Located in Heliopolis away from the city buzz, the Concorde El Salam Hotel is the destination of many outings for Heliopolis residents, due to its variety of restaurants and location.
The spacious restaurant Italiano is located close to the lobby, but the distance between tables gives just the right amount of privacy and a cosy atmosphere.
The restaurant is decorated in a mix of modern and classic styles, with painted tables and tall pillars. The ambience inside the restaurant was enchanting; the lights were dim and beautifully decorated candles were the centre-piece of every table.
As dinner was served a Spanish-style guitarist serenaded the room with soothing tunes. He played for a large part of the evening and he added to the warm atmosphere of the place.
The staff were great, from the friendly lady who showed us to our table, to the waiting staff who explained the dishes and adhered strictly to formal serving etiquette.
Italiano has a varied menu that features all the classics you can expect in an Italian restaurant
We started with fried calamari served with honey mustard sauce and a seafood soup as appetisers. The calamari was perfectly prepared; well salted and the sweetness of the sauce and the tart lime juice proved to be the perfect accompaniment to a relatively large portion.
The seafood soup was very tasty too and served in a very large bowl. It included all sorts of sea food, but it is unlikely anyone could manage to finish the giant bowl and continue to a main course.
We tried the ravioli with spinach and ricotta cheese in tomato sauce and we were not disappointed; the pasta had the right consistency and texture and was perfectly al dente. Next, we tried the lamb which was perfectly tender and accompanied by fresh vegetables.
We also had a gorgonzola pizza. This was the only dish that was disappointing; it was very hard and crispy and not even the sharpest dinner knife could cut it. We resorted to breaking off small pieces and even if the topping was delicious, the texture of the base spoiled things.
For dessert we had cream and berries; the cream was actually a rich yogurt served with berry sauce. It was really delicious; you could tell the berries were fresh and the texture and sweetness were wonderful.