In the spirit of Mother’s Day, I took my mother out for a fancy dinner. Because we are both picky eaters, we agreed on a cuisine that will satisfy all tastes; Italian.
We headed down to the Cairo Marriott Hotel and Omar Khayyam Casino for a quiet dinner at the hotel’s popular Ristorante Tuscany.
Our evening started with a leisurely stroll through the Marriott gardens until we reached the restaurant, designed to emulate a little Italian village. We were escorted by the maître d through a room where five tables were set to a smaller, more intimate room where we were greeted by our waiter.
He led us to a cozy booth, suitable for both; a romantic date or an intimate dinner for a group of four.
The restaurant’s setting has an authentic, rustic feel to it. Checkered table cloths and wooden chairs and windows all add to the Tuscan experience. The overall ambiance will give you the impression that the closed windows are overlooking vast green vineyards.
As we were browsing through our menus, our friendly waiter placed down a selection of bread and two sample plates of pesto sauce to whet our appetites.
We opted for two starters of Shrimp Cocktail with orange sauce (LE 105) and Salmon Carpaccio (LE 95) that can be served either marinated or smoked, according to preference.
Because mixing shrimp with orange sauce may seem unusual for some, only dollops of the sauce circle the shrimp, ultimately acting like garnish. One is free to dip it in or simply opt for a more traditional taste with freshly squeezed lemon sauce placed on the table.
The variety of salads can leave one spoilt for choice, with ingredients ranging from smoked salmon and avocado (LE 89) to an exotic Tuscan salad with sun dried tomatoes, grilled zucchini and fried mozzarella cheese (LE 51).
As tempting as that seemed, we decided to dive right into the main course so as not to spoil our appetites.
Befitting of an Italian gourmet restaurant, their selection of pastas was the menu’s highlight. Pasta lovers can choose between small and large portions, not varying that much in price.
I was torn between the Linguine with crab (LE 59) and the Gnocchi (homemade potato dumplings) with blue cheese and parmigiano (LE 54). Finally I went with the safe choice of Ravioli all’Aragosta – lobster and baby shrimp ravioli with basil cream (LE 59).
My dinner partner opted for the grilled veal chops with wild mushroom sauce (LE 135) out of a selection of appetizing plates of seafood, chicken and beef.
As soon as we finished our starters, our main courses were ready for us to savor. We could only hope our meals were half as appealing to our taste buds as they were to our eyes; and we were not let down.
What initially stood out about the grilled veal chops was its elegant presentation; two veal slices garnished with color pepper and eggplant, with just the right amount of mushroom sauce.
Complementing its presentation was its delectable taste. The veal chops, albeit well-done, were still tender with just the right amount of flavor.
My plate was festive, with flower-shaped raviolis stuffed with lobster, dancing with little shrimps in a creamy basil sauce.
The party continued in my mouth as the creamy, but light, sauce blended harmoniously with the lobster and shrimp.
Instead of offering us a standard dessert menu, our waiter appeared with a tray of mouthwatering treats for us to choose from, (LE 45 for everything).
Although our main courses’ portions were generous, the tray of desserts our waiter taunted us with had us go for one more course. We decided to share a warm peach tart with mocha ice cream and a simple cup of fresh strawberries with sugar sprinkled on top.
The tart was soft and crumbly all at once in our mouths, with a hint of almond taste. The caramelized peach on top and mocha ice cream added to the perfect combination of flavors.
We left the little Tuscan village satisfied with a light but filling meal, greeted by a staff of hospitable waiters who made sure we were planning on visiting again.
Ristorante TuscanyOpen for lunch and dinner Phone: 20 2 7283000