Studio at the Standard is just one of three restaurants in this beautiful art deco building located along the Copenhagen harbor. Downstairs there’s a slightly more casual Danish brasserie called Almanak and the restaurant Verandah, which is something as rare as an Indian gourmet restaurant. However, the true gem is found upstairs. Studio at the Standard is currently a one-Michelin-starred restaurant – a star which they earned just five months after opening. I think the Nordic and French fine dining, in this restaurant complex owned by restaurateur Claus Meyer, definitely have two stars within reach.
With a view to Noma on the other side of the water, you can even look back at the heritage of head chef Torsten Vildgaard. There’s no doubt that he’s been influenced by being René Redzepi’s sous chef for many years, but he’s most certainly doing his own thing now. At Studio you get classic gourmet ingredients like caviar, truffle, foie gras, sweetbreads and quail eggs wrapped in a beautiful new Nordic style of presentation. If you leave unhappy from this place you are spoiled beyond comparison.
This was one of my must-visit destinations last summer, and the only reason I haven’t written about it yet, is because the pictures looked way too summery to post once the grey and cold Norwegian winter was a reality. My table companions this evening was the always wonderful Gourmand Pilgrim and the most interesting wine writer I know: Vinstudinen. If you haven’t already discovered her blog you should check it out right now and read more about the wines we had. I introduced the two ladies to each other this evening, and I am happy to say they have since become good friends. Linn even went to visit Anna at her home in Switzerland this year.
I had the pleasure of dining downstairs at Almanak a few years ago, but I really had no idea what was awaiting me on the top floor. Studio is a spectacular showcase of the amazing talent of chef Vildgaard. There’s also a jazz club at the same level, by the way, which I really want to check out someday when I have more time. The Standard could pretty much fulfill your every need if you’re only in Copenhagen for a weekend. There are even hotels and a great wine bar called Den Vandrette just across the street, and the location couldn’t be any better.
In the middle of the room of Studio, there’s a lovely piece of vintage furniture that serves as the sommelier’s table. The roles seemed to be organized in such a manner that the sommelier was our table host, and the chefs, including Torsten Vildgaard himself, helped to present some of the dishes. All guests have a clear view into the open kitchen at one end of the room. There are even some seats at the bar around the kitchen, which is where I had originally booked before I decided to meet up with friends instead.
Our sommelier was a good host with a great sense of humor. He kept us entertained the whole evening, while spending just the right amount of time at our table. That is a balance which very few waiters or sommeliers master, but he did it perfectly. When Linn dropped her napkin cloth the 11th time due to a slippery skirt, though, he was understandably unable to hold back his laughter. Just like the rest of us.
When the bread was brought to our table our host told us a story about the sourdough. According to legends this particular sourdough was stolen by Torsten Vildgaard from Noma when he quit his job 9 years ago. Our sommelier pointed towards Noma in the distance behind us. It was getting dark now, but the building was lit and we could see there were people having a great meal over there as well. Possibly as great as the lunch me and Linn was about to enjoy there the next day.
Whether the story was true or not, we are not sure about, but Linn was so amazed by it that she begged to get a sample from the sourdough. What you need to know about Linn is that she was a sourdough nerd before she became a total wine nerd. Getting a piece of this historic sourdough would be an amazing triumph for her. Personally, I was convinced they would never give away a sample of such a precious thing. But lo and behold, as a final surprise after all desserts and petits fours was served, a Norwegian chef came out from the kitchen with a box that read: Studio’s sursöla. Linn still bakes with it, and I have stolen a piece of it as well. That way we can still think back and dream of the amazing meal we once shared at Studio.
Have you been to any of the restaurants at the Standard? Please share your experience in a comment.