SOPHIA GOURLEY ’19
Nestled in the heart of West Hartford Center lies Arugula, a Mediterranean bistro. With flowers overflowing from the window boxes and a small chalk board with a heart-warming quote displayed outside the restaurant’s door, one is immediately greeted with a sense of hospitality. Upon entering Arugula, the delicious aroma and cozy atmosphere provides the perfect location for a casual lunch or dinner with a friend or loved one. The carefully selected décor and natural lighting gives the feeling that one has been transported to a café in Europe rather than a restaurant in central Connecticut.
Arugula originally opened in 1996, and was part of a gallery, yet expanded in 1998 into the 58-seated restaurant that it is today. The restaurant is open Tuesday through Sunday for lunch and dinner. The owner and head chef Christiane Gehami describes the menu as utilizing, “using middle eastern, northern Italian and French flavors.”
I went to Arugula for the first-time last year with my Mom, and ever since it has been one of our favorite places to go when she visits me at school. During our first visit we decided to try to try the grilled calamari. This was my first time trying calamari prepared in this manner, and I thought it was delicious. After being grilled, the calamari were tossed lightly in a pesto sauce and served over a salad, and was displayed beautifully. For a meal, I had the arugula flatbread, while she had cobb Mediterranean salad. The flatbread had a very thin crust with an onion marmalade as the sauce, with tomatoes and arugula on top. The salad had a variety of ingredients including eggplant, feta, grilled chicken and chick peas. Not only was the taste of both dishes delectable, it was the best possible portion for lunch.
Luckily the meal didn’t end here. Arugula has a vast dessert and tea menu, which serve as the ideal palate-cleanser after a delicious meal. We split a piece of lemon-curd filled butter cake with a pot of the vanilla almond tea. The cake was perfectly moist and the lemon flavoring paired with the vanilla almond tea was flawless.
In visits since, I have also sampled Arugula’s prosciutto grilled cheese and the profiteroles for dessert; both of which I would highly recommend. Arugula’s vast lunch menu has something for everyone and leaves you feeling content and full. Although I have never tried the restaurant for dinner, a quick look at their menu suggests that it is something definitely worth trying.
If you are looking to try something new for lunch or dinner just a short drive from the Trinity campus, Arugula is definitely the place for you. The bistro’s fresh ingredients in their unique dishes and their comfortable, yet sophisticated atmosphere, will provide you with an unforgettable meal.