Up on the roof

20 June 2015 by Hazel

by Pia Marsh

A rooftop in the heart of Østerbro, Stedsans på ØsterGRO is an unlikely rose amongst the thorns (quite literally, it’s situated next to a fitness world and directly above a biker clubhouse). Here, the food you eat is straight from the rooftop farm surrounding you - about as ‘earth to table’ as it gets.

Farm and greenhouse, Stedsans på ØsterGRO, madaboutcopenhagen
Farm and greenhouse, Stedsans på ØsterGRO, madaboutcopenhagen

Opened in May by Mette Helbæk and her husband Flemming Schiøtt Hansen, the unique dining experience has been quick to stir the city’s intrigue, and seats are filling up fast!


Clean, simple, local

Herbs, roots, a bee farm and a chicken enclosure, Stedsans is its own little green oasis, well out of earshot from the buzz of the city.

Rows and rows of vegetable patches, interrupted only by a greenhouse at the end, where guests eat together on a long wooden table. It’s ridiculously hyggeligt, complete with mismatched tableware and organic Icelandic sheepskin along the benches.

Guests in the greenhouse, Stedsans på ØsterGRO, madaboutcopenhagen
Guests in the greenhouse, Stedsans på ØsterGRO, madaboutcopenhagen
Rooftop farm, Stedsans på ØsterGRO, madaboutcopenhagen
Rooftop farm, Stedsans på ØsterGRO, madaboutcopenhagen

With the whole ‘earth to table’ movement currently taking Scandinavia by storm, we were intrigued to see how Stedsans differed from the multitude of other organic eateries in Copenhagen.

It only takes five minutes with Mette to realise the answer. Dressed in wellies and an apron, she’s the picture of health and understated earthiness.

Mette Helbæk, Stedsans på ØsterGRO, madaboutcopenhagen
Mette Helbæk, Stedsans på ØsterGRO, madaboutcopenhagen
“I met Flemming when I was 24 - he had a restaurant and I started working as a waitress and chef, then later as a food writer and recipe developer.”

After years of struggling with a string of stubborn chefs, Flemming decided to take matters into his own hands.


A unique experience

The menu, carefully curated by Flemming, consists of 6 courses served for sharing, and is complimented by a selection of handpicked wines and ciders.

Prosecco and starters, Stedsans på ØsterGRO, madaboutcopenhagen
Prosecco and starters, Stedsans på ØsterGRO, madaboutcopenhagen

The aim is to use the freshest produce of the moment for each and every one of their dishes.

“We get almost everything - from the freshly harvested vegetables and herbs to the coffee and chocolate - from people we know and trust.”
“It’s important to us that we work with people who enjoy what they do, because ultimately we believe that happy energy can be passed on to people, soil, vegetables - and food.”
Beef tartar with kale flowers, Stedsans på ØsterGRO, madaboutcopenhagen
Beef tartar with kale flowers, Stedsans på ØsterGRO, madaboutcopenhagen
Fresh tomatoes, mint and burato cheese, Stedsans på ØsterGRO, madaboutcopenhagen
Fresh tomatoes, mint and burato cheese, Stedsans på ØsterGRO, madaboutcopenhagen

Our menu for the evening consisted of...

A salad of fresh tomatoes, mint and burato cheese, followed by beef tartar with kale flowers.

Fresh tomatoes, mint and burato cheese, Stedsans på ØsterGRO, madaboutcopenhagen
Fresh tomatoes, mint and burato cheese, Stedsans på ØsterGRO, madaboutcopenhagen

Rashers of cured meat served sofia potatoes and buttery asparagus, and a delicious pork knuckle confit.

Pork knuckle confit, Stedsans på ØsterGRO, madaboutcopenhagen
Pork knuckle confit, Stedsans på ØsterGRO, madaboutcopenhagen
Rashers of cured meat served sofia potatoes and buttery asparagus, Stedsans på ØsterGRO, madaboutcopenhagen
Rashers of cured meat served sofia potatoes and buttery asparagus, Stedsans på ØsterGRO, madaboutcopenhagen

A dessert worth drooling over and asking for seconds – dark chocolate, rhubarb, fresh strawberries and cream. Genius.

Dark chocolate, rhubarb, fresh strawberries and cream, Stedsans på ØsterGRO, madaboutcopenhagen
Dark chocolate, rhubarb, fresh strawberries and cream, Stedsans på ØsterGRO, madaboutcopenhagen


Raw and understated class

There is a rawness to ØsterGRO that is hard to find fault in. It feels a bit like you’re sitting in the shed at your uncle’s farm on a balmy Sunday evening. It’s soothing, social and oozes authenticity in every sense of the word.

“Our wish for Stedsans is that it’s the kind of place that people leave feeling happy, uplifted and inspired. Good company, wholesome surroundings - somewhere you can relax and just be yourself.”
Stedsans på ØsterGRO, madaboutcopenhagen
Stedsans på ØsterGRO, madaboutcopenhagen

That particular evening, we did not eat in the greenhouse as guests usually do. Instead, we ate in an old converted elevator, fifteen of us sardined onto a long table, eating and chatting for over four hours.

The charm of the surroundings was infectious; we left feeling warm and content, slightly woozy from the wine and humbled by the good people we’d just met.

“Stedsans is really just about having a raw dining experience, with all the fancy stuff and pretentiousness stripped away.”

The 6 courses cost 350kr per head. You can book a table (or rather, a seat at the table), Thursday – Sunday, all summer until September 27th.