We've been going to Cancun for years and one thing we've always found is that is severely lacking in restaurants/chefs that are unique, innovative and provide a truly memorable food experience. Not to say there isn't a million and one restaurants to choose from that are all high end and claim to be "5 star". In Cancun it is very easy to spend $300+/head on an extremely average meal. I don't even listen to the concierge recommendations anymore because they all send you to the same restaurants and none of them are worth it. They cater more to the person who appreciates glam and a see-and-be-seen atmosphere. It is the rare concierge in Cancun that actually knows their food. This is why your concierge will not tell you about Cristian Morales.
Cristian Morales is the name of the chef and the restaurant. It is in the city (not in the hotel zone) and can be a little tricky to find but well worth it. The restaurant is a gorgeous old mansion that has been refurbished and designed by Cristian himself. He has created a very sexy, intimate space with unique lighting and creative color combinations. Not somewhere I would recommend bringing small children. But would certainly recommend it for a romantic dinner, a business dinner or for families with older children. He has 2 private rooms upstairs that are gorgeous. Ask for the one in the back overlooking the swimming pool if you have a party of 8+. My husband and I sat in the wine room which gave us a wonderful view of the chandelier hanging over the main dining room.
The cuisine is contemporary Mexican with Cristian's own unique take on each dish. The standout dishes we had were the lobster carpaccio (which wasn't actually raw but served carpaccio style), the duck confit which was outstanding, the ravioli stuffed with that black flower that comes from corn at certain times of the year (can't remember the name of the flower just now) and the salmon covered in a very unique mole unlike any other mole you've had in cancun. And the best part of all....unlike any other "top" restaurant in the hotel zone, was entree courses ranged from about $25-$45 with appetizers around the $8-$13 (if my memory serves me correctly).
Finally one of the nicest parts of our experience was that the chef himself greeted us at the front door as we arrived and sat us. He also made personal recommendations regarding food and wine and personally checked on us several times during our dinner. His staff are very courteous and very friendly and work hard, but perhaps not yet familiar with some fine dining expectations which is the reason why I gave 4stars and not 5 for service. I think give his staff another 2-3 weeks and a little more training and they'll be competing with the Ritz Carlton in service (Cristian already matches them with food).
We are just so happy that finally there is a restaurant in Cancun worth going back to!