented and flavoursome and I would recommend at least one visit to The Don for an upmarket experience.
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Ms/Mrs. Graham J

Simple always works
27 September 2017
This was my first time at The Don - selected for wine list and proximity. Every aspect was ideal; not overly fussy, just good at what it was. Too many restaurants cover up a lack of basic skills with over fussy decoration and elaboration. The Don did not fall into this trap. A bientot.
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Ms/Mrs. Sarah G

Fine dining with some fine food
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!
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Mr. Stephen W

Consistent standards
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.
Food & Drink
Service
Atmosphere
Value

Mr. Stephen W

Consistent standards
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.
Food & Drink
Service
Atmosphere
Value

Ms/Mrs. Clive P

20/11/14 two-course menu
22 November 2014
The staff made us very welcome, and the food & wine was just excellent! I had been to The Don for a long time, and I was really pleased that was still as good as i remembered it. I will be back again soon.
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Mr. John W

John
23 January 2014
It was a truncated lunch as a result of a commication problem but excellent. I had dover sole which was delicious and larger than expected and my guest had the catch of the day, pollock, also delicious. Took a chance on an old bottle of Portugese wine which turned out to be remarkable value at £45. excellent light lunch.
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Ms/Mrs. Robin W

Execellent as per usual !!
22 January 2014
Excellent food as usual, thank you.
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Mr. Jan D

A real jewel
30 October 2013
This was an absolutely delicious meal. Despite it feeling rather like a gentlemens' club upon entering – 20 odd men and no women until our party arrived! – the food was beautifully presented and cooked to perfection. I could find nothing to fault at all, bar perhaps the service which was rather slack to start (we were ignored totally until I asked to see the wine menu) but improved some once we got started. A very good wine list (the Gimblett Gravels 2010 blend being exceptionally good value) brought a great support to a perfectly pink roast rump of salt marsh lamb and moist and succulent roast pork belly and made it through to accompany the exceptionally well-laden cheese trolley – one of the best in London. Perhaps not the most buzzy of places but if it's good food and wine you want then look no further.
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