James Sapirstein, born in Argentina, is a veteran in the world of venture capital and pharmaceuticals. He has more than 30 years of experience in the industry and is the current President and CEO of First Wave BioPharma, Inc. From sales, marketing, pharmaceuticals and market research to business development, licensing, clinical trials and finance, he has done. everybody.
He describes himself as someone who grew up “not on the other side of the tracks, but under the tracks” in Buenos Aires. As a Latin American immigrant at the height of his career, Sapirstein constantly worked to build his brand, experience and reliability in order to achieve results and grow the business. To date, he has assisted with 23 product launches, six of which were global launches that he led.
Previously, he was CEO of Alliqua Therapeutics; the founding CEO of Tobira Therapeutics; as well as executive vice president of metabolism and endocrinology at Serono Laboratories. Most recently, he was the CEO and member of the Board of Directors of ContraVir Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Today he is in charge of the overall growth and success of First Wave BioPharma, Inc.
For him, breaking bread with clients and investors gives him the opportunity to develop a genuine and trusting relationship, one that he likens to horse racing. “An investor knows he’s betting on the right horse by looking a jockey in the eye and getting a read on him,” says Sapirstein. “A strong business lunch is not much different.”
Here are three of James Sapirstein’s favorite restaurants for business meetings in his hometown of Boca Raton, Florida.
For investor meetings, Sapirstein is a regular at Arturo’s, one of the city’s longest-running and most elegant restaurants. He describes it as a fabulous “white glove, white tablecloth” place that offers authentic, traditional Italian cuisine. The staff are dressed in tuxedos and have flashy features like a decadence-filled antipasti cart that includes stone crabs, grilled vegetables, layered cakes, and more.
Popular dishes include Saltimbocca alla Fiorentina with veal in a white wine sauce topped with sage, a slice of prosciutto and melted mozzarella cheese, served over spinach; the Zuppa di Pesce with lobster tail, snapper, shrimp, calamari, clams and mussels in a light tomato sauce; the Spaghetti alla Gismondi prepared at the table with smoked salmon, onion, marinara sauce and a touch of cream, flambéed with vodka; and the Spaghetti alla Carbonara with bacon, onion, cream, Pecorino cheese and egg yolk.
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Sapirstein is also a fan of New York Prime, a beloved Boca Raton steakhouse with high-end tender cuts ranging from prime-aged beef, tomahawk ribeye and more. They also have a seafood selection with dishes like live Maine lobster; seasonal stone crabs; grilled sea bass; and seafood dishes with oysters, colossal shrimp, and more. Other popular dishes include the lamb chops and double rib veal chops.
This exclusive restaurant also offers live music and delicious desserts to conclude the meeting. Don’t miss the table-size desserts including the iconic shortbread cake with vanilla ice cream and the gigantic chocolate cake, also served with vanilla ice cream.
In Boca Raton’s famous Mizner Park, Sapirstein recommends Villagio Restaurant and Bar. The Villagio is highly regarded in the area for its impeccable service. White cloth, modern and elegant, the staff pays a lot of attention to their clients. Serving traditional Italian cuisine from various regions, the menu is vast and offers a selection of pasta, fish, meat, salads, pizza and more.
Popular pastas include agnolotti del magnifico with ricotta cheese and spinach; porcini ravioli with saffron truffle sauce and the classic spaghetti bolognese. Other hearty dishes include the veal scaloppini; Montarosa salmon with brandy lobster sauce and chicken milanesa.