In the beginning, there was the Word
A wish made of a handful of ideas brought from Festival Lumière, in Canada, in which chef Ljubomir participated, as one of the guests representing Portugal, the country highlighted that year.
Then, the action.
To transform this historical place, which once housed Tavares Pobre and Bacchus, into a timeless house. To convert this Art Deco-inspired building, home of one of the oldest restaurants in the country, into an eclectic and contemporary place, open every day, without stops, from 12pm to 2 am. A place where 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. Hail, Bistro!
“Bistrot”, some call it, with French accent. 100 Maneiras, others, forgetting that is the Bistro in its name that gives it part of its identity. Bistro means “clean and clear” in Serbian. “Clean and clear” – the ideas, the food, the space. Here, it’s served comfort food, with a choice made à la carte, with creations designed from the traditional Portuguese, “Yugoslavian”, French and Italian gastronomy, with an author’s touch and inspirations brought from the travels, experiences and tastes of Ljubo. Without pre-arranged limits. From foie gras to testicles, from shellfish to game, from “luxury” products to less known ones. A menu that includes suggestions to share, a section for the “brave”, seasonal dishes, successes that refuse to leave the table regardless of the season and, of course, an inevitable happy (and sweet) ending.
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.
The same bar that, at the end of 2018, was completely refurbished with the support of Schweppes and the hand of Filipe Pinto Soares. The laboratory glasses, which refer to the alchemy of the creation of carbonated water, and the pieces of clocks, which recall the watchmaker’s past of Johann Schweppe, founder of the company, are combined with the use of mirrors that provide an optical illusion depth – similar to what was done at Hendrick’s Room (in which Pinto Soares was also co-author).
Leading the counter are Jorge Camilo and Daniel Zamith, responsible for many of the liquid creations that make the bar famous. In 2012, Jorge won the first place in the Gin Mare national competition, four years later it was Daniel who won the same prize and a third place in the Grand final, in Ibiza. In 2014, Zest by Gin Lovers magazine mentioned Camilo as “probably the best bartender in Portugal”. And in 2015, they were both responsible for the recipes of the first great Portuguese cocktail book, 100 Cocktails 100 Maneiras, published by A Esfera dos Livros. A book that reflects the importance of the cocktails in the restaurant and in the whole 100 Maneiras concept. It was not by accident that Monocle magazine considered Bistro the ideal place to have a cocktail in Lisbon…
These and other glasses can be drank at the counter, on the Chesterfield couch in the lobby or in Bistro’s Bedroom, for example. Opened in 2014 in the place where once functioned Ljubomir’s Pekaria (a Yugoslavian bakery), the only smoking space in this house was named after its intimate atmosphere. There is a desire to stay, always just for another minute, like someone who is in the house of friends…
Designed by HAJE, the same duo who signed the project for the new 100, at Rua do Texeira 39, it was recently the target of an intervention by “our” artist and friend, Mário Belém. A William Morris’ image, reproduced “upside down”, makes us feel (sit and walk) in an inverted garden, where the huge colored flowers and lamps are turned “upside down”- almost like an Alice after eating the magic mushroom. The Room is a place where liquid and solid dreams are served. Cocktails and appetizers for dinner – or before or after dinner. (As already said, no rules… 100 Maneiras).
Mário Belém was also responsible for one of Bistro’s new windows, sponsored by Monkey Shoulder whiskey (with the imagery of the brand serving as an inspiration for a Great Escape), and by the work-installation of 100 mirrors on the walls and ceiling of the dining room on the upper floor, which aim to multiply by 100 the small great pleasures of life.
It was also Belém, in partnership with Filipe Pinto Soares, who designed the dream on the walls of the Hendrick’s Room, the private room at the top of the stairs connecting the two floors of the restaurant. A room that is a work of art! A parallel universe, created in 2016, where the illustrations of Belém are combined with the technological creations of tPinto (who is also the author of the “infinite” shelves of the new bar, in the lower floor, and of the two windows that speak of a certain type of love, in a partnership with Tequila Milagro).
On the walls lined with poplar, the Hendrick’s botanicals serve as inspiration, with ingredients such as orange peel, cumin, lemon, cucumber, chamomile, coriander and holly, celebrating the liquid and the solid, the ordinary and the extraordinary.
Ready to be reinvented according to the tastes of the occupants, at Hendrick’s Room it is possible to customize the scenery according to the mood (or the time of the day or night…) by controlling the intensity of ceiling and wall lights and even connecting a smartphone to choose the playlist. Different moods, different ways. In addition to the eight-person oval table (with a mirror on the ceiling accompanying it), there are two benches built into the walls, next to the window. Because here the occasion makes the room – and it can serve the intimacy of a dinner for two, the privacy of a business meeting or the sharing of dinners between friends. Always with an open view to Chiado and a bit of Tejo in the background.
Eclectic and urban, with no presumptions or prejudices, Bistro 100 Maneiras is also the stage par excellence of some events with 100 Maneiras signature, where multidisciplinarity is imposed. These are the dates in which gastronomy joins cinema, music, plastic arts, travel or winemaking, promoting the spirit of 100 Maneiras beyond any frontiers. It is the bohemian Chiado that presents itself here, from the cocktails to the wines, with the people and the nights that linger, with the pleasure of being and sharing, with the world, the best things in life.
To share Portugal with the world, to put Portugal in the mouths of the World. No matter the changes on the menus of this mythical restaurant in Chiado, this will never change. Because it is a certain “portugality” that is exhibited, but also seasonality and, above all, a locality without frontiers. 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.