Nancy Fellmeth, president of Families for Early Autism Treatment (her 15-year-old son is autistic); her guest, Merrilee Posner, a close friend of Fellmeth’s and a FEAT supporter; David Gray, a Realtor; his guest, Darcie Stratton, a real estate loan consultant with Washington Mutual; Marcus Graziano, owner of Capitol Cellars Diamond Creek.
Where: La Provence Restaurant & Terrace, 110 Diamond Creek Place, Roseville; (916) 789-2002
Benefiting organizations: Families for Early Autism Treatment and Twin Lakes Food Bank of Folsom
1-second review: The menu moves between the earth, atmosphere and stars.&emdash;Merrilee Posner
Menu: Seasonal and French, from soupe Ã l’oignon gratine to coquilles St. Jacques. Lunch prices vary, with many items less than $10.
Favorite dishes: Garlic fries; ratatouille; salade au chÃ¨vre chaud (warm Laura Chenel goat cheese wrapped in pastry); tartine de gigot (an open-faced sandwich with lamb and GruyÃ¨re); Kobe beef burger on brioche; crab cakes; and, for dessert, cranberry-grape crisp a la mode and tarte Tatin (French upside-down apple tart).
Extras: Divas Bernice Hagen and Peg Tomlinson-Poswall stopped by Capitol Cellars to see Marcus Graziano and sweet-talk him into providing the wine. He did, and the Divas reciprocated by inviting him to lunch. The wine sampling opened with Billecart Salmon Brut Ros from France, followed by Walter Hansel Russian River Chardonnay and Stewart Russian River Pinot Noir, and concluded with Igneous Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon from the Howell Mountain region in Napa. Graziano lauded the Pinot Noir, calling it a reasonably priced Pinot at $45 that tastes more like a $90 bottle.
Ambiance: Elegant, romantic, very appealing; La Provence is especially inviting in the summertime for sitting outside under the oak trees.
Quote of the day: You can get season tickets for baseball and basketball; how about a season pass for the Diva lunches? asked guest David Gray.
Chatter: Server Pam Bailie performed with care and chatted briefly about the days when she and her husband, Doug, owned Bailies in Folsom. Merrilee Posner, who was filled to the brim with travel advice, wondered why anyone local would go to Napa when he or she could make the short drive to La Provence.
Photo-left to right: Paulette Bruce, Merrilee Posner, Nancy Fellmeth, Gloria Glyer, David Gray, Bernice Hagen, Darcie Stratton, Peg Tomlinson-Poswall, Marcus Graziano, Joan Leineke