Arugula: The Best in North Boulder Restaurants
Your Favorite Neighborhood Eatery for Lunch, Dinner, Happy Hour & More
Established in 2009 by Chef/Proprietor Alec Schuler, Arugula is one of the best restaurants in Boulder bringing together the simple flavors of Europe and the Mediterranean alongside classic American favorites.
Fresh, seasonal ingredients from local Boulder farms are the inspiration behind our innovative…
… that offer something for everyone — a variety of nibbles, shareable plates, large plates, and more. Our menus also include clearly marked selections for Gluten-free, Gluten-free option, Vegetarian and Vegan.
At the bar, you’ll find…
… each carefully selected to complement the extensive food menus!
As a local, North Boulder restaurant, Arugula operates with one goal in mind: to create fresh, flavorful food that makes you feel good.
Its recently re-designed, art-filled dining room offers a warm and friendly vibe. Come for a drink and a small bite, or stay for dinner!
Alec Schuler :: Chef & Proprietor
Chef/Proprietor Alec Schuler was born and raised in the suburbs of New York by immigrant European parents. As a teenager, Alec began bussing tables and became captivated by restaurants, the food industry, and the creativity that goes into preparing food. After graduating from University of Colorado, Boulder, he again landed in the restaurant scene and the spark was rekindled.
In his late 20s, Alec enrolled at Manhattan’s nutrition-oriented Natural Gourmet Institute and fell even more in love with inventing innovative dishes and putting flavors together. His extensive world travels have strongly influenced his outlook on world cuisines. After eating his way around the world for a few years, he found his culinary interests resonating most with the cuisine of Italy. Thanks to his half-Italian wife, Gabriella, and her extended family in Italy, some of their travels included many amazing Italian feasts. Thus, the seed of Arugula was sown. After spending time in the kitchens of Boulder’s famed L’Atelier and Niwot’s Treppeda’s Italian Ristorante, chef Alec Schuler opened Arugula in North Boulder, his first Boulder restaurant.
Gabriella and Alec are proud, busy parents of four young sons. Alec is a graduate of the University of Colorado, Boulder (1995) and Manhattan’s Natural Gourmet Institute (2001). As an avid biker (and bike commuter), skier/boarder, mountain lover and qigong practitioner, he is mindful of the importance of a wholesome and healthy diet. His nutrition-oriented culinary training, culinary passions and lifestyle all come through on the innovative menus he creates at his award-winning North Boulder breakfast, lunch restaurants, and dinner restaurants – Arugula and Tangerine.
Manager :: Joseph Smith
Joseph Smith grew up on the East Coast in Philadelphia, where he began working in restaurants at a young age. In his first restaurant position he gained extensive experience on the line, cooking up local cuisine. Joe eventually worked his way up the restaurant ranks, cultivating his hospitality skills along the way, most recently serving as the Senior Manager at Boulder’s well know restaurant, The Med. He received a full scholarship to the University of Pennsylvania and later went on to serve in the United States Marine Corps for 4 years where he was a Sniper, deployed to Afganistan and Iraq. Joe lives in Boulder and is an avid sports fan. When he’s not at the restaurant making sure you have the best dining experience possible, he is keeping fit, weight lifting, or on a run enjoying the great outdoors of Boulder. Above all else, he is ecstatic to join the Arugula family and make our guests’ experience superb. Favorite Menu Pairing: the Trout with a glass of Anselmi – our Garganega/Chardonnay/Sauvignon Blanc blend.
An edible vegetable plant, arugula (Eruca sativa) has been eaten in the Mediterranean basin since Roman times, and was only recently domesticated. Known as rucola or rughetta in Italian, its medicinal properties were highly regarded in ancient times, including those of an aphrodisiac. Arugula was repeatedly mentioned for its medicinal properties in Pliny the Elder’s Natural History, circa AD 77. The rich, zesty and slightly sweet flavor combined with its long history and healthy attributes symbolizes our lunch and dinner restaurant.
About the artwork
It all started many years ago at a corkscrew museum in Menerbes, Provence. Alec became enthralled with antique corkscrews and began collecting them, with the idea to display them at his imaginary restaurant. After several years of collecting them (and other antique food and wine implements), the imaginary restaurant became Arugula! Rather than displaying them in a museum format, he wanted something with more style. Along with the help of his father and Longmont artist Javan M. Stackley, who constructed all the pieces, the idea was born to display them artistically with barrel hoops as frames. And what to do with all the random implements and left over corkscrews? We created large monochrome sculptures using Louise Nevelson as our inspiration – a homage to this wonderful 20th century artist.
The chalk artist is Bryce Widom and he’s awesome!