Pane Vino s location on the second floor of the Semiramis Intercontinental, overlooking the Qasr El-Nil Bridge, gives it stunning views of the city s river and its surroundings. Cairo illuminated by night makes the view even more spectacular.
The restaurant itself, light and airy, is done out in a modern European theme with lots of light pine and clean edges. Italian pizza ovens and towering racks of wine bottles provide decoration.
Bread is – unsurprisingly – the trademark of Pane Vino, which literally means Bread, Wine. Upon being seated we were offered a selection of bread rolls as well as a tasty olive dip accompanied by herb-seasoned bread slices.
The menu itself offers a range of pizzas, pasta and meat dishes. For starters we selected an Insalata Caprese, whose Mozzarella was deliciously milky and rich, and the Carpacio di Salmone, whose fresh fish was accompanied by a light, creamy cucumber-infused sauce.
Waiters provided prompt, friendly, service and were obliging enough to change our initial white wine order (when it proved to be just a little too sweet), no questions asked. An extensive range of international and local wines are available to choose from.
After much deliberation I opted for the Gnocchi ala Sorentina for my main course, Gnocchi dressed in a fresh tomato and basil sauce. I am an inveterate Gnocchi fan and while I enjoyed the perfectly-cooked, light potato dumplings themselves, the sauce itself – though fresh – was unremarkable.
My dining companion selected a smoked pizza of aubergine and cheese.
We both agreed that the pizza was deliciously smoky, and its base excellent, but differed on the topping. While I enjoyed it unreservedly, my companion found it slightly salty and to his palate the aubergine flavors were just a little too subtle.
We rounded off the meal with a Millefeuille con Crema Pasticcera and a Tiramisu. The Millefeuille was rich, creamy and crisp. The Tiramisu, slightly caramel-flavored, needed more coffee. My companion regretted not ordering the Zabaglione, a Tiramisu made with white wine.
At LE 500-600 for two people (excluding alcohol) Pane Vino is not cheap, but is a dining option to bear in mind for those wishing to momentarily escape Cairo s hustle and bustle.
Pane Vino, Semiramis Intercontinental, Cornich El Nil, Garden City.Tel: 2797-1818