A new dot on Denmark’s food map
TEXT: SIGNE HANSEN | PHOTOS © STØBERIET AND MEJLS FOTO
Praised by national media, Støberiet in Holsterbro has become a new must-try destination for foodies from all over Denmark. With 12 new hotel rooms conveniently located next door, guests can enjoy all that the restaurant and wine bar has to offer, without worrying about the journey home.
Founded and owned by Michael Lehm, a former sommelier at the Michelin-star restaurant Kong Hans, Restaurant Støberiet offers an experience that pays attention to both wine and food. This, paired with a dedication to good service, has made professional critics and regular guests sing the restaurant’s praise.
In fact, in April 2018, the national newspaper Jyllands-Posten praised Støberiet for pretty much everything from its service and kitchen to food presentation and attention to detail – even the temperature of the wine got a word of approval. Calling one of his seven dishes ‘a stroke of genius’, the reviewer went on to write: ‘I left Støberiet happy that day. Everything went off without a hitch both in the kitchen and in the restaurant, and it’s always a pleasure to visit a place that focuses on quality and has an eye for the experience of the guest.’ The review gave Støberiet five out of six stars and thus equals the enthusiasm of regular visitors, who have given the restaurant top marks on sites such as TripAdvisor.
A young chef with ambitions
While Støberiet started out as a brasserie-style eatery in 2011, Lehm soon decided to take a turn towards a more restaurant-like set-up. “I’ve always said that if I were to open up my own place, it would be in Holstebro, where I grew up, and that was also one of the reasons I started out with a style that was more tilted towards a brasserie than a restaurant,” explains Lehm. “I was afraid that I’d scare off the people from the area if I aimed too high. But, eventually, I came to the conclusion that if you believe in what you do and you deliver a consistent level of both service and food, people will come no matter what, even if they have to drive to get to you.”
The real change happened when, a year ago, Lehm managed to recruit Karina Thorstensen as head chef. A former chef trainee at Støberiet, Thorstensen was keen to take the restaurant to the next level of gastronomy. “I fought to get her back, and one of her demands was that she wanted to take the gastronomic level up another notch, and she did. It’s been a big leap since she came onboard and earned us that five-star review in Jyllands-Posten,” stresses Lehm. “I definitely have no regrets.”
A warm welcome
Put together by Thorstensen, Støberiet’s menu allows guests to choose between a set four- or seven-course menu or à la carte. The mix means that the restaurant can satisfy the preferences of a broad range of visitors, from local couples to business people and visiting foodies. “Our guests are approximately half private and half business, and we like that mix. It creates a nice atmosphere and keeps things from getting too pretentious,” stresses Lehm. “I have no interest in creating a fancy business restaurant, like some of the places I’ve previously worked at; I just want our guests to be met by a welcoming and attentive host, and I make sure that we always have enough staff to do that.”
When Thorstensen upgraded the food menu last year, Lehm chose to expand and upgrade the wine menu accordingly. Today, it contains a broad selection of wine, including Champagne and wine from Bourgogne, imported by Lehm himself. However, despite the bigger and broader menu, guests will still find sensibly-priced wines on the menu. “There is something for everyone,” promises Lehm. Appropriately, he has at the same time expanded the restaurant’s adjoining accommodation, which now includes 12 new hotel rooms as well as a three-room hotel flat and four B&B rooms with shared toilet facilities. In other words, like with the food and wine, the focus is on providing everyone with a good experience.