Monique and James Rugile held the grand opening of Rugile's Kitchen in Haworth on Tuesday, Feb. 28.
Walk inside the 147 Terrace St. restaurant and you'll see pictures of the siblings at various stages of life on the walls. You'll see James peeling potatoes and Monique at an outdoor market.
The siblings' passion for cooking began at an early age, growing up in Colorado. They both went on to become classically trained chefs, but James went into fine-dining and Monique became a personal chef.
Monique moved to Emerson in 2017 and, just before the pandemic, James, of River Vale, followed suit. When the pandemic hit, Monique's personal cooking business was exploding, so James moved to River Vale to help her.
That's when the unexpected happened.
"I didn’t realize at the time that helping with her personal chef business would develop into a full blown restaurant space," James said. "It all came to fruition the more we worked together and developed the concept.
"Even though we'd never worked side-by-side, we were on the same wavelength," he continued. "We agreed on the same flavor profiles and tastes for certain ingredients, and techniques. A lot of what we did was naturally in sync."
They worked well together, and that made things easy. Particularly, the idea of opening a restaurant together.
Their restaurant's space in Haworth became available in Fall 2022, and grabbing it was a no-brainer for both Rugiles, they said.
Their approach was simple: Provide the community with nourishing and delicious food. Their menu boasts a variety of burgers, protein and veggie bowls, smoothies, sandwiches and more.
"It seems like we’re not reinventing the wheel here but there is a void in this general area for this type of food," Monique said. "We see a lot of the same type of cuisine over and over — deli and Italian — and it feels like people are feel this is a fresh new take. We’re excited and we enjoy sharing in people’s excitement about it."
"I like we’re taking our years of experience and we have refined our technique," James added. "It’s a simple menu but the approach is to treat it with that same level of care as you would finer food. We try to do a handful of things and do them really well."
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