Biba

5227

Guests:

Joseph F. Harbison, winemaker and retired attorney; his wife, Pat Harbison, an educator; their daughter, Kimberly Harbison, law firm business manager, and son, Patrick Harbison, marketing staffer for Sacramento News & Review; G. Keith Reppart, senior vice president/sales manager for River City Bank; Mark Davis, sales manager for American Airlines and importer of Argentine wines; Stan Atkinson, retired television news anchor; his wife, Kristen Atkinson

Where: Biba, 2801 Capitol Ave., Sacramento; (916) 455-2422; biba-restaurant.com
Benefiting organizations: Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services and Make-A-Wish Foundation

1-second review: Go European and have your salad after the entre for a palate-pleasing way to enter dessert mode.

The best: Eggplant ravioli with butter-sage sauce. Other high points: sauted calf’s liver with braised Vidalia onions and smoked bacon; veal stew; New York steak with porcini mushrooms; beet salad. Tiramisu continues to be a highlight of the dessert menu, but the cappuccino cheesecake and the chocolate gelato with hazelnuts could overtake the traditional Italian dessert.

Wine:
Mark Davis said, Never leave home without wine, and Joe Harbison never does: He brought a JP Harbison 2003 Chardonnay and a JP Harbison 2003 Cabernet. Joe’s wines were fabulous, said Diva Joan Leineke.

Ambiance:
Classy and upscale, with nice art and subdued music

Caveat: Because of nearby construction, parking is difficult at best. (Use Biba’s valet service.)

Quote of the day:
Where does a single person go in Sacramento for a good time? asked G. Keith Reppart. Stan Atkinson had some suggestions from his pre-Kristen days, but those places are long gone.

Chatter:
Stan Atkinson recalled that before Biba opened in 1986, he attended meals hosted by Biba Caggiano and her husband, Vincent. The Sunday dinners would go on and on, said Atkinson, deliciously. We all praised server Jeannine Brady for her professional manner and ready smile. Biba herself kept an eye on things and offered us tastes of a dish headed for a future menu: egg pasta with sage and prosciutto.

The Dining Divas&emdash;Gloria Glyer, Paulette Bruce, Bernice Hagen, Joan Leineke, Gayla Mace and Peg Tomlinson-Poswall&emdash;have been wining and dining together since 1993. Every month, they lunch at an area restaurant, taking as their guests people who placed winning bids at charity events. To date, they have raised more than $268,000 for local charities and nonprofits.