Robyn and Robert Wilson will open The Sign of the Don on St Swithin’s Lane on 3 November. It will be a more informal offering than its neighbour, Bleeding Heart, which the pair opened more than 30 years ago.
"With a less structured food offering, a contemporary ambience and a huge range of wines by the glass we will be talking to the diner with less time and less money to spend than our traditional City white-table cloth clientele,” said Robyn Wilson.
The opening of The Sign of the Don re-unites chef James Walker and head of operations Giuseppe de Wilde, who worked together for seven years at Le Pont de La Tour. Walker, who trained at The Ritz, has devised the menu of modern British dishes with an occasional nod to the sites’ Spanish and Portuguese heritage.
Starters on the bistro menu will include a confit duck Scotch egg garnished with Sandeman port jelly; main courses will feature the likes of king Prawns with chilli and Fino sherry; and Olorosso sherry trifle along with a traditional Portuguese tart will be among the desserts.
Interactive wine list
In keeping with The Don and the Bleeding Heart restaurants, wine will be a big focus at The Sign of the Don. Robert Wilson has hand-picked 30 wines, many from his private cellar, which will be available by the glass via a state-of-the-art wine preservation system.
Diners can select their drinks via the interactive system, where details about the wines, the winery and the winemaker are displayed on wall-mounted LCD screens and can be ordered at the touch of a button.
Craft beer will also be available and will be supplied by Adnams of Suffolk. Paying homage to Robert Wilson's Scottish forebears, there will be an extensive range of single malt whiskies supplied by The Scotch Malt Whisky Society.
The décor of the new establishment also emphasises The Sign of the Don’s Iberian heritage. The bar is carved from a solid slab of cork from the Portuguese cork producers Amorim, while guests in the basement bistro will be seated on banquettes crafted from reclaimed Sandeman Port casks.
The Sign of the Don will open in St Swithin’s Lane, London, on 3 November.