More German Restaurant Reviews
Hof Zur Linde
Handorfer, Werseufer 1, Münster
Like the aforementioned Landhaus Eggert, Hof Zur Linde was reviewed during our previous German sojourn in 2002. And this restaurant/hotel remains as highly recommendable – even more so – as it did eight years ago. We spent two relaxing days in a “spa suite” replete with a cedar-lined sauna; and the accommodations and service were as up to the mark as the cuisine.
And while the guestrooms sport a modernistic – though exceedingly comfortable – flair, the dining areas are decidedly rustic. Dark wood and timbered ceilings predominate, along with hanging Westphalian hams and sausages; walls are adorned with spice mills and various hunting scenes and paraphernalia. The center of attention, however, is the huge “open” fireplace that holds sway in the front dining area.
Oliver Windau describes his offerings as “Westphalian and modern; and, like the décor, his imaginative creations effectively fuse classic, contemporary, and regional nuances.
Soup is always an excellent test of a chef’s mettle – and Mr. Windau passes with flying colors. Consommé is his particular specialty, and he never fails to beguile both the eye and the palate. On one occasion it may be imbued with a sliced scallop; on another, wild mushrooms or diced vegetables. These accoutrements are invariably placed in the center of a gleaming white bowl, while the crystal clear broth is poured by the server at table. The result is indescribably and intensely flavorful.
And if you happen to be in the mood to start things off with greenery, nothing quite beats the mixed salad of field greens splashed with a light balsamic vinaigrette. On one occasion, the salad is adorned with slices of sautéed chicken breast; on another, tender morsels of breast of guinea fowl.
Entrées, as noted above, headline both contemporary and traditional regional offerings. Among the former, is an incomparable filet mignon of veal. This is a dish rarely seen in the U.S., as veal is generally offered up in cutlets or chops. Here the flesh is just the proper shade of pink and served up in lusciously moist, thick slices. And if you’re entertaining the notion that German starches consist of nothing more than various incarnations of potato and spätzle, think again. The veal is aided and abetted by a light and delicate Parmesan risotto, which proved both cozy and completely complementary.
Traditional dishes also have a great deal to recommend them. My wife chose the boiled beef smothered in onions. I know, boiled beef doesn’t sound terribly appetizing. But the meat was as tender as butter, and the onions added a huge hit of flavor… as did a plethora of parsley potatoes. And pickled beets & onions and generous smattering of gherkins provided their own unique tangy, textural charm.
lieu of dessert, we opted for several selections from the restaurant’s extensive cheese display. Epoisses de Bourgogne, Alsatian Münster, and Maytag Bleu were artistically presented with an assortment of fruits, nuts, and whole grain breads. Two hits of espresso proved the perfect match, as did a postprandial snifter of 18-year-old Macallan single malt.
This is a wonderful restaurant/hotel to which we would gladly return… Hopefully we won’t have to wait another eight years to do so.
The Artful Diner
Diner is an independent, freelance food writer. His latest review and an archive of past reviews for restaurants around the country and the world can be found on this site on the REVIEWS page.
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