Durango just west of Glorieta Cibeles in La Roma, Mexico City, Mexico
Contramar Mexico City Reviews
For a pricey, memorable comida fuerte Jul 23, 2008
Contramar is somewhere one goes when one wants to celebrate. It's expensive, but worth every pesito. Not a quiet or subdued place (imagine a classy cantina), it fills up by around 2:30 each day -- weekdays are dominated by politicos and impresarios in suits; by Thursday and Friday the arty Roma set installs itself; Saturdays and Sundays it's full of families. If you show up right at 2, you usually don't have to wait; otherwise, you can expect to wait up to an hour or more for a table. I still haven't figured out their reservation system: I believe you can make one for between 2 and 2:30 only. Aside from the less than helpful door people (who, in their defense, are usually overwhelmed with people waiting to be seated), service is attentive and enthusiastic. (A bit too enthusiastic at times -- they'll replace your silverware at least twice during the course of a meal.)
As the name suggests, Contramar is principally a seafood restaurant. Absolutely de rigeur are the tostadas de atun. (To give you a sense of the price range at this place, we're talking 115 pesos or so for a plate of four tostadas.) Thinly sliced raw tuna of very high quality, a light chipotle mayo, fried green onions, fresh avocado... garnish with freshly squeezed lime juice and some hot sauce and you're moments away from bliss. I'm also quite fond of the exquisitely prepared tacos de esmedregal -- tender chunks of fish coated in a spicy red adobo sauce, served with warm tortillas. The pez bruja is amazing, so long as you don't know what live hagfish looks like (or are not easily daunted). There are plenty of other delights on the menu, too many to list here. The best strategy, I've found, is to go in a group and order a wide variety of dishes to share. Two plates of the tuna tostadas, they're that good.
You can get away with spending maybe 200 pesos per person if you eat lightly and refrain from ordering alcohol. Otherwise plan on dropping at least a 500 note.
Part of the list Hidden (and not so hidden) culinary gems in Mexico, D.F.
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