The struggle makes the man. A statement tested and proven. Both in the life of the Bosnia-born cook, Ljubomir Stanisic, as in the process of creating his most recent restaurant, 100 Maneiras (1 Michelin star), at Rua do Teixeira 39, Bairro Alto.
But if it was the difficulties that characterized the four years of reconstruction of this restaurant, overcoming and consolidation were also some of the nouns that shaped it.
There are many proofs of that. One: even after three years of architectural and engineering projects, the stove of the new restaurant couldn’t fit through the gate of the old Adega do Teixeira. It is true that it weighs about a ton and that it had to be transported by crane, through this narrow alley of Bairro Alto (where the crane almost touched the walls!), and it is also true that, for the stove to enter the kitchen, one of the few walls already finished had to be destroyed…
The Yugoslav chef didn’t sleep the night before and by dawn he was already at the door of No. 39, waiting for the piece he had drawn two years earlier in Italy… He certainly wanted to punch the engineers who had forgotten to take some measures, but there were no injuries recorded in this episode (only a few more white hairs and a few less years to live…). But more than certain is that this “Ferrari” got in. And soon it became the fulfillment of an old dream. (Overcoming!).
The new 100 Maneiras isn’t “just” a restaurant. It is not “just” the 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. A project chosen, just 9 months after opening, to join the list of the 50 Best Discovery, compiled by the organization of The World’s 50 Best, and winner of a Michelin star in the following year.
100 is, above all, part of the life story of its owners – Ljubomir, Nelson Santos and Nuno Faria – who, with the courage that only a few have, invested in a business of a considerable scale without a support network, but also of others who thought this life project with them, like Mónica Franco, the chef’s wife, author of his books and creative director of the group.
100 is made of flesh and blood… Of people like Hugo Marques Amaro and João Miguel Esteves, the architects from HAJE who helped the project to be born, designed and adapted it, and still accompanied it all these years without throwing the towel…
People like Nini Andrade Silva, the interior designer from Madeira island who took the ideas and the concept to every inch of the decoration… joining the feeling of “Decadentism” to the Fantastic, and put it in a place where the dream becomes matter of the real.
People like Gil Correia, André Sentieiro and other elements of Partners, the creative agency who read thoughts and created the new graphic identity, joining uniqueness and irony, contemporaneity and nature. With genius trace(s).
Or Mário Matos Ribeiro, founder of ModaLisboa and a University Fashion professor, who created the uniforms in organic linens, at the same time minimal and multicultural, dispensing words to explain them.
Many names fit within 100. And many destinations as well. Stockholm, Copenhagen, Helsinki, Madrid, Barcelona, Paris are places marked on the map of 100. But if these years were of intensive gastronomic research, it was far from the contemporaneity that the training became more profound. In Sarajevo… capital of Bosnia-Herzegovina, part of the former Yugoslavia, where Ljubomir was born on June, 8, 1978 and from where he had to flee at the outbreak of the Bosnian War and the Siege of Sarajevo, and to where (about 2 years ago) he took part of his team – the wife, his business partners, executive chef Manuel Maldonado and operations manager Miguel Santos. So they could get to know the heart of the story, this story, which is told (he tells, they tell) every day at the no. 39 of Rua do Teixeira.
The Story: 125 euros
The Short Story: 95 euros
Echoes of 100 (vegetarian menu): 110 euros
Bold Pairing (12 drinks): 115 euros
Underline Pairing (9 drinks): 90 euros
Italic Pairing (10 drinks): 100 euros
The new 100 is many things – a declaration of love for his city, a declaration of peace, the longed awaited burial of arms, an homage to his roots (and it is not by chance that the front door opens to a huge root that “falls” from the ceiling…).
The new 100 is the pacification – of the child who was forced to live the war, of the young man who became a cook because he had to flee from it, of the Yugoslavian who adopted Portugal and became adopted by it, of the cook who grew up amongst the fight and now expresses himself without fears, as a whole, in peace, on the plate.
“Welcome to Bosnia!”, is said every evening in this 32-seat restaurant in Bairro Alto. Mother Rosa’s bread is accompanied by Yugoslavian specialties, in plates brought from that trip to Sarajevo. And it works as a letter of intent. First we know where everything (him, the chef patrón) was born, then we see how he grew up, where he traveled to, what marked him: as in “Where there’s smoke, there’s fire”, a sweet tribute to the victims of the (bitter) fires in Portugal.
The 100 Maneiras of no. 39 is the natural evolution of no. 35, the former restaurant located on the same street (now closed for refurbishment), which for 10 years marked the rebirth of the most-Portuguese-Yugoslav-chef-ever after the bankruptcy of his first space, in Cascais.
We climbed 2 numbers on the street, invested in the comfort of each of the 3 rooms (The Glass Room, The Dining Table and The Back Room), enlarged the kitchen (which wasn’t difficult ☺) and increased our offer, with three tasting menus – “The Story” (17 moments), “The Short Story” (shorter) and “Echoes of 100”, 100% vegetarian.
We also created 1 cocktail bar for the award winning team of Bistro 100 Maneiras, where we abolished the shaker for a stirred experience… “Lisboa” is one of seven signature cocktails, inspired by the popular saints’ festivals and grilled sardines, but longer trips are also provided, to the “Countryside”, for example. Or to the “Isla Bonita”…
We’ve already said it: this restaurant is made of flesh and bone, of blood and sweat, of tears and many laughs. Lots of laughs. And a lot of wine (which ends up being interconnected…) There are about 500 references that have been gathered over the years and that, thanks to the delay, have accumulated even more… (Consolidation!).
Nuno Faria joined forces with Miguel Santos and with our team of sommeliers to, besides these hundreds of entries of the main menu, build an alternative menu with 100 wines grouped in other ways. One of them is “To Die For! By Dirk Niepoort”, a selection signed by the great (wine producer and friend) Dirk Niepoort.
100 is maturity. Ljubo’s maturity but also of the group 100 Maneiras. A restaurant opened when we celebrated 10 years together and know what we want. We want to look at the whole world, to bring the whole world into us, to bring our world into every detail, to bring us into everything. And we want to be just like ourselves.
We thought about each and every detail: from the tableware (much of it drawn by Ljubomir himself), to handmade crystal glasses; from the custom cutlery to the music selected by Nelson Santos; from the plants on the walls of The Glass House to the light, which creates different “scenarios” for each moment of the “performance”. From the coffee menu, with 5 different types of service, including Bosnian, to the choice of teas and olive oils.
With the birth of the restaurant we also wanted to make a statement of principles. Happy to have bought a composting machine, committed to transforming organic garbage from the group’s restaurants into fertilizer for agriculture – and then exchange it for organic vegetables. We look for sustainability, first. For happiness – ours, our people’s, the world’s.
The declarations continue on the lower floor, where the restrooms (and the wine cellar and the service area) are located. Inside, surrounded by moss, stones of the Portuguese sidewalk, iron and tree branches, we enter into a tunnel of time. There are voices that speak to our ears. They speak of politics, but also of equality, traditions and history. The speaker is Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela, but also Josip Broz Tito, the former president of the former Yugoslavia, Apollo 11 astronauts, Alberto Caeiro, Fernando Pessoa, José Saramago, the Lisbon “cauteleiro” (the old sellers of lottery tickets), the bells of the Muslim mosques from Sarajevo…
Culture dresses in countless ways, in different places. And there are (much) more than 100 ways to be happy. We had a dream…!
Chefe-patrón: Ljubomir Stanisic
Executive chef: Manuel Maldonado
General manager: Nelson Santos
F&B manager: Nuno Faria
Operations manager: Miguel Santos
Creative director, Image & Communication manager: Mónica Franco
Press & Communication: Laura Patrício
Interior Design: Atelier Nini Andrade Silva
Graphic Identity: Partners
Uniforms: Mário Matos Ribeiro
Lighting: Get a Light
Plants: Vislumbrar Aromas
Ceramic tableware: Bordallo Pinheiro
Wood tableware: Arthmad
Metal tableware: Eurico Rebelo
Cutlery: Belo Inox e Hepp
Knives: Cutelaria Toni Pinho
Glasses: Schott Zwiesel e Winestar
Teas: Companhia Portugueza do Chá e Chá Camélia