Arugula in West Beat Center is incredibly tiny compared to the larger restaurants we in the ‘burbs are used to. Its size is more comparable to something you’d find in a large city where real estate costs an arm and leg. But, instead of coming off as cramped, it manages to feel cozy. The Boyfriend and I headed there for the birthday of a friend’s girlfriend a couple of weeks ago. I hadn’t been there in years, and couldn’t quite remember what to expect.
While its “can-afford-it-only-once-in-a-while” prices are a little steep, its unique dishes make it worthwhile for a treat. I had the roasted mushroom and rosemary lasagna which is stuffed with mushrooms of all kinds and was rich and filling. Two in our party had the duck legs and loved them–although the menu describes it as a “brace of duck legs.” What the hell is a brace you ask? Well, we had to as well. It’s a pair, as in two. Why they couldn’t just say that, I’m not sure…instead they start talking like Samwise in Lord of the Rings. (“There’s only one way to cook a brace of conies.”)
The presentation of all the dishes was also very pretty and appetizing. However, another friend ordered the fig and asparagus flatbread and, while it looked nice, didn’t seem quite worth the $16 for what was essentially a pizza. A simple bottle of beer was also more expensive as well– $4.25 for a PBR was about as cheap as you’re going to get here–although the selection was unique.
The number of waitstaff in the place was amazing–more amazing still was how they didn’t crash into each other, sending duck confit and polenta flying all over us. I’d also suggest that they invest in a better AC system–it wasn’t anything like this week’s heatwave, but I spent a lot of the evening sweating off my non-existent balls. Luckily the servers were attentive enough to keep the water coming–in very provincial glass bottles which added to the place’s charm.
Overall, the experience was worth it, but I may wait until winter to return. Three salt shakers because you can’t get a brace of duck legs just anywhere.