Bleeding Heart founders to launch new City venture
The founders of London's Bleeding Heart and The Don restaurants are set to launch their latest venture, the Sign of the Don, in the City of London next week.
Robyn and Robert Wilson, who last month celebrated the Bleeding Heart's 30th anniversary by selling its house wine at 1983 prices (95p a glass), will open the new bistro and bar adjacent to The Don restaurant, in St Swithin's Lane, EC4, on the site of the original Sandeman port and sherry cellars.
The Wilsons are pitching the Sign of the Don, with its list of "accessible fine wines", at a "new generation of diners and drinkers", in contrast to the Don's clientele, which has a strong corporate bias.
Founder Robyn Wilson commented: "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."
Chef James Walker, who trained at the Ritz, has created a menu of modern British dishes with an occasional nod to the site's Spanish and Portuguese heritage. Sample dishes will include bar food such as ham croquette and a Mallorcan manchego and sobrasada toastie.
The Bistro menu will feature confit duck Scotch egg with Sandeman port jelly, king prawns with chilli and Fino sherry, and Olorosso sherry trifle.
Head of operations is Giuseppe de Wilde, who previously worked alongside Walker for seven years at Le Pont de la Tour.
The interior design aims to emphasise the Sign of the Don's Iberian heritage, with a bar carved from a solid slab of cork from the Portuguese cork producers Amorim, and its surface made from port-imbued chestnut reclaimed from old Sandeman Port vats.
The wine list will feature 30 bins selected by Robert Wilson, many from private cellar. They will be available by the glass via a wine preservation system. The cocktail menu will include classic drinks made from craft gin and vodka as well as signature Sherry and Port cocktails.
Craft beer will be supplied by Adnams of Suffolk and there will be an extensive range of single malt whiskies supplied by the Scotch Malt Whisky Society, in a nod to Robert Wilson's Scottish forebears.