An evening of favorites, all around.
The hardest part about writing this review will be resisting the urge to run right back to the restaurant for round two. Bistro 100 Maneiras, sister restaurant to the Michelin star-awarded Restaurant 100 Manerias under Chef Ljubomir Stanisic, features a menu with Portuguese, French and Eastern European influences. Situated on a busy corner in the heart of Chiado, the space is both futuristic and homey. Walking in, there is a small bar and lounge area, all very upscale with a modern aesthetic. The hostess then walks you up a floating spiral staircase to the upstairs dining room, which, in contrast to the contemporary first floor, is very intimate, warm and inviting. Booths set back in perfect little nooks line the perimeter of the dining room, each one with a window overlooking the street below. We loved the concept of having each booth in it’s own little ‘room,’ and it made for a very quiet and romantic experience.
I’m going to stop you right now and let you know that we’re completely aware of our overuse of adjectives in this post. You are about to see more “amazing,” “fabulous,” and “spectacular’s” then you’ve ever seen before.
Right off the bat, you are introduced to your front of house ‘team.’ We’ve noticed this at quite a few restaurants we’ve been to in Portugal, where instead of each server being assigned a dedicated section of tables, they work in teams of three or four.
We started with a selection of Portuguese bread with olive oil and duck pâté for dipping. This was rockstar pâté, made with peanuts and mushrooms. We got three refills. We could have taken a bath in the stuff and not had enough. So. Good.
Alongside the bread and accompaniments, we were brought an aperitif of Espumante – a 2007 vintage from the Távora / Varosa region, and 2015 Challenge International du Vin médaille d`OR winner. It was a pinot noir-based sparking wine, and truly spectacular. Sarah is currently trying to figure out where to get it in the U.S. so we can serve it at our wedding. That good. (and it retails for only €26-€30/bottle!) (!!!)
After another round of bread and pâté, we figured it was time to actually figure out what we wanted, but our server, Pedro, already had our night mapped out for us. All it took was one confident, “I’ll take care of you,” and he took our menus and walked away.
We would have followed Pedro over a cliff by the end of the night – he was spot on with every single recommendation and pairing.
For starters we went with the scallop dish– three diver scallops served with cauliflower puree, mushrooms, hazelnut and scarlet prawn foam. They were seared perfectly, and we were blown away by how much flavor was in the prawn foam.
We also got the cod croquettes (typical), but in our defense, they were recommended this time, it wasn’t just our croquette obsession. They came with katsuobushi (dried, fermented and smoked tuna flakes) and coriander aioli. It was an amazing presentation of a simple croquette plate, with a clever use of dehydrated fruits and vegetables (which is a staple at their Michelin restaurant) as a garnish.
It took all of 57 seconds for us to wolf down our appetizers, but Pedro and the team were on top of it every step of the way. Shortly after starters were cleared, we were drooling over the entrees. Sarah went with their award-winning mushroom risotto with shrimp carpaccio. It was the best risotto we’ve had in a long time. Perfectly creamy and rich, without being ‘gummy’, and not nearly as rich as you would typically find in traditional risottos around the world. The shrimp carpaccio was nicely acidic and cut through some of the ‘heaviness’ risotto brings to the palette, so it was perfectly balanced. It was paired perfectly with a full-bodied chardonnay from the Duoro region.
As for myself, I went with Pedro’s pick, and it’s now my favorite dish: entrecôte tataki with “torricado”, mushrooms, a slow-cooked egg and foie gras mousse. Entrecôte is a term used for a prime cut of beef, usually from the rib area, as this was. “Torricado” is a typical Portuguese method of cooking bread, roasting it with a ton of oil and herbs, then cutting it into thick slices to soak up the flavor. It was served with the foie gras mousse on top, and the whole plate was drizzled with demi glaze. Rich components, a great cut of beef and foie gras. I was high on the flavor. This was paired with a mild red wine from the Dão region of Portugal. Perfect.
After reluctantly throwing in the towel on the entrees, Pedro was back in for more. Being the loyal followers we were, we didn’t question his dessert pick– a marscapone and cream cheese foam with guava sorbet and almond crumble. It was a perfect play on the ‘cheese for dessert’ card. We don’t normally like sweet wine, and aren’t huge Port fans, but we were feeling adventurous (and gluttonous) so figured now would be the time to try it. However, Pedro said he wasn’t going to bring us port (He had something else in mind). That ‘something else’ was a ten-year-old Barbeito Verdelho medium-dry Madeira wine. It was malty and nutty and a great night cap.
God, we love Pedro.
We had expectations for this place in the days leading up to our reservation, and it’s safe to say it passed with flying colors. Far and away the best staff we’ve encountered, wonderful food and perfect ambience for what has been our favorite meal to date. This one will be hard to beat.
As Monsieur Paul Bocuse would say, “Bravo!”
Bistro 100 Maneiras
Monday to Saturday, 19h30-02h
Largo da Trindade, 9, Chiado – 1200-466 Lisboa, Portugal
Tel: +351. 910 307 575
Restaurante 100 Maneiras
Open Daily, 19h30-02h
Rua do Teixeira, 35, Bairro Alto – 1200-459 Lisboa, Portugal
Tel: +351. 910 307 575