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John Wabeck, who was nominated among the nation's best sommeliers in 2010 by Food and Wine magazine, is joining Spoon in East Liberty as wine director/sommelier.
He comes to Pittsburgh via the Washington, D.C., area with his girlfriend Melissa Horst, who started as general manager at Salt of the Earth in Garfield on New Year's Day. The arrival of these two restaurant heavyweights will add serious depth to the region's dining community.
Mr. Wabeck and Ms. Horst hail from Eat Good Food Group based in Alexandria, Va., a collective from James Beard-nominated Cathal Armstrong and his wife Meshelle as well as partner and cocktail maven, Todd Thrasher.
Mr. Wabeck, a former executive chef, steered the wine program for fine dining mecca Restaurant Eve -- rated 4 stars by Tom Sietsema of The Washington Post -- and the group's newest sibling, Society Fair. Mr. Wabeck will be working to "learn the commonwealth," said Spoon chef and proprietor Brian Pekarcik, citing differences in wine purchasing in Pennsylvania's state-run program.
Melissa McCart: 412-263-1198 or on Twitter @melissamccart. A version of this first appeared in the Post-Gazette's The Forks blog.