When I was a young jr. producer I was lucky that the company associates would always take me to the nice events and to the expensive lunches so I could learn the business. I must have been 22 years old the first time I went to Contramar. Back then they didn’t take reservations and yet all of these important businessmen were willing to wait as long as it took. I remember my boss saying “we are going to wait and then we are going to eat amazing seafood”.
Durango 200 Colonia Roma, Del. Cuauhtémoc, México D.F.
Contramar is located in the ultra chic La Roma neighborhood. The decor is classy with a beachy vibe, perfect lighting and crisp white tablecloths in what was once a high ceiling bodega. Although Mexico City is inland, the restaurant gets fresh seafood delivered daily from both coasts. It has a top quality menu and attracts beautiful wealthy crowds. Even after all these years it is still a coveted lunch place and the place to see and to be seen.
For our first appetizer we ordered the Aguachile Campechano. Aguachile is a dish made by submerging seafood in a lemon spicy brine. This particular one was marinated in a salsa verde broth and had fish, shrimp, octopus, scallops, pickled red onions and cucumbers. It was so refreshing, citrusy and mildly spicy. We gobbled it right up!
Then we had the Tacos de Pescado Al Pastor. These are a version of the upscale fish tacos marinated in an Al Pastor adobo. They come with handmade corn tortillas. Al Pastor is an adobo made with a bunch of dry chilles, spices and achiote paste. The tacos were fantastic. They had the perfect balance of Al Pastor flavor with a sense of seafood.
Our main entrée was the Pescado a la Talla Contramar. This is the restaurant’s specialty. It is a split red snapper, half of it is covered with a red spice rub and the other half with a green rub. The green rub is made mostly with parsley. No wonder this is their signature dish, the snapper was cooked to perfection.
And last, but not least, we had the Merengue con Fresa for dessert. This is a merengue cake with fresh strawberries in the middle. Just when I thought our meal couldn’t get any better along came dessert. You have never had anything like this. It was decadently amazing so good it should be forbidden.
Contramar remains the standard for impeccable fish in Mexico City. That is why it is treated with some serious respect among national and international foodies. A must try in Mexico City but remember they are not open for dinner.