From the terrace of Pane Vino, the Italian Restaurant in the Semiramis Hotel, dining patrons are treated to a magnificent view of the Nile, Qasr Al-Nil Bridge and the Corniche, which is especially spectacular during sunset. Our outing there proved that they have the quality of food to match the view.
Upon arrival we were greeted by the friendly staff, and presented with cheese bread and a garlic-olive paste. The bread was freshly baked, and the balance of flavours in the olive paste made for a great accompaniment. Chef Ramadan also prepared for us focaccia bread spiced with thyme and olive oil. These welcome treats tasted so good that we feared that we would fill up on amuse-bouche before we could sample the rest of the menu!
For our starters, we ordered the antipasto misto, which made for a great vegetarian option. It consists of a blend of roasted vegetables, including peppers, zucchini, garlic, onions, eggplants and artichoke. We also had the fried calamari, which was scrumptious and very well cooked. Calamari is easily overcooked, but the chef served us a perfect version of the dish: crunchy and soft at the same time, accompanied by home-made tartar sauce.
As a main course, we enjoyed the Puttanesca pasta, which was cooked al-dente with olives, anchovies, and capers, and served with a mountain of Parmesan cheese. The tomato sauce was delectable: the perfect combination of tangy and mellow, and very well-spiced.
We also had the grilled chicken, which was very succulent, juicy and tender. It was seasoned with rosemary and garlic, and came with a side of roasted potatoes and vegetables. Later, Chef Ramadan revealed that he dresses the chicken with a special sauce after grilling, so that it remains soft and juicy.
For dessert, we were treated to the tiramisu, the traditional dessert consisting of coffee-soaked lady fingers and creamy mascarpone cheese, which was heavenly.
Pane Vino is definitely a restaurant that you will want to visit more than once; it would be a great venue for celebrating special occasions due to its mouth-watering food, great service and enchanting atmosphere.