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4. Fifty Seconds by Martin Berasategui
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50 seconds. That’s the time it takes to reach the door of FIFTY SECONDS (hence the name). The elevator ride is an experience in itself. Signaling the start of a unique dining experience. If the panoramic view of the Tagus river initially catches the eye, it’s the exemplary service and excellent menu that will win you over. It’s no coincidence that the restaurant earned its first Michelin star in its first year of existence. Opened in November 2018, this is the only project in Portugal by Martín Berasategui, the Spanish chef with the most Michelin stars in the Iberian Peninsula – 12 in total, in addition to being recognized by the Michelin Guide in 2021 as a “Mentor Chef”. Although he usually works at his eponymous three-star restaurant in Lasarte-Oria, on the outskirts of San Sebastián, where he is from, Berasategui often visits Lisbon, where he has a Portuguese team in charge. Filipe Carvalho, who had already worked at Lasarte in Barcelona, another three-star restaurant by Berasategui, is the executive chef and the Spanish chef has nothing but complements for him.

He knows who he has here the daily effort applied, from the kitchen to the dining room. He also knows that nothing is done differently from his way, although each of his restaurants has its own identity. And that’s why Martín Berasategui never speaks in the singular: “Martín Berasategui is not me, it’s all of us.” A collective that goes beyond his team in the restaurant, he defends, and includes, among others, farmers and fishermen, small and large producers. No matter how high they may rise, neither Martín nor Filipe forget where they come from. They make contemporary and avant-garde cuisine with all the rigor and demand, but always respecting tradition. They know every single product, work it in the best way, and elevate it.

Even so, at FIFTY SECONDS in Lisbon, there are classic Spanish chef dishes that are unlikely to leave the menu, such as the caramelized foie gras mille-feuille with green apple and eel, which he has been serving for years. But there are also new dishes that are added to the menu, depending on the season of each ingredient, to make the most of its potential. That’s why each dish is not only the result of hard work, technique, and numerous tests, but also the result of a lot of passion and dedication. Or ‘garrote’, as Martín Berasategui calls it, which entered the dictionary of the Royal Spanish Academy in 2021. “It’s attitude, it’s spirit, it’s positivity, it’s generosity, it’s adding, it’s multiplying.” In short, it’s all the good things the chef wants to represent and convey. The 12-course tasting menu is the best way to embark on this gastronomic journey, which blends flavors from Portugal to Spain. Take your time and enjoy the experience without rushing. The atmosphere is refined, without being heavy, in an unusual circular room with only ten tables. The service is attentive, without being intrusive, and demanding without being overwhelming. And the best is yet to come, Berasategui believes”.