The first time my husband suggested we dine at Farragut's Restaurant Linderhof, almost ten years ago, I was incredibly dubious. I was going through a no beef, chicken or pork phase at the time and the idea of heavy German cuisine was not particularly appealing to me. When I first laid eyes on the exterior of the restaurant, a drab, tiny storefront inside a strip mall, I was underwhelmed, to say the least. Imagine my surprise when we stepped inside: half the walls were painted royal blue, the other half were wallpapered in gold. The itsy-bitsy space so was cram-packed with tables and lilac-colored chairs that you were practically dining on the laps of your fellow customers. And the whole place was covered in cherubs. Our host was an old man wearing a tuxedo. When he approached us and then showed us to our table all I could think was that we'd wandered into some sort of Kubrickian parallel universe.
The waitresses at Restaurant Linderhof were usually clad in lederhosen. The owner's wife, Anita, was mostly behind the bar but every so often she'd venture out to the tables and try and entice the diners to "have a little Schnapps," like some fantastic character out of a folk tale. On very special occasions, such as New Year's Eve, party hats and noisemakers were brought out and there would be live accordion music. The atmosphere was always strange and magical and the food was always exceptional.
Linderhof changed hands a few years back but the quality of the food never wavered and the eccentric atmosphere remained the same. The doors to the original location closed this past weekend but, fortunately, the restaurant is not saying goodbye, just moving a few miles down the road to a larger space (which includes an outdoor area for a beer garden). I am very excited to check out the new Linderhof when it opens next month but it was bittersweet to dine for the last time in the original Linderhof, a space that holds so many fond memories for my husband and me. I am sure the new location will not disappoint, though, and I look forward to the new memories we will have a chance to make there.