HELLLOOOOO Everyone! It’s so good to be dining out again! Wow what a trying time it has been for all of us foodies. I must admit, however, I didn’t just cook at home the last 400+ days. Noooo Way Jose! We contributed quite a pretty penny to many of our favorite local eateries and got take-out many times. While I enjoyed most of the orders, I was really missing going out so now here we go!
Recently, I have slowly made my way back to the outdoor dining scene since I’ve been fully vaccinated and more and more folks are being vaccinated. I feel I am finally ready to get back into doing what I love to do…EATING OUT AND TALKING ABOUT IT!
First stop…Arugula Ristorante in Plymouth Meeting. To my surprise I have never done a review on Arugula and it really is one of our favorite local Italian restaurants. So what better place to start for you with this “welcome back, happy vaccination, enjoy eating out again” dinner.
Arugula Ristorante is located in the Cold Point Village near the intersection of Plymouth Road and Butler Pike. They offer both indoor and outdoor seating. I’m still very cautious and prefer to eat outside but Arugula’s indoor seating is very comfortable as they have floor to sealing windows which they will open weather permitting. Outdoor seating is first come, first serve so by the time we got there it was full so we decided to eat inside and sat right by one of the open doors/windows and it was absolutely the best seat in the house.
Our server, who was clearly from Italy, greeted us with a small plate of complimentary bruschetta. One perfectly sized piece for each of us. He opened our special bottle of red………IMPORTANT MESSAGE!!! IT’S BYO!!……..Shortly after, he also brought us freshly baked Italian bread with a side of high quality olive oil.
Our first course is an all time favorite of ours…the grilled octopus. It is not on their regular menu. It is only offered occassionally as one of the appetizer specials. Since we love it so much we always ask if they have it and when they do we order! This dish is fresh, cool, lemony and briney. The ingredients all go together so well. It’s simply freshly grilled octopus tossed with peppery arugula, ripe diced tomatoes, kalamata olives, capers, salt, pepper, lemon and olive oil. (I’m no chef but I think that’s the ingredients😆). The portion is very generous so it can easily be shared between two people. If you are watching your weight you might even consider it as an entree. I know I have BUT the entree dishes are way to good to pass up. The cost was $19 (I believe) and worth every single penny. (The picture below is only my portion so more than double it and that’s what we were served…score!).
My husband’s entree was the Vitello Milanese which is breaded & pounded bone-in veal chop, pan seared and topped with chopped arugula & tomatoes in extra virgin olive oil & lemon juice for $27. I personally am not partial to veal but my husband really enjoys it, especially this dish. He craved it over quarantine and was so happy to finally be able to enjoy this meal. It was as amazing as it looks. The chop was cooked perfectly with a deliciously seasoned crispy brown crust. The fresh salad on top was the perfect accompaniment to the chop.
I ordered the Pollo Romana which is sautéed chicken breast with mushrooms, sun dried tomatoes, topped with asparagus spears and melted mozzarella cheese in a shallot brandy tomato cream sauce for $21. Man was this good. Seriously the brandy cream sauce was absolutely delicious. The chicken was pounded thin and was super tender and not overcooked one bit. The sun dried tomatoes and mushrooms complimented each other perfectly. However, I don’t recall any asparagus on this plate. Very odd 🧐. Seriously though I didn’t miss it because they added homemade mashed potatoes and broccoli which were both mouthwatering. The portion was huge. I was able to get three meals out of this bad boy but that’s because I ate bruschetta, bread and oil, and octopus all before this was served. I also ordered us a side of broccoli rabe (see below) sautéed in garlic and olive oil. I don’t know about you but broccoli rabe is hard for me to cook so I never prepare it. When I do see it on a menu I make a point to order it as a side. Arugula’s brocolli rabe was sooooo garlicky and juicy and satisfying 🤤.
As their website states, “EXPERIENCE EXQUISITE AMALFI COAST ITALIAN CUISINE” for reals. I highly recommend this place. Their website also indicates that they offer family style meals for larger parties. They also offer private party space but I think you might have to book the entire restaurant floor since it is not very big but don’t quote me on that one. Now I don’t know about you but I’m definitely keeping that in my back pocket for when I have a special occasion to celebrate. Me likely Arugula so much that it is getting a pretty good score based on this (almost) perfect experience (where’s my asparagus??). 4.5 forks out of 5 forks!! Well that’s all for now folks. Thanks for reading and get out there and EAT OUT!