The Bear - Bath Food Review
Posted on: 2017-04-10
The Bear pub restaurant is known for its big polar bear statue that perches on the roof, attracting the attention of tourists who pass by. It has a small garden out the back to enjoy a drink in the summer, but we went in to see how good the food is and if it’s worth venturing out of Bath city centre for.
About a 10 minute walk out of the city centre and you’ll find The Bear, which is well known and loved in the area because it means people who live nearby don’t have to venture into town for great freshly cooked food. It’s all on their doorstep. It has been modernised but still in keeping with the pub vibe. The super friendly staff showed us the brand new Spring menu and their enthusiasm for the fresh seasonal food on offer showed clearly on their faces.
I couldn’t pin down the type of cuisine that The Bear specialises in because they cook a range of foods, from risotto and pizza to steak and burgers. For starters I went for the intrigue-inducing Cornish Crab Mayo (£6.95), served on hot buttered toast with pickled onion and parsley salad. When I started eating it I realised the name didn’t do it justice at all. It was taste bud tantalizing, because it had so many different flavours, though the slightly more over-riding one was the saltiness which is always the case with seafood. My dining partner had the Leek and Gruyere Croquettes (£5.95) with roasted tomato sauce and rocket. The two huge croquettes were hot inside and gooey which is exactly what you want from a good croquette. Subtle taste, but delicious nonetheless.
I had heard that the pizzas were great here so I thought I would try the Roast BBQ Chicken pizza (£12.95), which is topped with Gruyere cheese, red onion and coriander. I wasn’t disappointed. The pizza base wasn’t burnt (you’d be surprised how many chefs tend to burn them), but a fabulous soft doughy texture and they didn’t skimp on the toppings. There was plenty of BBQ sauce and even though it was very filling, it was somewhere between a thin crust and a deep dish. It was worth the price as it was large, freshly made and satisfying.
My dining partner took a different approach to dinner and went for the Wild Mushroom Risotto (£9.95), which is made with goats cheese, charred broccoli and wild rice. It was another great dish as it was creamy and had an interesting variety of textures. The wild rice was crunchy, along with the broccoli, on top of the risotto. The mushroom flavour was quite subtle so it would have been nice if it was slightly more prominent.
The desserts were unique so we were excited to try the Plum Cheesecake with Salted Caramel ice cream (£5.95), and the Chocolate Frangelico Marquise with orange gel (£6.25). They unfortunately didn’t quite live up to the standards of the other food we had, but they were pleasant enough. The cheesecake didn’t have a plum taste to it, it was almost vanilla-like, but it was beautifully creamy and the biscuit base was as thick as the other layers. The chocolate dessert was like a block of dark chocolate ganache, which was so sickly (in a good way) we could only eat about half of it. The orange gel fell a bit short due to its lack of flavour, but chocolate lovers will absolutely adore the very rich ganache.
We enjoyed our time at The Bear and the great service has made us feel like we would happily return again in the future. It's definitely one of the best pub restaurants around because they serve seasonal fresh food with flair!
Born in Bath, Safia has lived on the outskirts of the city her whole life. After studying journalism in Bristol she now spends a lot of her time searching for new things to see in Bath and soaking up the beautiful culture. You're most likely to find her sipping a soya latte in a lovely little independent cafe! Call Safia on 07468 516375 or email editor@365Bath.com.