The Dining Divas: Bidwell Street Bistro

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Guests:

Shelly Carlson and Sandi Holzmeister, both with ABC Ready Mix; Fred Palmer, publisher of Outword Magazine and president of Sacramento’s Rainbow Chamber of Commerce; and Kurt Masters, United Healthcare sales

Where:
Bidwell Street Bistro, 1004 E. Bidwell St., Folsom; (916) 984-7500; bidwellstreetbistro.com
Benefiting organization: Sacramento Children’s Home Guild and CARES (Center for AIDS Research, Education and Services)

1-second review:
Wonderful lunch at a wonderful place, according to Wynonna Judd look-alike Shelly Carlson and Diva Paulette Bruce

Favorite dishes: In a word: everything, including duck confit, wild boar sausage with huckleberry compote, chicken liver crostini, and baked apple and portobello mushroom tart. For dessert, we had profiteroles and warm bread pudding that was lighter than light. Show your sophistication by ordering the artisanal cheese selection drizzled with lavender honey. 

Wine time: It was Diva Joan Leineke’s turn to select the wine, choosing Roederer Estate Sparkling Wine and Steltzner Claret. Her critique: That Claret was a really nice surprise.

Extras: Michelle Serrano provided exemplary service. She smiled, presented each of the nine mains and six desserts with lan, briefly described the food when necessary, checked tableware and changed it, filled water glasses and signed the check with mahalo, a nod to her former home in Hawaii.

Ambiance: The stylish new wine room next to the dining room is great for a private party.

Quote of the day: Fred Palmer said it: Quail, duck, boar&emdash;it was all wild! And so are the Divas.

Chatter: Fred Palmer and Kurt Masters bestowed Spice Girls names upon three Divas:  Sporty (Bernice Hagen), Posh (Joan Leineke) and Crafty (Peg Tomlinson-Poswall). Palmer wondered what to get for a baby shower honoring his sister. A home-cooked dinner, frozen and ready to put in the oven, was Tomlinson-Poswall’s suggestion. Actually, have every guest bring a frozen dinner for the future mom to keep in the freezer. Properly labeled, of course.

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, tahey lunch at an area restaurant, taking as their guests people who placed winning bids at charity events. To date, they have raised more than $275,000 for local charities and nonprofits.