People love to talk about “Pittsburgh’s Restaurant Renaissance.” We do too. We’ve been serving up dishes as one of the city's premier dining destinations for nearly a decade. We helped write the first chapter of the city’s culinary rebirth and are hard at work on the next one.
How do we stay at the top of our game? By constantly reinventing our food and drink programs with the highest quality menu items from nationally renowned chefs and sommeliers.
So whether you want a night of high-end dining, drinks with friends or a quick bite before hitting the town, Spoon has you covered.
Rick Stern is an entrepreneur who has been building successful businesses in Pittsburgh since the early 1970s. Rick graduated from Babson College in Boston and joined the family business owning seven Downtown theaters.
His first Pittsburgh business was Heaven, a national known restaurant and disco in the late 1970s and 1980s.
In the late 1980s, Stern and his father renovated the Manor Theater from a single screen to a twin screen. “It’s been in our family on and off since about 1975,” Stern said. “I grew up in Squirrel Hill, so when I was a kid that was a single-screen neighborhood theater. We used to go watch cartoons every Saturday afternoon.”
As part of the S+P Restaurant Group, Rick Stern and business partner Brian Pekarcik own several restaurants throughout the Pittsburgh area including Spoon, BRGR, G&G Noodle Bar and Willow.
After graduating from the Culinary Institute of America in 1992, John Wabeck settled in Washington D.C. to start, or so he thought, his career in the kitchen. After stints at several high-profile kitchens in D.C., he moved to Napa Valley, California to expand his culinary horizons. While that certainly occurred, it was living in a world-class wine region and the people that go with it that garnered much more interest. When he decided to move back to the east, he was urged to look into the Court of Master Sommeliers, and he promptly signed up for the introductory class.
Being exposed to that level of knowledge struck a chord with John, and he quickly devoted himself to studying the vine. He was able to pass the difficult advanced level of the Court while still full time in the kitchen. It was while taking the CMS Diploma exam that he came to a realization – it was one or the other. John chose wine.
John’s first wine job was opening sommelier at Inox Restaurant in Tysons Corner, VA, where he was chosen as one of Food + Wine magazine’s “Best Sommeliers, 2009.” He then worked for the 4-star Restaurant Eve in Alexandria, VA, where he honed his service and cocktail skills. He now lives and works in Pittsburgh, PA, where he is General Manager + Wine Director of Spoon Restaurant, which was recently awarded “Best of Award of Excellence” for its wine list from Wine Spectator Magazine.
Jamilka Borges is the Executive Chef at Spoon, one of Pittsburgh’s premier dining destinations. With expertise in regional, French, Italian and Latin cuisine, Jamilka brings a diverse and dynamic culinary style to Spoon and the S+P team.
StarChefs, a leading national restaurant publication, honored Jamilka as a Rust Belt Rising Star in late 2016.
Prior to joining Spoon, Jamilka served as Executive Chef at Pittsburgh’s the Livermore and Bar Marco, where she lead a program to preserve local produce and develop menus based on availabilities from local farms. Her commitment to a unique “farm to table” dining experience led Bar Marco to be nominated for Best New Restaurant 2013 by Bon Appetit.
Her work also includes working closely with 412 Food Rescue, an organization that fights hunger by collecting fresh, healthy food that would otherwise be discarded and directly distributing to community organizations that serve those in need. She furthered developed her skills as chef de cuisine at Legume.
In 2015 she was recognized by the James Beard Foundation as a Rising Star Chef Semifinalist and was honored as Best Chefs America’s Rising Star Chef.
Jamilka attended the Universidad de Puerto Rico and earned a Culinary Arts degree in 2007 from the Art Institute of Pittsburgh.
Raised in Pittsburgh, Brian Pekarcik graduated with a degree in Psychology and a minor in Business Management from John Carroll University in 1997. He then moved to California working from the bottom up at various fine‐dining establishments gaining hands‐on experience and learning all that he could in the culinary world.
While in California, Brian worked at Mille Fleurs under Martin Woesle, a European Master Chef and James Beard award recipient. It was there that Brian learned the value of seasonal cooking and the importance of quality and freshness.
After two years at Mille Fleurs as Chef de Partie, Brian moved to work as an opening Sous Chef at another San Diego establishment, Bertrand at Mister A’s. In 2001, Brian received the honor of working with legendary chef Gary Danko at his namesake restaurant in San Francisco, California. Brian was part of the opening team that received numerous awards such as James Beard Best New Restaurant, James Beard Best Chef, and the coveted Mobil Five‐Star rating.
Brian moved back to San Diego to take over as Executive Chef of Arterra Restaurant in 2004. Arterra is a celebrity chef joint venture with James Beard Award winning Chef Bradley Ogden and Marriott International. Brian was proud to carry on in the tradition of Ogden, sourcing the highest quality purveyors and using the absolute freshest ingredients. Pekarcik upheld the “farm to table” reputation for bringing American cuisine to the forefront of the culinary world.
In late 2007, Brian moved back to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to take over as Executive Chef of the Pittsburgh Marriott City Center. He had full creative menu control, as well as complete accountability for all food and labor costs within this 400 room, 10 million dollar a year food and beverage operation. Brian’s food has received rave reviews in Whirl Magazine’s Best Dishes, The Tribune Review and the Pittsburgh Business Times.
Brian teamed with Rick Stern in 2009 to form S+P Restaurant Group. The group offers some of Pittsburgh’s top dining destinations including Spoon, BRGR, G&G Noodle Bar and Willow.
He has been honored with Pittsburgh Magazine’s Chef of the Year in 2012 and 2014, as well as the publication’s Rising Star Chef in 2011.
Signature cocktails, an unmatched wine list and a selection of bottled beers are just part of what we serve up at Spoon. Our sommelier and bar staff are experts who can pick the perfect pairing for your meal - or mix up something just right for whatever mood you’re in.
Love wine? Well, you’ve come to the right place. Our sommelier John Wabeck leads a wine program that has been recognized multiple times with Wine Spectator’s Award of Excellence. With John’s expertise and a list of more than 450 wines, we think you’ll agree with Wine Spectator.
Looking for a first-class experience for an event? Spoon offers a beautiful space and unmatched culinary excellence for a rehearsal dinner, bridal or baby shower, holiday party or corporate event.
With private event space and full restaurant buyout opportunities, we can customize our amenities for any of your needs.
We can accommodate private dining events for up to 72 people, offer a private dining room for up to 32 guests and cocktail space for up to 110.
For more information, please contact Event Manager, Marissa Kopfe at firstname.lastname@example.org or 724.255.8970.