Vivo Restaurant- File photo
CAIRO –10 September 2017: When my colleague and I were invited for a trendy dinner at Nile Ritz-Carlton’s newest restaurant Vivo, the curious journalist in both of us led us to peek at their website to learn what we were in for—and the promise of authentic, rustic Italian cuisine by the Nile immediately won us over.
Upon our arrival, we were greeted by the native Italian chef, Carmine, and the restaurant manager, who amiably showed us to our table. The venue’s contemporary feel and lavish views of the Cairo Tower and the Nile, enhanced by the soft Italian tunes played, provide an ideal atmosphere for a fancy, romantic dinner for two. The chef introduced the menu to us and we were happy to follow his recommendations for our whole meal, from starters to desserts.
The restaurant was neither too crowded nor was it empty.
After we made our orders, we went on a tour of the kitchen to watch the chef cook our dinner right in front of us before going back to our table, longing for the aromas we smelled and delicacies we watched being prepared. We saw the assistants in high spirits, cooking our meal with love and smiles painted on their faces. Every single one of them was creating small details that were to lead eventually to a magnificent portrait. We would soon find that the food tasted as heavenly as it looked.
Soon enough, our dishes arrived. We started off with the grilled octopus, served with green beans, pesto sauce, and potatoes, the lamb leg with cream of cannellini beans and fried rosemary and the Pizza Deilzia. The octopus was fried and very well-cooked, while the pesto gave the dish a pleasant kick. The lamb leg was well-seasoned, with rosemary dressing, and was tender in every bite. While my colleague and I are usually not great fans of blue cheese, its addition to the pizza was delightful—we gobbled down the entire thing within minutes. The appetizer portions were generally suitable for two people.
After finishing our tasty starters, we moved on to the main courses: risotto with shrimps and risotto-cheese with mushrooms. Risotto can be tricky in Egypt; either it’s too undercooked or you’ll find it’s mushy or bland. Yet we were pleasantly surprised to find that Vivo’s risotto is the best we’ve tasted in Egypt. The aromas and taste of the creamy milk with mushrooms and mushroom sauce immediately transported me back to my trip to Italy.
Our bellies were more than satisfied by then, but we had to try their assortment of mini desserts. These included a small chocolate cake that was bitter-sweet, a white chocolate cup, and two caramel-based desserts which were all light enough to top-off a rich, Italian meal. Although we thoroughly enjoyed indulging in these delicacies, the chocolate cake was a bit hard to chew.
If you want to relive our experience, just visit our Facebook page and check our video at Vivo.
The prices of the platters start from LE 100 (salad) to LE 300 (main course), which we find very reasonable in comparison to hotel restaurants.
Vivo Restaurant, The Nile Ritz Carlton • Address: 1113 Corniche El Nil, Cairo • Tel. +2 (02) 2577-8899 • Open from 6:00 p.m. to midnight.