Arugula launches a new “inspired by the moment, inspired by farmers” menu format, new chef, new wine pairing dishes, and a newly redesigned dining room.
Over the past few months, Arugula has been working behind the scenes on some major restaurant updates to both its menu and its dining environment. Ever since opening in 2009, Chef/Proprietor Alec Schuler has had a long-standing commitment to offering an innovative menu, including health-minded interpretations using fresh local produce and proteins to bring forth simple, authentic flavors in every dish.
Now, the restaurant takes that commitment to the next level with a revamp to its Northern Italian inspired menu, whereby the menu changes twice per week, and is literally dictated by the availability of local ingredients from Boulder County’s farmers and purveyors. This new menu format stems from the restaurant’s mission to create fresh dishes “inspired by the moment,” and what’s coming up from the ground that day, as well as the fickle nature of the freshest seafood.
Diners enjoy fresh new menu items every Tuesday and Friday, with special produce that arrives from the nearby farms or gardens that day. To keep menus personalized and health needs top of mind for every diner, paleo and vegan options have been added, alongside the many gluten-free and vegetarian choices, offering something for every health-focused foodie palette. “The heart of every menu continues to be pleasure of the palette with fresh, beautifully colorful, health-inspired dishes,” Schuler says.
Equally important is the quality of their wine and beverage program, so much so that Arugula’s menu always offers two or more special dishes created specifically to pair with a featured wine that is available by the glass. This is indicated on each menu by a little wine icon with the varietal next to the menu item.
Chef/Proprietor Alec Schuler has recently stepped down as head of the kitchen, and the one who primarily manages the ever-changing menus, handing the reigns over to Executive Chef Sven Hedenas. Hedenas now oversees all kitchen activity including weekly menu creation. He and his kitchen crew work closely with the local farms, using their culinary creativity to bring innovative menu selections with a health-conscious twist to their weekly offerings.
To complement this new menu format, the restaurant has recently completed a beautiful renovation to its art-filled dining room. The new, warmer, color palette, coupled with the custom light fixtures and updated textiles creates more of an open community space with a chic look and friendly ambiance. The dining room is home to a newly commissioned piece of food- and wine- inspired chalk art created by the local artist Bryce Widom. This, coupled with the other art museum-like installations (a collection of Schuler’s antique culinary tools) curated by Javan Stakley, add a fun and funky vibe, giving diners a truly unique dining experience with a view of locally inspired art as they enjoy their local farm-inspired fare.