Literary Aspirations : Restaurante C25

(note: as of late 2012 the space is now occupied by a simple albeit café. '25' no longer exists)
Located just off of the circuit of Avenida Amsterdam by the Citlaltepetl fountain, Restaurante C25 is a laid back, grown-up kind of place, set in a lush garden patio--just what the Condesa needs. It’s part of Casa Refugio, a privately maintained refuge for exiled writers and journalists. Profits from the restaurant help maintain this worthy venture. (For more information see their bi-lingual website www.casarefugio.com)

The open patio area, one of the few in the neighborhood unhindered by passing traffic, is graced by a sleek fountain and verdant foliage. The setting is both urban and urbane, tranquil yet conducive to long conversations – the background music is restrained and appropriate. The contemporary fusion menu, which includes Mexican and French dishes, with a bow toward the Orient, is not overly long. There are 7 entradas, 4 soups, 3 pastas, and 7 main dishes, all concocted by the young husband-and-wife chef team of Nasheli Martínez and Abel Hernández.
Nasheli runs the kitchen. She’s inspired by the variety and quality of produce and meats available in Mexico; her favorite is duck. “Duck goes so well with many different sauces, from Thai to Mexican; as a raw material, it gives me a chance to be creative”. The “house special appetizer” is a gordita de chicharrón de pato, sort of a deconstructed version of this most typical “antojito”: the masa shell wears a frizzy toupee of shredded roast duck “chicharrón”. It’s served with pineapple salsa and a touch of Asian soy/sesame marinade. A double order could pass for lunch with no complaints. My favorite soup is the “sopa de tortilla azul”, a new take on the classic tortilla soup, this time with a seafood base and shredded crabmeat.
Several standard salads – including a nicely done Greek - are on the menu. An interesting pasta option is the spaghetti with “chorizo de camarón”, the house-made shrimp sausage is a novelty that works nicely under its blanket of fresh, basil-y tomato sauce.
Two dishes with duck breast in a starring role grace the eclectic entrée menu – a classic French “pato a la lenteja”, juicy duck breast over a bed of lentils, seasoned with smoky bacon and fragrant with thyme, would please any grand-mère. The “pato 25” presents succulent slices of magret, with a sauce of chabacano (apricot) and 3 chilies, served with a timbale of mashed potatoes and sautéed snow peas. For those in a nautical mood, I recommend the “robalo azafranado”. The filet is coated in a “powder” of Iberian ham and gently bathed in a light saffron cream sauce.

The revolving dessert menu might include the “buñuelo de láminas de wonton” filled with pastry cream and Orange liquor or a homey “apple surprise”.
The wine list, with several good Mexican selections, is well chosen, and there is
something for every budget. Dinner for two should run $200-300 pesos per person, while an ample “menu de degustación” can be enjoyed for 400 pesos.

Restaurante C25
Citlaltépetl 25, Condesa
Tel. 5211-4514
Open Monday – Saturday 1:30 - 11:30 PM
all major credit cards accepted


  1. Dropped in two weeks ago for dinner with my wife. It was every bit as good as described. Service was attentive. The mezcal-based martinis (a concoction I hadn't tasted before) were nice as well. Will be returning with friends.