In the area on business, and traveling with an associate from Germany, who was looking for some authentic German fare. Asking locals revealed that Zum Rheingarten is held in some esteem, so we forayed hence. Tucked back in the woods from Route 1, the ambiance is immediately enhanced (at night, anyway) by the gaily lit wooden bridge leading into the parking lot. The restaurant occupies a former residence, and the entrance leads you through a small bar into a fireplace-warmed main seating area. We were greeted by a pleasant young man who sat us across the room, and were waited on by Petra, and with her apparently authentic German accent, could very well have been magically transported to a gasthaus in Bavaria. After registering their desire for half-liters of the Hofbrau beers (available on tap!), my associates ordered the onion-smothered steak, while I ordered the Chef's special for the day -- a roasted pork shank (schweinhachsen) with (what else?) potato dumplings and sauerkraut. While waiting for their meal, my companions helped themselves to the ample supply of various breads (marbled rye, dark rye, rustic) served with a tasty herbed butter, and I enjoyed the haus salat with the home-made yogurt-cream dressing (offered as an option to their raspberry vinaigrette).
I apologize at this point for being so selfish, as I surely owe you a photo of my artfully prepared pork shank -- unfortunately, it was such a feast for the eyes (and the stomach) that I dug into the huge portion with great abandon, belatedly realizing about half-way through the dish that I should review this occasion here on the TripAdvisor. So, with apologies made, let me attempt to describe the dish instead: centered on the round plate was a massive pork shank, roasted dark and caramelized to tender, porky goodness, literally falling apart and flaking off the bones, topped with an contrasting (and delicious) spray of curlicued green onions, celery strips and carrots. Surrounding this mound of flavor were two golf-ball sized potato dumplings topped with toasted bread crumbs, and my requested serving of tangy, but well-behaved sauerkraut (alas, my only disappointment in this dish was the relative sparsity of the delicious sauerkraut). All of this was drizzled with an expertly applied portion of brown gravy, rich with pan drippings and natural gelatin from the schweinhachsen. I must report that I was just barely able to finish the shank, kraut and dumplings, but at no time during my feast did I consider anything otherwise. And in tribute to the Chef, my companions also cleared their plates, and we nearly had to forcibly restrain one from licking his plate clean (good German bier will do that to you).
Dessert led to another brief disappointment -- the restaurant's supply of Schwartzwalder Kirschtorte had been depleted the night before, and resupply had not yet arrived, so I opted to try the German chocolate cake. It was good, but I feel it was not up to the standard set by the entree and its sides.
Overall, a very good -- no, a great! -- meal. A bit on the expensive side, but worth it to me. You'll have to try it and see if YOU think it's worth it!
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.