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Make yourself at home.

Our dining room is your dining room.

Arugula Bistro is a casual, comfortable & white table cloth bistro.  Our dining room is welcoming, gracious & romantic, where we always strive to treat you as guests in our home.  The owner Christiane Gehami named it after her favorite green.  t is a Northern Italian aromatic green, a bit peppery.  The name is playful, rolls off the tongue easily and is fun to say!  Our menu is diverse offering plenty of vegetarian options as well.  All desserts are made in-house and we offer a large range of post-dinner after dinner cocktails.  We look forward to welcoming you into our dining room and cooking for you soon!

Additional FAQs

Reservations

We welcome reservations and recommend them on weekend nights.  When making reservations, we try to accommodate your request for seating but cannot always guarantee due to the small size of our restaurant.  If you are running late for a reservation, kindly give us a call to let us know and we will hold your reservation.  We do hold reservation tables for 15 minutes if we have not been notified from you.  If you wish to make a reservation, please fill out the form below and a manger will be in touch to confirm your reservation within 24 hours. 

If the reservation is within the 24 hour window, please call us directly to ensure best availablity (860) 561-4888.

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Meet The Team

 
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Christiane Gehami

Owner, Chef

Christiane moved from Egypt when she was just 6 years old.  As long as she could remember, her life centered around the food her mother made for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  The family never ate out, and the heart centered around the kitchen.  Her mother, for three months prior to her marriage, patiently taught Christiane flavors and how to marry them with food to create the dishes she loved so much. As Christiane marched down the aisle on that fateful September afternoon, little did she know, she was actually starting a love affair with food.  Breakfast, lunch and dinner soon started spilling out of her small apartment kitchen. She even created a fictionalized restaurant - Miss Marie's...only room for two. At the age of 33, Christiane enrolled at MCC in their culinary program, and entered professional kitchens for the first time, and never looked back.Christiane opened Arugula with Michael Kask in 1996, in the back of what was Oneta Gallery with 8 seats.  After the gallery closed, she expanded, kept adding tables and finally in 1998, closed for a month to remodel, add a kitchen, and reopen as it stands today.  Christiane cooks with love, it is evident in her dishes.  She enjoys the complexity and authenticity of food and is passionate about her wine list.  Read more about that here. 

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Michael Kask

Chef

Christiane and Mike's friendship was forged over two decades ago at the Barney House.  After being let go from a prior job, Christiane and Mike opened Arugula in the back of an art gallery with only six seats.  While both Christiane and Michael create plates, Mike is responsible for plating and saucing.  Together, they have worked side-by-side for 22 years.  Michael is a life-long resident of West Hartford.  He has a son, who loves to come to work with his dad and cannot wait to join the team one day.

 

Shari Warbelow-Villa

Mixologist

Christiane had always dreamed of a tiny cozy bar inside of Arugula, similar to ones she had visited in France, but things never quite worked out until Shari showed Christiane that Arugula could serve spirits without a bar...Shari has definately risen to the challenge, like taking classic cocktails and making them her own.  For example, Arugula's peach old fashioned for a slightly fruity twist on a classic.  Shari enjoys working with fresh fruit and prefers to make all of our mixers in house.  one of our most popular drinks, The Blackberry Sage, combines freshly juiced blackberries, fresh lemon juice and sage.   Shari has been with Arugula since 2011 and looks forward to many more years.

 

Our Wine List

There's a method to the madness.

A note from Christiane Gehami, Owner of Arugula Bistro.

"Why is the wine list what it is?  Throughout my life eating, enjoying, and cooking, I have learned the complexities wine brings to the pallete and the ambiance.  Wine can do so many things.  It can entice, excite, seduce - similar to your favorite novel. It can make a joyous occasion even more festive and at the same time, offer comfort in times of sadness.  Similar to a “bridge over troubled waters”. What it must always do, however, is refresh.  Wine must quench your thirst. If it is unable to accomplish this, then everything else falls to the wayside.

I want, and have always wanted from the beginning of this bistro, a small intimate list.  A wine list that would be easily understood and at the same time, nudge my guests out of their comfort zone.  I prepare food that is wholesome and genuine, and therefore I would be inconsistent if I did not do the same with wines.

There are so many good wines out there that I cannot in good conscience limit the list to the same mass-produced branded wines that dominate so many wine list.  Otherwise i might as well serve you spam.  If you like my food, trust me and take that small step and try something you have never tasted before off our wine list!

I want to offer my guests real wines at reasonable prices.  After all,  I want a list of wines that are not only affordable, but “beg” to be drunk.  As much as possible, I try and associate myself with wineries that at least practice sustainable farming.  This is a moving target, as different wineries and regions have different challenges….but I feel it is important to acknowledge on my menu those wineries that respect their piece of Earth from which they earn their living, and do not rely on harmful pesticides and herbicides, and the use of unnatural. fertilizers.  I want you to be comfortable buying these wines, knowing that i
am offering you not just value but introducing you to wineries that bring you a responsibly made bottle to enjoy and feel good about.  After all, wine is meant to be enjoyed and. shared with those you love….knowing that they are being produced with a small “footprint” is an added bonus!"


Do you have a winery you love? 

We're always looking for new wines to serve in our restaurant.  

Drop us a note of your favorite winery and we will be sure to check them out and see what pairs well with our menu!

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