After stints in the kitchens of Boulder’s famed L’Atelier and Niwot’s Treppeda’s Italian Ristorante, chef Alec Schuler has opened his own Boulder restaurant: Arugula Bar e Ristorante.

The result is a clean-cooking Italian restaurant that puts an upscale spin on healthy food. The crunchy fennel salad is crisp with fresh mint and lemon juice, and the grilled Long Family Farms pork tenderloin atop browned leaves of Brussels sprouts tastes bright and wholesome.

But Arugula really impresses me because of what it represents for sustainable dining. Arugula, first and foremost is an Italian restaurant, but one that offers shrimp that comply with the sustainability standards of the Monterey Bay Aquarium, menus made of recycled paper, and wood floors made of repurposed timbers.

Like the Kitchen or Black Cat that have come before it, Arugula makes sustainability the rule not the exception.

2785 Iris Ave., Boulder, 303-443-5100