Here at Faber, we believe the secret to success in the hospitality industry is the creation of a seamless experience—as opposed to a certain type of cuisine or decor. It occurs when a business knows exactly what it’s about, demonstrates it in every detail, and executes it consistently. We call this Immersive Hospitality™. And The Experience Journal puts a spotlight on venues that have achieved this to give readers an insight into what makes them special.
This month, FF&E Buyer and Designer Grace relives her visit to Nebbiolo Wine Bar, Copenhagen, somewhere that has nailed the concept of speciality. They say ‘if you’re going to do something, do it well’. And Nebbiolo avoids the classic mistake of trying to be everything to everyone. The venue puts its flag firmly in the sand with Italian wines (most often from the Piedmont region) and appetisers, with the only exception being its sacred Sunday Dinner.
Cin Cin! The venue dedicated to the time-honoured Italian traditions of Aperitivo and Sunday Dinner…
‘Aperitivo’ is distinctly Italian. And you don’t get better hospitality inspiration than this Meditteranean must-do. Derived from the Latin ‘aperire’, the tradition is meant “to open” the stomach before dinner and takes place in the early evening after work.
Taking its name from wine region Piedmont’s most famous grape, Nebbiolo opens its doors at 3 pm every day, offering a true Italian experience in the Danish capital of Copenhagen. Wine (often from smaller vineyards) is served at the perfect temperature by the glass, along with a small selection of well-matched antipasti. In what couldn’t be further from a plastic chain, staff here really know their stuff and there are no menus.
But there is one exception to their ‘aperitivo’ focus and that’s of course another keystone Italian tradition—Sunday dinner ‘famiglia’ style. This is served at the venue’s communal table, which keeps the conversation flowing along with the wine. And it’s for these reasons that we think Nebbiolo is the perfect example of immersive hospitality—you really could be in Piedmont!
Grace’s Memory: “Just off the famous Nyhavn in Copenhagen is Nebbiolo Wine Bar. Having walked past earlier in the day when it was closed, I mentally made a note to return later in the evening. Even through the windows, you could sense the warmth and cosiness of the place—with sheepskin throws across the Tolix dining chairs and low ceilings. Entering via three small steps down later that evening, it was busy with couples and friends chatting—either standing at the tiled bar to the left of the entrance or sitting further into the place, at tables of two lit by candlelight. As a table of three, we thought we might struggle to find a spot, but the busy yet smiley waiter led us to a large dining table where various groups had also been seated”.
“Divided by crittal-like windows from the main bar, but not feeling separated, we were seated amongst racks of wine bottles and grayscale artwork in a room that could also be hired as a private space. Lit by candles and soft pendant lights, we weren’t handed menus but instead asked what type of wine we liked. Then the knowledgeable staff returned with various options to try, helping us make our choice. Once decided, our preferred wines came out alongside antipasti plated on a patterned tile. After various glasses of orange wine (a must try!) it was time to venture onto the next place, but not before stopping via the in-house deli. Closed during the evening service, the space was still functional as the central marble-topped island converted from a meat and cheese counter in the day to a table for groups happy to stand in the evening. With wooden joinery, shelves lined with Italian tomato sauces, and wine crates stacked to one side; this space definitely felt like a Friday night dinner party at a friend's house! And to me, that’s what makes Nebbiolo Wine Bar a fully immersive experience for all. The friendly atmosphere, combined with staff expertise and relaxed yet considered design makes this a ‘must go’ place when in Copenhagen...”
Photos from Nebbiolo