Mexico City - Contramar
I am heading to Mexico City next month and have been reading the board to figure out where to go eat. I have read very little here about Contramar, so does anyone have any feedback? I am definitely focused on whether the food is good, the seafood fresh, etc. Input on the atmosphere is also welcome.
Contramar is quite good, and everything has already been said... the waiting time, no reservations, the hipness thing, the food (good, not excellent).
If you want seafood in Mexico City try Los Navegantes in Colonia Roma (Orizaba St, I believe). They have delicious ceviches, octopus with fried garlic and the best fried bananas with cream and cajeta for dessert (I'm pavloving now...).
I had to postpone my trip to Mexico City from May to September, so I finally made it last week. I really, really wanted to eat at Contramar, but the wait for a table for 4 on Friday at 3:30 was so long that we gave up after an hour and a half. I thought that we would get seated in an hour, which is what the host said, but no one was in a rush to leave their tables for other patrons.
The food looked delicious though, from what I could tell, as I snuck in to use the bathroom. This place is painfully hip and happening, so if Mexican fresas annoy you then you should consider going elsewhere. They did seem to be shuttling in those arriving in fancy cars and those who knew the host or owner, which we found incredibly annoying. I think that people were prolonging their lunch since it was Friday afternoon and no one left the restaurant except to take cell phone calls.
I advise that you go right when it opens (at 1pm) in order to get in quickly, otherwise you'll have to wait outside. The host recommended that we try Stampa del Mar in Colonia Roma on Orizaba and Puebla since we were in the mood for seafood. The food at Stampa seemed a bit more restrained than Contramar. I'll review Stampa del Mar on another post.
Friends took us to Contramar in 2004. I greatly disliked the roaring noise of the place; it's like an airplane hangar.
I screwed up and didn't order very well. I ended up with a small appetizer of scallops with tapenade, which was pretty good, while the rest of the party feasted on Lomo de Atún and so forth. Desserts were pretty good.
If you don't need "hipness" while dining, I'd also recommend going to the classic El Danubio, Calle República de Uruguay #3, Colonia Centro. They have it figured out after 71 years in operation. (Tip: skip the all-inclusive Menu del Día. Come in the evening, order a la carte. It costs a lot more, but the quality is greater. By the way, portions are huge and rich, and can easily be split for two.)
Sorry for the omission. El Danubio specializes in seafood. I would say it's "Old School" Basque style with a nod to Mexico. But they also have an extensive menu of carnes. I really like the spare decor and the veteran waiters in their red jackets are pros.
One of the specialty dishes is "Caldo de Mariscos el Danubio Verde (o Rojo)" Get the verde. Split it, as it's intense and there's lots of it.
The langostinos como le gusta are pricey but tasty.
It *has* been a number of years since we were there (Late 90s). Been there 2 or 3 times at night, and it's true, there were fewer diners, but the food was good. Went there once for comida, waited in line a reasonable time, went upstairs, had a large but undistinguished array of food.
To tell the truth, I prefer dining at Centro Castellano, almost across the street. It's a warmer atmosphere and style of service; and while the menu is very extensive across the Spanish dining spectrum, I usually end up having the Huauchinango a las Brasas.Some day I'll have to try the lamb.
good food, seafood fresh, atmosphere wonderful for spending an afternoon washing your seafood down with a Pacífico or a glass of white wine. You will almost certainly have to wait if you arrive between 2 and 4. It's a casual nice atmosphere, if that means anything. Tablecloths, but you'll be fine in jeans.
Last time I was there Gabriel García Marquez was, too, in case the possibility of a repeat sighting tempts you.
I like the fish tacos al pastor, the pulpo a la gallega, the tostadas de jaiba, los rollos crujientes de jaiba, and everything tuna.
I was just there during the trip I reported on in the posting on Mostly Pujol. We were, I'll admit right up front, guests of Gabriella's parents, so we were given great treatment and she just sent us out a bunch of different dishes. However, everything we had was from the menu, so it wasn't like we were getting specially prepared dishes.
We had the raw tuna tacos, which i think I liked the best. Flavorful, perhaps a bit citrusy, if i recall correctly.
Ceviche was great, better, IMO, than Pujol's.
We also had the calamar a la gallega (i think), which was too oily for my taste, but flavors were good.
Croquetas, but i didn't try those as I don't care for deep fried foods. They were all eaten up, so must've been good!
We also had the grilled shrimp arugula salad, which had an orange-based dressing, which went nicely with the shrimp.
For dessert, we ordered the Dark Fruit (can't remember the spanish name), this was basically like a puree of persimmon, only that's not exactly what the fruit was. I really liked this, but it was not really desserty... We also ordered the strawberry meringue dessert, but as I'm not a whipped cream or meringue fan, i only took a bite. Everyone else seemed to love, though.
Place has a great vibe, very lively, airy, fun! Service is also impeccable, but then again, we were with the owner's parents.
We went to Contramar last September. The food and service were excellent and comparable to an upscale restaurant in US (but without the prices). The appetizers, in particular, were good: raw tuna tacos, for example. It caters to a hip upscale crowd of all ages. I would also recommend Danubio. The atmosphere there is old world and the food, while more plain, was to my taste. The table next to ours was a big family eating langostinos and drinking Squirt and tequila.
I was tehr when they first opened, grat ambiance , simple , yummy fresh seafood. That was about 8 years ago maybe, Since then I know they have established themselves and is a little more expensive but the food should be good still, ask a local when you get there.
Also do not miss for lunch around 1 pm before the crowd, El Bajio on Cuitlahuac Ave. Not far form Polanco business disrtrict, ffor amazing Mexican traditional cuisinespecialicing in Carnitas. For the real Tacos al Pastor, where they invented them go to El Tizoncito in Condesa , dont remember the street , but thereis two , more confortable to sit down at tables I think. order by the taco and taco de rajas con crema
Also in Condesa Roxy for great olfashioned Icecreams and gelattos, on Mazatlan ave.