If you ask me what my favorite restaurant is in the entire world, 100 Maneiras in Lisbon, Portugal would certainly come up in the conversation. While I am not ready to declare it my absolute favorite restaurant, it is most certainly one of my favorites (and Dan may be ready to declare it his favorite)!
100 Maneiras is located on a dark street in Lisbon’s Barrio Alto neighborhood. If you don’t want to work up a sweat getting there, definitely take a taxi. The restaurant is tiny, with only a handful of tables, and the host will certainly be expecting each reservation. It would be difficult to accommodate a party larger than 8 unless you rent out the entire restaurant.
100 Maneiras only offers an eight course tasting menu, and each course is pre-set by chef. 100 Maneiras does, however, make accommodations for certain allergies. The cost of the tasting menu is €60,00/person. An accompanying wine pairing is another €40,00, €60,00 for the premium wine pairing (both about five glasses of wine).
As any fancy meal should, the tasting menu began with a glass of Portuguese sparkling wine and the MOST DELICIOUS focaccia bread with olive oil! Seriously, it rivals Italian Foccacia bread!
While the focaccia is an excellent starter, the first official course at 100 Maneiras is always the “Codfish Clothesline.” Seriously delicious, a “codfish clothesline” is dehydrated codfish hung on a clothesline like contraption (ah, the presentation!) with coriander aioli and red pepper coulis. Only the slightest bit fishy, this dish is really good and definitely sets the scene for the courses to come! Its also supposed to represent Lisbon in the form of the clothesline (a city symbol) and codfish (everyone’s favorite fish here!). Creative.
Our second course, which changes with the tasting menu ever so often, was a duo of appetizers. First, a seafood cappuccino, called a Choco Latte or “Cut the Fish Off” on the menu. Yes, a tiny mug filled with a hot seafood soup done in with cream in a cappuccino/latte fashion. Honestly, I was terrified of this dish because I do not love cuttlefish but it ended up being one of my favorite courses of the evening! It was AMAZING.
The seafood cappuccino was paired with a “Talking Head 2.0,” or a scarlet prawn head from Madasgar with curry mayonnaise. This was also extremely delicious. The meal started out very strong!! And, if you have not gathered yet, 100 Maneiras is quite the hipster spot (I mean, the names!!).
Our third course, “The Famous Four,” consisted of trout tartare, tapioca, tomato gazpacho and pickled onion. Once again, this course was a winner. The third course was the first of what I called the “big plates” and the amount of trout on my plate was quite large. This dish was super fresh and very well done. The trout did not taste fishy at all.
After the trout, we moved on to another large seafood dish, “Here Comes The Sea.” The second large dish consisted of European lobster, red mullet, caviar and foie gras. At this point, I started getting pretty full and slowing down. Lots of wine, fewer bites. My favorite part of dish was the European lobster – so sweet!
Our fifth course, the last of the large seafood dishes called “Ocean Foam,” stuck with the seafood theme with codfish, fish stew, guacamole, fake tomato and cheese foam. In my opinion, this dish tasted a lot better than it sounded! The cod was very good and quite plain, which paired well with the tomato base. The fake tomato turned out to be a true fake tomato, which was pretty interesting! Also, whoever names these dishes is far cooler than me.
After completing all of the fish courses, we enjoyed a granita palate cleanser! I cannot remember the flavor of the granita, but it was served in the most awesome bowls!
“Belly Dance” was the name of our sixth course, and it may have been my favorite course, and certainly my favorite of the big courses. Belly Dance was the only large meat dish on our menu and consisted of pork belly, parsnip puree, persimmon, fake osso bucco, and air bag. The pork belly was cooked very well and the faux osso bucco turned out to be a potato filled with gravy – yum!!
Our tasting course finished with two desserts. First, an almond praline ice cream called “Long Live the Queen.” This dish was very tasting, served in an interesting dish thingy(?) and was a great bridge between savory and sweet.
Our meal finished with a HUGE dessert, the Jackie Brown. Jackie Brown is a coffee and chocolate extravaganza, complete with excellent plating, sugar, berries and ice cream! Definitely the way to end an eight course meal!
To recap, Dan and I love this restaurant and find it a reasonably priced restaurant to enjoy Lisbon’s upscale dining scene. Definitely make reservations in advance and dress smartly! If you are still up for going out after your tasting menu, Barrio Alto is filled with lots of “hole in the wall” bars to occupy your time.
Also, if you think you may like 100 Maneiras, you will probably also like Mini Bar!
STEAL OUR TRIP
100 Maneiras: Rua do Teixeira, 35, Barrio Alto, Lisboa. T: +351 910 307 575. E: firstname.lastname@example.org. 100 Maneiras is a small restaurant and books up almost every night. Reservations in advance are absolutely necessary and can be made online here.
ON A BUDGET
100 Maneiras is not budget-traveler friendly. When I went with Dan in March, two tasting menus with the classic wine pairing ran about $US 225 between the two of us. If you want to eat well on a budget, I recommend trying Time Out! Market, Lisbon!