100 Maneiras. Or Ljubomir Stanisic. Because 100 Maneiras can’t be dissociated from Ljubomir – nor the other way around. We know what was born first – the cook, in 1978 – but we also know that talking about 100 Maneiras is talking about the most-Portuguese-Yugoslavian-cook-ever.
The name of the brand aims to provoke, stimulate, to think. It refers to the absence of rules, but also to the infinity of forms. Because this group doesn’t want preconceived norms and prejudice is not allowed. There are no limits to creativity. No barriers. Borders aren’t limited. There is tradition and there is innovation, knowledge and imagination, seriousness and jokes. The only absence is monotony.
Ljubo inaugurated the first restaurant when he was 26 years old and had been living in Portugal for seven years. The 100 Maneiras of Cascais was open between 2004 and 2008 and gave the Yugoslav knowledge (recognition) and experience. If the chef says that he has learned more from his mistakes than from his victories, the bankruptcy in Cascais was one of the setbacks that served him well.
In January 2009, after abandoning the idea of moving to China or Angola, he settled in Bairro Alto, in Lisbon, and with the help of three friends – Fausto and Carla Lopes and Nelson Santos – he opened the new 100 Maneiras. This restaurant in Rua do Teixeira was the first in the capital to serve a tasting menu at a democratic price. A small step for humanity, a small revolution in the city.
Ljubo’s cuisine opened up to a growing audience, which favors taste, discovery, experience, but has no need for pretension. And it was this combination of factors that, in September 2010, gave birth to Bistro 100 Maneiras. The society was then joined by another friend: Nuno Faria, responsible for the liquid area of the menus.
In this historial Art Deco-inspired building, in Chiado, home of one of the oldest restaurants in the country, art and gastronomy, music and mixology, the most conservative and the most eccentric coexist.
With two floors and capacity to welcome around 70 people, Bistro 100 Maneiras is a hymn to pleasure. And this characteristic, which brings so much together, made it collect the prize that is, by itself, a reason for eternal pride: world number 1 at the Monocle Restaurant Awards in 2017 and the third place in the same awards in the following year.
Bistro means “clean and clear” in Serbo-Croatian. “Clean and clear” are the space, the ideas, the food. Here, comfort cuisine is served in a choice made à la carte, with creations inspired by the traditional Portuguese, “Yugoslavian”, French and Italian recipes, with an author touch and inspirations brought from Ljubo’s journeys and experiences. Included in the menu are suggestions for a quick bite and to share, a section for the brave, named “no questions asked”, a vegetarian menu, some seasonal dishes, timeless successes, impossible to replace, and of course an inevitable happy ending (for even sweeter dreams!).
Happy, too, are the suggestions coming out of Bistro’s bar, winner of the national 2017 Coaster Award for “Best Restaurant in a Bar”. Given annually in the World Class competition, the most prestigious cocktail competition in the world, the Coaster Awards recognize the daily work at the best cocktail bars. Leading the counter are Jorge Camilo and Daniel Zamith, responsible for many of the liquid creations that make the bar famous. It was not by accident that Monocle magazine considered Bistro the ideal place to have a cocktail in Lisbon…
Sharing Portugal with the world, putting Portugal in the mouths of the world. No matter what may change in the menus of this mythical Chiado restaurant, this will never change. Because it is a certain “portugality” that is exhibited, but also seasonality and, above all, a locality without borders.
It was these premises, this experience of a decade, which culminated in the opening (on February 28, 2019) of the group’s new restaurant, two doors away from the first one (currently closed for refurbishing), at Rua do Teixeira nº39 (chosen, just 9 months after its opening, to join the list of the 50 Best Discovery, compiled by the organization of The World’s 50 Best). The new 100 Maneiras isn’t “just” a restaurant. It is not “just” the new restaurant of one of Portugal’s most famous cooks. 100 is a life story, the story of Ljubomir Stanisic and many others, of all (so many…!) who fit inside these walls made of stone and velvet, ruin and luxury.
It is the world that emulsifies, that excites us. And it is emotion that we want to put in the glass, the stone, the pot or the dish. Because 100 Maneiras are not “just” restaurants. They are a family that eats and feels, drinks and desires, that looks at the world with the will to devour it. In a single sip – or bite.