5 Questions with restaurateur Burt Rapoport

  1. Tell us a little about yourself. Where did you grow up and what led you to your profession and to open restaurants in South Florida?
    I grew up in  New York City where I basically started my career in the restaurant industry working at my grandfather’s and then father’s successful kosher dairy restaurant which they ran for 50 years. Throughout college I worked in virtually every position in a restaurant. I became an entry level assistant manager and eventually worked my way up to becoming a Regional Manager for a growing restaurant chain called Victoria Station. After that, my friend and co-worker at the time Dennis Max and I headed to South Florida to open up a concept of our own.  That was almost 40 years ago now and I’ve been here ever since. I currently operate Henry’s, Deck 84, Burt & Max’s and the soon-to-be-opened Rappy’s and also a partner in Max’s Grille.
  2. What would you order at your restaurants if going out to eat? Give us your favorite appetizer, entree, dessert and cocktail.
    It’s so hard to pick just one so here is a rundown of what I tend to order at each of our restaurants. At Henry’s, I usually start with the Mediterranean Salad or Magical Split Pea Soup. For entrees I particularly like the Spaghetti & Chicken Meatballs, Simply Grilled Salmon, Roasted Duck, and Sunday’s special the Chicken Pot Pie. For dessert the hot fudge sundae, Molten Chocolate Cake, or our massive slice of Carrot Cake. My drink selection usually consists of Cabernets. At Deck 84, my favorite item to start with is the guacamole & chips and my favorite entrees are the Fresh Fish or Shrimp tacos, Southwestern Chicken Salad, and Turkey Burger. I like to drink iced green tea and Sunday Fun Day beer for a daytime selection; Don Julio tequila on the rocks with dinner. At Burt & Max’s I love to start with our freshly baked corn bread and onion soup dumplings. My favorite items to order are the Chopped Salad, Seared Tuna, any of the pizzas, Short Ribs, Idaho Spring Farms Trout Francese, Half Roasted Chicken, any of the burgers and for dessert the mud pie. For cocktails it’s an assortment. You can either find me drinking a scotch, bourbon, tequila or red wine.
  3. Do you cook? If, so what is your favorite dish to make?
    Love to cook at home every Sunday night. My favorite thing to do is have friends over, fire up our wood burning oven and make an assortment of pizzas.
  4. What is your ideal way to spend a day off? Tell us what you would do?
    An ideal day off is to read the newspapers, go to the gym and then either head to the beach or play some golf. Then I like to end the day by cooking dinner at home and watching Ray Donovan and/or similar TV shows
  5. Tell us something about yourself that isn’t commonly known, like a hobby you’re interested in, a cause you support, some fun facts.
    After spending so much time in our restaurants, I cherish being home with my wife Robin and dog Gracie.