This restaurant has only been able to stay in business because the food is decent, but God help you if something isn't quite satisfactory because the owner will not only insist you leave, she will verbally assault you. If you read the other reviews, you will see a consistent pattern of behavior from someone who truly hates her customers. Reservations don't mean much and be prepared to be hung up on if you dare to question a really weird policy of seating on the weekends. And don't go there if you have 5 people in your party as you will be told they won't seat 5 people. With so many choices in West Hartford, don't waste your money on a business owner who doesn't know the meaning of the words "customer service".
Begging to Go Out of Business.
If you enjoy restaurants where the customer is never right, where any criticism of its food, service or policies will be met by the owner’s wrath and, possibly, threats (read on), then Arugula is your dream eatery.
Our happy group of five friends was to meet at Arugula for a belated celebration of my birthday. One friend made all the arrangements, but he was not told that groups of more than 4 are not served on the weekend, only that reservations weren’t accepted for larger groups.
When we arrived to a nearly-empty restaurant we learned of this silly policy and were curtly turned away. I acknowledge that such a rule is Arugula’s prerogative no matter how counterintuitive it appears. Before leaving, my friend voiced his surprise and annoyance, in a reasonable manner, to the person in charge (not the owner.) Off we went to Barcelona for a delightful dinner.
When my friend got home he found an angry voice-mail from the owner. All of this, said she in a quivering voice, was our mistake and that we threatened the staff. (Remember she was not there.) Then madame raised the ante by threatening my friend with a call to the police if he did NOT return her call. Wow, what a strange and irrational demand, returning such a call.
Perhaps my friend did not understand the policy, or there was a miscommunication, but that’s not the point is it? I listened to this abusive message then realized I’ve just discovered the anti-matter-equivalent of positive customer relationship management, right here in West Hartford. In my opinion, and it would appear from other reviewers, the owner clearly has anger management issues. If Arugula was a publicly-held company I’d be selling its stock short since this restaurant can’t possibly stay in business much longer run by such a clueless and, obviously miserable, owner.
Best Restaurant in West Hartford.
Arugula is simply the finest restaurant in West Hartford - that is why I chose to host a birthday luncheon for 18 there yesterday - it exceeded my expectations in all ways. I have lived in West Hartford for 23 years and have eaten in every retaurant that has come to town - many are now gone, many have been successful and remain - but Arugula is the only where the food is consistently outstanding, fresh, and creative. Yesterday, we enjoyed the signature fatoush salad, mussels, five different flatbreads and profiteroles - all of which were absolutely delicious. The meal exceeded my high expectations. The service was gracious - the various courses were served at the perfect pace. The staff was attentive and professional in all ways - from pouring the wine to serving the salads simultaneously to recalling which guest preferred which flatbread due to dietary requirements.
Thanks to Arugula - it was the best birthday celebration I have ever had. I plan to return soon - maybe even next week.
Wedding at Cana. I happened to have been in the restaurant when “better options” was in there & have read other posts by her. In fact, she termed me the “nice server.” She claims to have had to pour her own wine. They only bought one bottle of wine for five women, which the server did pour. Unless they thought they were at the wedding in Cana, that bottle wasn’t going to miraculously refill itself. The ONLY negative comment they made to me was about bread, which being baked at the time. They had to wait all of 10 mins. I was at the table several times clearing & they repeatedly told me they loved EVERYTHING! The owner was polite, but refused to get into a verbal battle about the tip. Their loud use of profanity made another party decide to leave. People should be truthful in their posts. It is okay to not like a meal; we all have different tastes. But be honest Don’t make up lies because you didn’t get your way after throwing a public fit, making a fool of yourself. The irony: they were celebrating a job & they were arguing about a tip!?
So many better options in WH Center!. The food was decent, but the service was awful and rude! When we then realized 20% gratuity was added for parties of 5, it made sense why the service was so inattentive (e.g., no bread, no refilling our drinks). So we asked for the manager. The owner came out and didn't even let us finish our "we understand this is your policy, but just so you know the service was not good..." sentence, before cutting us off saying "she is an excellent server, do what you want!" and literally storming off into the kitchen. I have never witnessed an owner of a business act like that and we will never go back to a place that treats customers so poorly. So many other great options in West Hartford without the rude behavior! Go somewhere else.
A MUST!!. I have always heard great things about Arugula, but living an hour away, never seemed to make it. Well, some friends and I finally made the trip up for dinner and it was amazing. It might be my new alltime favorite restaurant. There were 6 of us and we shared 3 appetizers...1 better than the next!! I have a healthy appetite, but somehow could've skipped the entree. But...I ordered dinner and that too was incredible! The chocolate cake for dessert just sent me over the edge. Gotta try it. The owner came out to chat and she was hilarious. I wouldn't have changed a thing.
I had the pleasure of dining at Arugula last night. As a foodie and a culinary student, I have been dissapointed with what Ct has to offer but I think I just found my favorite place.
This place has it all! As a beer enthusiast and a homebrewer, I was shocked and delighted to see the beer selection which included Belgian selections as well as a hard to find Belgian beer which I tried and loved.
We started off with a cheese platter that featured awesome cheeses that included some local selections. Incredible! For my entree I ordered the Duck Confit with truffled potatoes that came with a nice bed of greens with a great dressing. Where else can you find this stuff especially at these great prices? Sorry but you just cant, not in my experience.
The service was quick and the atmosphere was cozy as well as fun. There are no other places that I know of where you can get all this value without the uppity crowd and prices.
This place gets five stars from me. I will be back again and again. Nice work Arugula
The Best Ever. I just ate the best meal i have had out at a restaurant tonight. I was amazed at the service too. My meal came to me right away. i will be returining to Arugula very shortly to enjoy another great meal.
the wait was LONG. We waited a LONG time for our food. We waited one hour for three sandwiches. We were expecting bread and did not get any so we asked and were told that bread would cost extra. One waitress for the entire restaurant. Our waitress was not great, she did not come back, and was clearly overworked. The food was good, but we definitely would not return due to the long wait.
top of my list for W Hartford.
Have been there twice…back to back nights in early September. Found the overall experience so good we went back the following night and the experience was repeated.
The service was attentive, the kitchen flexible and accommodating, they were willing to adjust their signature salad "fattoush" to include some items I requested.
The wine list was very surprising in that the price points were very friendly, almost too good to believe. But the wine was great and I am very picky about wines. There are some hidden gems on the list.
Visiting Hartford again this weekend and made sure to grab a reservation. Its that good and I've eaten at some of the best across the country.
A great place for comfortable and very enjoyable meal with family and friends.
thanks! i hope your third time was a charm!
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