Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Arugula - West Hartford, CT

Last Saturday the Mr. decided to surprise his favorite Cheeseburger with dinner reservations at Arugula, a Mediterranean bistro located in West Hartford Center. Having been a longtime fan of the place, I was looking forward to our experience!

The thing that sets them apart from other places in the area is the intimate setting and cozy feel. I know some people may be put off by the cramped space, especially when it gets busy. I find Arugula to be very charming, a nice change of place from the “see to be seen” places nearby. Oh, and the food….

After placing our order for wine, we decided to start with the escargot. Served in a crock bathed in a garlic sauce with chunks of tomatoes, they were perfect. Not too chewy with a nice texture. We were served mini baguettes of delicious bread; which we immediately used to soak up the liquid. Euphoria quickly turned to depression when the last snail was consumed. *sigh*

The entrees change seasonally, although I am always pleased to see my favorite mushroom rosemary lasagna on the menu. On this particular night, I ordered the duck leg confit. It arrived with a side of crispy truffled potatoes. Other than garlic, I can’t think of a better way to dress up a potato. The duck had a wonderful crispy skin and tender meat underneath. The portion was perfect, and after polishing off my plate like a good girl, I was ready for dessert.

Desserts at Arugula are always a treat; and worth saving room for. I was feeling festive, and broke my self-imposed rule about NOT ordering flavored crème brulee. They were featuring peppermint white chocolate, which intrigued me. It arrived a tad too cold for my liking, with a nicely browned sugar crust. The peppermint and white chocolate complemented each other well, and added some holiday flair to our meal. The Mr. had a very generous portion of Buck’s vanilla ice cream and an espresso, both of which he enjoyed.

We never had a long wait for anything and our meal flowed along nicely. I have found the service to be consistently casual over the years, but it is in keeping with the relaxed vibe. Arugula continues to be a “hidden” gem, it reminds me of a place you might find in Greenwich Village. Try it sometime when you want a change of pace. or when you want to eat snails.


Anonymous said...

thanks michelle! i found your blog by accident...the next time you are in, please say hello!