First and foremost, do yourself a favor and make a reservation.
Before dining here I read many complaints online about diners who waited for more than 90 minutes for a table. As the restaurant is only open for lunch, walking into the restaurant without a reservation is a horrible idea. There’s a limited amount of table turnover and a limited time window in which to dine. Many families and work groups eat here because of the restaurant’s great food and limited dining. When these parties secure a highly coveted table, they are in no rush to leave. Make a reservation. The hostess was very, very nice when I called.
Contramar is located in the trendy La Roma neighborhood. The restaurant has no shortage of posers, so we chose to sit on the patio so that we could people watch. A decision we did not regret. Ranger is in Cuernavaca, so he did not dine with us, but, the restaurant’s patio is dog friendly and I saw several trust fund puppies on that patio (including one in a Burberry outfit!). I would definitely bring him on a return visit.
The food was great. We started with the Ceviche, Contramar style. We all loved it, and it was nice to have ceviche that DH could eat: it was fish only and did not contain shellfish.We then decided to order Pescado a la talla. It comes with two sauces, a red and a green. Because it was our first time at the restaurant we ordered the fish with half red sauce and half green sauce so that we could try it out and experience both offerings. We preferred the red sauce (chile rojo) to the green (perejil)–but both were tasty. Because the boy is 11, he has to be contrary about everything. Instead of sharing our fish, he ordered Carnitas de Pescado. While his dish was tasty, he rapidly helped himself to (read: devoured) our fish.
We ordered about 1/2 kilo of fish, while most diners generally order 3 kilos or so. Either way, it was a lot of food and more than enough for us.For dessert, DH ordered Don Julio 70, tequila. It was so cute when it arrived at the table with something I had never seen before: sangrita. Sangrita is Spanish for “little blood”. Apparently you drink it with tequila to cleanse your palate between sips of tequila. The sangrita highlights the acidity of the tequila. When the dessert tray visited the table, we all decided to share the apple pie. It was quite tasty, and we ordered it a la mode. For folks new to DF, or uncomfortable with their Spanish, Contramar would be a great place to dine. The neighborhood is safe, the food is safe to eat, and there are menus in English and Spanish.
Our mesero, Julio, even spoke English (which he insisted on practicing throughout the entire meal). While I wasn’t crazy about playing Rosetta Stone with Julio, his service was outstanding, and he worked his ass off to ensure that we had an excellent experience at the restaurant. In a city where excellent service is an exception, not a rule, I’d ask the host to seat me in Julio’s section when we return.