We dined at the Hungry Bear last night as we had heard from some people staying at Ridge Tahoe that it was quite good. Being the restaurant is literally on the second floor of the clubhouse of Ridge Tahoe, I was figuring in my mind that it couldn't be that great...I mean, come on, it's only open a few days a week, and it's in a clubhouse, and...you get the point.
Well, we were pleasantly surprised!...
The restaurant, as stated above, sits on the second floor of the clubhouse...in spite of this, it has a really cozy and warm feeling to it. Gary, the guitar player, was there and he was spectacular...his music was perfect for the restaurant setting. This gentleman is really, really good! We really appreciated his music during the meal...very mellow...lots of familiar tunes...
Upon being seated, David came over and asked if we wanted any drinks...we had been skiing and were going to ski the next day early, so we declined..other than my obligatory iced tea.
He then told us about the two appetizer specials...a Reuben Salmon on a homemade wafer and a Tuna Ahi appetizer as well. The prices were only $6 and change, so we figured we couldn't go wrong...and we weren't! The Salmon appetizer was one of the most unique preparations I'd ever seen. It was basically a piece of salmon (not smoked) rubbed with what pastrami would be rubbed with...it had an amazing sauce, and was on a crispy wafer...see the picture...this was AMAZING! So good in fact, that my dad ordered one as part of his meal (he also ordered the butternut squash soup...spectacular, and house salad..simple preparation of mesclun with cucumbers, tomato, and a tasty dressing).
The Ahi Tuna appetizer was very, very good as well..perfectly prepared...please see photo of this (the two appetizers are in the same photo)...
I also ordered the house salad...although not entirely unique, it was tasty and served as getting my greens in.
I asked some questions about the entrees and David was honest and made great recommendations...he is a very good waiter.
I ordered the Idaho Trout with shrimp and yam hash. It came in a citrus sauce (see photo). Oh, note I have 4 shrimp on my plate...it comes with 2 but I got my mom's as she doesn't eat shrimp. The entree was spectacular...ranking up near the top of the best fish entrees I'd ever had. The yam hash was unique and spectacular. It also had some shrimp and root vegetables in it...I'm not usually a fan of root vegetables, but this preparation was amazing! The citrus sauce complimented the trout (which is pink in color) perfectly.
After a thoroughly enjoyable meal, we ordered the Hungry Bear signature dessert..the Ginger Snap...it is a scoop of incredibly yummy cinnamon ice cream with strawberries and blueberries in a ginger flavored crisp with some honey sprinkled on top...whipped cream too. This dessert has a taste combination I hadn't had before. The taste of ginger is refreshing as it is, and the cinnamon ice cream was incredible with the fruit.
Overall, the Hungry Bear is a really great restaurant situated in a place you wouldn't expect to find a genuinely good place. David is a great waiter as he knows the food well (the chef apparently walks around but we he didn't come to our table..boooooo!)...David is also personable and honest when it comes to making selections. I really appreciated this...my iced tea was rarely ever empty as either David or someone else would come to fill it up. The prices are very reasonable...think about it this way....you're in a resort location at the place's own restaurant...upstairs from the clubhouse. They could really charge whatever they want...well, they don't..and this is a good thing. The fabulous Idaho Trout was $19.00...can't beat this for the quality of food...if this is on the menu when you go, order it...you won't be disappointed!
If you're staying at Ridge Tahoe, or want to go to a really nice restaurant in the Heavenly ski resort area, go to the Hungry Bear...you won't be disappointed...it is a great dining experience....I do think the restaurant is only open Thur-Sun, so call ahead...ask if Gary will be there...his music is mellow and really nice!
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.