This week we have been checking out The Sign of The Don, the new sister restaurant of The Don, located on the site of the original Sandeman Port and Sherry Cellar next to Bank Station. The city bistro offers a wide selection modern British Cuisine with the occasional dip into Spanish and Portuguese dishes.
The ground floor is a low lit bar area, with scattered café like tables and a bar made from actual cork, with beer barrels as bench chairs, table tops and lightshades. This has a very European café feel to it.
We were taken downstairs, to the Bistro Area, which is the main part of the restaurant. Metal barrel labels with city locations adorned the walls showing the reach of the Sandeman’s distribution and helping you realise that you are dining in a part of history, and not some modern Disney like creation.
We were seated at a table overlooking the open facing modern kitchen, and presented a simple short reasonably priced menu accompanied by an extensive wine list. We ordered a range of dishes, starting with tender octopus complimented the chorizo and nutty chickpea, followed by Hake and a baby gem, heritage tomato and salsa verde. We also sampled the special of the day; a crunchy deep fried monkfish cheek which was light and crunchy. We accompanied this with a simple sweet and sour baby spinach, pine nuts and raisin combination on the side. The food was simple, well executed and honest. Other options that looked appealing were Venison Wellington and also King prawns, chili & garlic cooked in Sandeman own Fine Sherry. By way of pricing, £15 for the Hake, and £16 for the Monkfish demonstrates that for a high quality city eatery, this was very good value.
After our meal, we were invited to walk through the restaurant to view the private dining areas each located in an exposed curved brick wall. The desolate space has been tastefully recreated into a warm inviting atmosphere by the subtle décor choices and delicate lighting. Moving deeper underground through a narrow iron staircase, a cool, calm, long chalk white tunnel and a small brick arch, we were transported back in time into a medieval cellar originally used to store Sandeman’s port and sherry. Today, the cellar still stores a wide range of their finest wines and sherry’s; it is a surprisingly pleasant area proving to be the perfect space to attend a tasting class, all the while soaking up the restaurants extensive history.
The restaurant, although busy, remained a warm welcoming environment with a lively ambience and stylish finishing touches to keep the venues authenticity to and nod to its history.
Please contact us for reservations and private dining room enquiries.