I told my partner about how my mother and I would joke about relationships and romance, and how she would tell me that I would know that a boy loved me if he got me “a whole fish.” I don’t even know where that came from, but as I thought about it more, I began to reflect on past relationships…and their lack of whole fishes. And it all just became even more funny.
Gabriela Cámara’s Contramar was one of the places I was eager to check out on our recent trip to Mexico City. The vibrant seafood restaurant in the hip Roma neighborhood has been much-buzzed about for years and has consistently been a shining star in the CDMX dining scene (and the ‘gram). Popular dishes include their famed tuna tostadas; light and crisp tostada chips with super fresh tuna, refreshing avocado, and a sneaky layer or luxurious house-made sauce underneath. Heartier dishes such as their braised pulpo (officially the first octopus dish that got my formerly octopus-hating partner to give this protein a second glance) and their namesake pescado contramar — a whole expertly-grilled snapper slathered in distinct red and green sauces are also among crowd favorites.
Don’t let the white linens and formally-dressed wait staff fool you. While Contramar showcases impeccable service and presentation, the pristine restaurant has a lot of heart and feels very much like a neighborhood hub instead of a bougie wallet-sucker or tourist trap. If you want to maximize your people-watching vibes, snag one of the tables lining the sidewalk. The tourist-to-local ratio is pretty good which means you’re in that sweet spot of legit Mexican seafood and the benefit of staff that understands a fair amount of English (and French from what I’ve overheard a few tables over). Prices are a little higher than the average neighborhood joint in CDMX, but considering the high level of service and quality of their ingredients, it’s worth the splurge.
Contramar is located at Calle Durango 200, Cuauhtemoc, Roma, Mexico City. Link: http://www.contramar.com.mx/ (Reservations are strongly recommended).