Lucca

3072

Guests:

Jennifer Wood, music director/assistant program director for KYMX 96.1 Mix 96; her guest, Jan Jerome, account executive with KNCI/CBS; Jim Henzi, vice president of sales with Sierra Meat Company of Reno, a wholesale meat company doing business in northern Nevada, California and Hawaii; L.M. Mitch Mitchell, Sierra’s business development manager.

Where: Lucca Restaurant & Bar, 1615 J St., Sacramento; (916) 669-5300
Benefiting organizations: Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and
March of Dimes

1-second review: Start with the zucchini chips&emdash;what else do you need?

Menu: Runs the gamut from traditional to trendy, with seasonal touches.

Favorites: Zucchini chips, hands down the top favorite&emdash;paper thin, lightly salted, addictive&emdash;followed by the Lucca burger, saffron-seafood risotto, skillet-roasted mussels, chilled creamy cucumber soup, Governor’s salad, linguine special with fresh basil and sweet corn kernels and, for dessert, everything from Death by Chocolate and Neapolitan gelato sundae (enough for four) to warm bananas in phyllo.

From the wine list: Diva Bernice Hagen chose a Marco Felluga Pinot Grigio made by an Italian family in the wine business for five generations.

Ambiance: A fun place to see people you know&emdash;or want to know. This jewel box of a restaurant has eye-catching paintings (check out the one of the blue goose&emdash;Bernice wants to take it home), windows that open out onto J Street and two patios, one very private behind the fireplace.

Quote of the day: Who could think about ambiance? I was surrounded by beautiful women. I thought I was in heaven. Did Mitch Mitchell say that? Or was it Jim Henzi? The Divas gave them high points for charm and class.

Chatter:
Jennifer Wood, who called the desserts sexy-licious, made a fashion statement with her jeweled handbag. I always get a new purse at the Greek Festival, she said. The festival has the best vendors. Jan Jerome was jazzed about her 30th anniversary trip to Paris for 10 days with&emdash;you guessed it&emdash;her husband. Server Lauren Greenberg and the entire crew served us with charm and aplomb, even though we ordered 13 menu items and all the desserts. When the check was due, we were told that an anonymous gentleman had paid for lunch, which he does frequently at Lucca. We were grateful but suggested he pick another table that day. We thanked him through the server&emdash;we never did find out his name.

Left to right: Jan Jerome, Paulette Bruce-Miller, Joan Leineke, Jim Henzi, Gloria Glyer, L.M. Mitch Mitchell, Gayla Mace, Bernice Hagen, Jennifer Wood

The Dining Divas&emdash;Gloria Glyer, Paulette Bruce-Miller, Bernice Hagen, Joan Leineke, Gayla Mace and Peg Tomlinson-Poswall&emdash;have been wining and dining together since 1993. Each month, they lunch at an area restaurant, taking as their guests people who placed winning bids at charity events. To date, the Divas have raised more than $254,000 for local charities and nonprofits.