Sandra Cook, a community volunteer who supports Jesuit High School even though her son graduated back in 1982; her guest, Noreen Raney; Shanda Lewis, a high school English teacher who bid on the lunch with Angela Nickerson; Nickerson was home with bronchitis, so she was replaced by Julie Waldbauer, an interior designer specializing in health care facilities and worship production design for sacred spaces.
Where: Seasons, 102 F St., Davis; (530) 750-1801
Benefiting organizations: Jesuit High School and Francis House
1-second review: Each season brings change at Seasons.
Menu: Compact, with adventurous choices for foodies, all-American picks for meat-and-potatoes types. A different comfort classic is served every day, ranging from a Reuben sandwich to meatloaf to cioppino.
Favorites: The spectacular ahi appetizer (a special) was rolled in sesame seeds, sprinkled with black salt and served with avocado and wasabi. We loved the American Kobe burger for the quality of the beef and the light, not overpowering bread. Others in the top category: pickled beets and baby greens with chÃ¨vre; the Reuben; roasted-vegetable lasagna; and the daily flatbread: sort of like a pizza, but thinner and crispier. Desserts? Yum, especially the warm banana bread pudding with chocolate sauce and crÃ¨me anglaise, and the Scharffen Berger chocolate brownie with caramel gelato and cacao nibs.
Extras: Proprietor Tamas Torok warned us about parking in the city lot across the street. Two hours and you get a ticket, he said, advising us to move our cars. We enjoyed super service from Allison Caruso, a student at UC Davis, and innovative food from chef Jeffry Murphy.
Ambiance: Although Seasons has been redesigned and upgraded, a very slight coffee shop atmosphere continues to permeate the setting. Book a table toward the back of the restaurant for a view of the private dining room and its wall of wine.
Chatter: More than one luncher noted that Seasons serves coffee in heated cups, a welcome touch. Said Sandra Cook: I loved the food talk about various restaurants and hotels everywhere. The company was the best. Both Cook and Noreen Raney vowed to return to Seasons&emdash;it’s such an easy drive from Sacramento. Diva Bernice Hagen appreciated not only that the food was well-prepared but that everything was what the menu represented. She picked the beverages: Gloria Ferrer Brut for a sparkling start, followed by Easton Shenandoah Valley 2001 Barbera and Honig Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc.
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 $254,000 for local charities and nonprofits.