The Definitive Guide to Living in the Capital , Cairo , Egypt


Cortigiano: Enduring Italian Chain isn’t Quite What it Used to Be

  • 14 Samir Mokhtar St.
  • Italian
  • 0224142402,0224142202
  • 1pm - 1am
reviewed by
Sarah Kamel
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Cortigiano: Enduring Italian Chain isn’t Quite What it Used to Be

Founded in 1993, Cortigiano could well be considered a pioneer in Italian cuisine on Cairo’s restaurant scene. While there are other more, what you might consider, authentic Italian restaurants around these days, its versatile menu – anchored by several Italian classics – has cemented its position as a go-to favourite for a date night, or a friends/family outing during the weekend.    

Cortigiano has preserved a rustic Italian ambiance throughout the years in all of its branches; brick walls, old metallic utensils, dim lighting and cosy atmosphere – none more so than at its Heliopolis branch.

Going through the menu during out last visit, we opted for Salmone Affumicato E Gamberi (83.93LE) as an appetiser – platter of smoked salmon with capers, shredded lettuce, slices of tomatoes, boiled shrimps smothered in shrimp cocktail sauce. The entire ensemble was full of bright, fresh flavours, but the amount of sauce overpowered, the shrimps and anything else you dipped into it.

Shortly after, our main courses arrived; Scaloppine Cordon Bleu (89.95LE) and Casserolla Cortigiano (95.95LE). 

Served as two veal steaks covered in mozzarella and tomatoes, and stuffed with cheese, mushrooms, and roast beef served, the cordon bleu was well-cooked, fried evenly, with oozing cheese and mushrooms inside. Overall, it had balanced flavours, but it needed an extra seasoning kick, the roast beef was barely discernible and the sautéed vegetables were poorly cut and undercooked.

Our second dish, unfortunately, fared worse. The Casseroula Cortigiano is essentially diced veal and beef, served in gravy and topped with mozazarella cheese – a fine combination on paper, but despite being generous in portion and overall being cooked well, there were no real standout flavours and it soon became very one-note.

Our choice for dessert was the Apple Tart (41.95LE), essentially a slice of pie stuffed with cinnamon-soaked apple pieces and accompanied with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Though we had expectations of a warm apple tart, the tart was cold and tasted noticeably un-fresh.

We’ve been to Cortigiano many times and, personally, will continue to do so, because we are, of course, creature of habit. You know what you’re getting when you go there, but can it still be considered one of the best Italian restaurants in the city? On this visit, no.

360 Tip

Cortigiano's has recently opened a new branch at the Platform in Maadi.

Best Bit

Waiters are friendly and attentive.              

Worst Bit

No dish we tried was executed without fault.

Map Data
Map data ©2016
Map DataMap data ©2016
Map data ©2016

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