Sybarite Pig Opening Soon: Owner Daniel Naumko Talks Beef, Beer, and Why He Chose That Name
Courtesy photo Daniel Naumko, owner of Sybarite Pig, has big plans for the little restaurant.
UPDATED 12:13 p.m. Tuesday, December 4: Naumko alerted us that because the tax collector's office system is down, the restaurant can't pull their permits this week. They've pushed the opening date to December 14.
Craft beer and food enthusiast Daniel Naumko will realize a long-held dream
this Friday December 14 when he opens the doors to his west Boca restaurant Sybarite Pig. The project is a manifestation of his primary passions: Indulgent cuisine and well-made beer.
"The only time I'm happy is when I'm in the kitchen," Naumko said.
Sybarite Pig now occupies the plaza space previously filled by Wicked Awesome Snackbar, a cool space which closed this fall after the owner became overwhelmed by the long hours demanded in the operation of a restaurant. Naumko -- who has
big very big plans for the space -- said he knows "it's going to be tough" but he's ready for the challenge.
"I could do it all day, every day," Naumko said. "This is a dream come true for me. I see it as a way of life."
Long a craft beer geek, Naumko has traveled extenisvely to learn more about the art of brewing. He undertook a solo cross-country tour of American breweries, spending weeks learning from the masters behind some of the best microbrews in San Diego, Portland, and Delaware. He even traveled to Berlin to learn more about the finer points of brewing classic European recipes.
"I really wanted to learn what was going on," said Naumko, who lived in South Florida before moving to Houston several years ago. He moved back to Florida this year specifically to open Sybarite Pig.
He hopes to share some of his extensive beer knowledge -- he's a home brewer himself -- with the growing craft beer community in Palm Beach and Broward counties. The bar at Sybarite Pig will be equipped with as many drafts as space will allow, and a cooler will hold bottles of rare, hard-to-find, and special crafts. Expect to find Florida beers (Naumko is a big fan of Sunshine State favorites like Cigar City Brewing) as well as other in-demand labels. He also has hopes of cellaring some of the high-ABV brews and bringing them out at later dates, once they've reached their prime.
Beer also will make its way into some of the culinary treats. Naumko has a history of using suds in his recipes, having won the Houston Beer Experiment in March of this year. The cooking challenge called for the use of beer and Naumko's spicy guava with wheat beer lamb stew took first place from the judges and third place from the audience.
Naumko had intended to turn his cooking prowess into an entrepreneurial career in Houston, but the high cost of doing business there kept stalling the project. When he saw the listing for Wicked Awesome, he knew it was a good fit. He missed living in Florida and his project was ready to come to life, so he moved back to South Florida.
As the name (and more on that later) suggests, the culinary offerings at Sybarite Pig will be meaty, rich, and indulgent. The atmosphere? Not so much.
"I don't like pompous," Naumko said. "It will be elegant dishes and interesting ingredients, but a rustic, down-to-Earth environment. It's all about beer in the end."