We are longtime customers of Sergio Contreras Martinez, from his days owning and operating Playa Sol Beach Club and restaurant. We have been looking forward to visiting the restaurant Limon, that he has opened in his home in Colonia La Gloria, with his wife Charrissa Gillingham.
We were impressed with the decor of the restaurant, it is modern in design without being pretentious: simple and straight forward. Soft lighting in the indoor areas make the dining room spaces comfortable and encouraging.
We were fortunate to get a great table in the outdoor courtyard area (we made advance reservations) and we absolutely loved the courtyard space for dining. Very romantic and very comfortable. If you make a reservation, you should really consider requesting the courtyard, remembering that on warm nights it might be better to sit inside in the air conditioning. This first visit of ours was on Boxing Day (Dec 26) so dining outdoors was a true delight.
The dining was also a delight. We started with the house margaritas, these are made to order (we heard the blender coming from the kitchen) no pre-mix Slurpee machine here, as Sergio is a master mixologist as well as a fine host and chef. The margaritas were well balanced, not too strong nor too sweet.
Next was an amuse-bouche of a fresh tuna paste served with pita. This did exactly what it was supposed to do, prepare the taste buds and tongue for the main events to come.
We shared appetizers of tomato salad and Tacos de Jamaica, or hibiscus. These tacos are one of the specialties of the house: Sergio sautees hisbiscus flowers with bell peppers and then stuffs the mixture into flour tortillas, wraps and rolls the tacos which are then grilled on a flat top. Sergio serves these with fresh made-to-order guacamole and pico de gallo. A very unique taco, a great appetizer when shared or a perfect entree for vegetarians or anyone who wants a change of pace. My dining companion said she might order the Hibiscus Tacos next time.
The tomato salad was not as unique but was still delicious, thinly sliced tomato in a garlic vinegarette, most suitable and complementary to the Tacos de Jamaica.
The main course for us this evening was fresh tuna steak, on Sergio's recommendation. He presented us with a beautiful tuna loin for our approval, and we almost gasped at the vibrant color and absolute freshness of this fine fish. We all agreed the best way to cook this would be to sear it on the grill.
Another delight of the courtyard is the grill. We got to watch as Sergio grilled our tuna, and I got in there and took a photo of the tuna on the grill, Sergio has several beef steaks and other delights on the menu, and I look forward to the next adventure on this outdoor grill.
The plating of the tuna steak was really beautiful. Sergio and his sous chef (his nephew) made a tart reduction sauce with more of the hibiscus, the citrus in this reduction sauce brought out different flavor notes than the Tacos de Jamaica we had as appetizers. On a small pool of the hibiscus sauce, Sergio parked the tuna steak, along with a mound of yellow rice and a mixed vegetable rollup.
We both absolutely adored the tuna steak: seared on the outside and rare in the middle and everything I had hoped it would be. A memorable chunk of fish and fresh beyond compare>
We finished the meal with spirits in snifters, and as it was later and most of the other guests had finished and left, we got to visit with the owner/chef Sergio for a while, also a memorable end to a memorable meal>
We will return, probably several times on this visit to Isla Mujeres, and hopefully many more times on future visits to the island. I became an instant fan of Limon.
Relaxed but modern, modern but comfortable, comfortable but still fine dining, fine dining with a nod to tradition and Mexican influences.
This is great for couples and friends, and I hope you will try it too,.
Next time I think I will have the filet mignon in four chiles sauce...but that's another review.
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