Chef-Driven Restaurant Slated for Boca From Charm City and El Jefe Luchador

Categories: Restaurant News
evanmike.jpg
burgerbeast.com
James Beard-nominated "Rising Star Chef of the Year" Michael Saperstein and partner Evan David signed a lease in Boca Raton this week to open a third restaurant by December 2011: a chef-driven, eclectic, small-plates restaurant that's "unlike anything we have in the area so far."

Saperstein and David are the duo behind E&M Munchies Holdings Corp., the parent of Charm City Burgers, which debuted three years ago, and El Jefe Luchador, a taqueria that opened last year. Both have been well-received by bloggers such as BurgerBeast and the media for their tasty eats.

Saperstein cited as inspiration for the new place the L.A. restaurant Animal and its meat-focused menu, as well as David Chang's Momofuku Ssam Bar in New York that glorifies all things pork.

"A well-known local chef" has been hired, says Saperstein, and the concept has been hammered out, though details will remain under wraps until the project is further along. Plates will range between $3 and market rates for share plates, said Saperstein.The restaurant will debut in a space on East Palmetto Park Road.

Saperstein is also a partner at K&G Brothers, where he gets the brisket, short-rib, and chuck burger blend for Charm City Burgers. He had also partnered with Andrew Lampasone, owner of Wine Watch, as the shop's high-end caterer. Locally, Saperstein had been executive chef at Bistro 17, Gotham City Steak in Delray Beach, and Cafe Maxx, where he snagged the nomination for the James Beard Award in 2000.

Earlier in his career, Saperstein worked for several years as line cook in New York at Charlie Palmer's Aureole alongside Top Chef season six contestants Bryan and Michael Voltaggio. He has also served stints at David Burke's Park Avenue Cafe and for Rocco D'Spirito.


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24 comments
Ombudsman
Ombudsman

Any word on the "Nomination"?  Because it certainly goes to the fact checking of this blog.  It sure seems like a stretch to me.

Wilson
Wilson

Congratulations! Great guys, both of them!Look foward to this place....

ChazDelray
ChazDelray

Can't wait. I don't care if Saperstein has two "shacks" (as an apparently very jealous "Earl" put it). Good for him to present great food with no pretension and low overheard. 

Here's what I do know - and I have no relation as friend, employee or anything else...

I'd put a taste of his tacos head-to-head against a taste of any food from every restaurant in South Florida. And I bet he wins 95 out of 100 times.

Nicole
Nicole

There are many nominees for the rising star award every year, only 6 make it to the final process. All the other chefs are invited to do dinners at the house.

Toni
Toni

Mike is one of the best chefs in south Florida, I am very excited that he is going back to a highend kitchen again! When he was the chef at cafe maxx it was the #1 restaurant in Florida. This sounds like it's going to be a cool place

Terry
Terry

The new girl continues to believe everything that the liars tell her. I'll bet she thinks she's smart and funny too.

Carlos
Carlos

Ok. So this guy who used to be a chef and who now makes burgers and tacos is opening a restaurant in boca with a mystery chef that will Serb meat. I couldn't before excited!!!

Frodnesor
Frodnesor

Charm City is a nice burger place but I've looked back to 2003 and don't see anything indicating that Saperstein was a nominee for the James Beard Rising Star Chef award. Given there are only 5-6 nominees a year and they've included folks like Grant Achatz, Daniel Humm, David Chang, Johnny Monis, Sean Brock, Graham Elliot Bowles, Corey Lee, Gabriel Rucker, that would be a pretty auspicious group to be included in if true. Any idea where that info comes from?

Frodnesor
Frodnesor

If you want to use the terminology the Beard Awards actually use, there are many "semifinalists" for the Rising Star award, and only 5-6 "nominees" each year.

For instance, in 2011 there were 30+ "semifinalists":http://www.jamesbeard.org/file...

And 5 "nominees":http://www.jbfawards.com/2011/...

Which is why I was surprised - and a little dubious - to hear of "James Beard-nominated "Rising Star Chef of the Year" Michael Saperstein."

None of which means a thing one way or the other about his new restaurant. 

MelissaMcCart
MelissaMcCart

Hi, Max/Dennis/Terry. We've missed your surly comments and assaults on my character.

Greg
Greg

The article says 2000. It's too old to be pertinent. It's like saying you were accepted to Princeton in 1995, and now you own a hot dog stand.

Lindy
Lindy

It means That instead of giving us useful info about the restaurant she took an angle that's supposed to make it a big deal that mr taco burger is opening a restaurant. Let's see him actually do something before we make a big deal out of some planned restaurant where he won't even be the chef.

Melissamccart
Melissamccart

FYI: Saperstein pinged me last night to say he was nominated in 2002, not 2000. Still hounding James Beard for confirmation, which I'll correct in text once I get it.

ted anthony inserra
ted anthony inserra

melissa is very funny, smart, and a great blogger....good stories, with melissa-ism's!!! always look forward to her articles!!

Earl
Earl

When you put your name on crap like this what do you expect, a pat on the back? When you make some guy who owns two shacks in Deerfield beach out to be Some sort of big time chef it puts your character in question; particularly when the basic premise of the article appears to be false.

Frodnesor
Frodnesor

I should have read closer. And yet ... the 2000 Beard Rising Star Chef nominees were Eric Aubriot, Andrew Carmellini, Wylie Dufresne, Sandro Gamba, and Jeremy Sewall.

http://www.starchefs.com/JBear...

Guest
Guest

Ha. I just got this. Guys tell girls they're smart and funny because that's what they want to hear. If you believe them you are gullible; I wasn't implying that you weren't smart or funny; only that you tend to believe people who are obviously just feeding you a line.

Lou
Lou

Parsons? The guy who used to dice onions for Tony? Surely you jest?

I never said you were stupid; I said that you made up a story to fit an agenda. Saperstein and parsons have rich daddies while sindaco is broke. Sindaco actually was nominated for a James beard. He also serves real food, not burgers and tacos. If you can't make those distinctions then you should just stop talking about chefs altogether.

Pumping up nobodies serves no positive purpose. You deceive your readers and just look foolish to those who know better. It's very easy to check your facts. Your editors have no integrity; so your reputation is in your own hands.

MelissaMcCart
MelissaMcCart

Earl, In the rest of the US, fine dining chefs are downsizing: David Chang with Momofuku is one example. It's caught up here in Florida, with Joseph Parsons opening a taco joint and Tony Sindaco opening a modest seafood place.

Mike's owning a burger and taco joint is right in keeping with dining trends. He worked at a very well regarded New York fine dining place that's shaped the reputation of Charlie Palmer, Bryan Voltaggio, and Michael Voltaggio, who had gone on to work with Jose Andres. That Saperstein owns a burger and taco joint doesn't mean he does not have  cred.

And as far as James Beard: I had placed a call yesterday for confirmation and am still in back and forth with them as to verification. I'll be sure to writing my findings here. Thanks for your kindness and optimism in any event.

MelissaMcCart
MelissaMcCart

Hi, Terry/Earl/Dennis/Max. I appreciate criticism of the information;your saying someone's not funny when that's irrelevant and calling someone stupid is thuggish.

Eric Barton
Eric Barton

Oh, Sanjay, that's clever. You rhymed James Beard with James Bird, all while insulting the very blog you're reading. Awesome!

Sanjay
Sanjay

Maybe it was the James Bird award? Its not fair to hold new times bloggers to journalistic principles. If they didn't make stuff up they'd have nothing to write.

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