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Hof Zur Linde
Handorfer, Werseufer 1, Münster

Website: hof-zur-linde.de

Located just a few miles from the city of Münster proper, this lovely restaurant/hotel has a great deal to recommend it. Indeed, my wife and I spent three very relaxing days here in a beautifully appointed and comfortable junior suite.

And while some of the accommodations sport a more modernistic décor, the dining facilities are decidedly rustic. Dark wood and timbered ceilings predominate, along with hanging Westphalian hams and sausages, while walls are adorned with spice mills and various hunting scenes and paraphernalia. The center of attention, however, is a huge "open" fireplace that dominates one of the dining areas.

The consommé with pumpkin essence makes a light and lovely starter. The bowl arrives with one sliced scallop at the center surrounded by a small pool of pumpkin purée. An intensely flavorful crystal clear broth is poured in by the waiter at table. You might also consider the mixed salad, an appetizing tangle of greens tossed with a light balsamic vinaigrette and adorned with moist and tender slices of breast of guinea fowl. Other possibilities include a filet of codfish in a marinade of peppers and mild garlic and luscious lamb filets with marinated vegetables.

Entrées also hold a number of exquisite treasures, and matters piscatorial take center stage. A single scallop is placed at the center of the plate and then surrounded by three pools of a green pea-caraway purée. The bivalve is perfectly seared, not at all rubbery, and the purée exhibits a rich green color and incredible depth of flavor. Equally appealing is a delightful combo of halibut and salmon. The former is presented horizontally, the latter, vertically, resting against a bed of mixed greens. Both are adorned with a cooked cabbage leaf and are surrounded by Jerusalem artichokes. Also highly recommended is the flaky filet of turbot embellished with cooked celery slices to resemble fish scales. A tasty tarragon sauce and creamy risotto complete this beautiful blending of colors and textures.

For the more carnivorous of nature, the saddle of young wild boar is an exceptional treat. Succulent medium-rare slices are fanned out and garnished with mushroom ravioli and a purée of fresh turnips. A complementary fig sauce added by our waitress proved the crowning touch.

When it comes to desserts, I find anything combined in any way, shape, or form with peanut butter virtually impossible to resist . . . and the mille-feuille of peanut butter mousse is certainly no exception. The decadent mousse is interspersed with discs of white chocolate and garnished with caramel ice cream. An extraordinary feast for those, like me, with an incurable sweet tooth.

This is an excellent restaurant and, while it is certainly a bit on the expensive side, entrée prices are pretty much in line with establishments of similar ilk. Just be advised that appetizers will cost you dearly. In some cases, tariffs for starters are as high as main courses in other eateries. Still, if you are looking for a special romantic evening, Hof zur Linde fills the bill nicely.

The Artful Diner
September 2010

The Artful 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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