The Dining Divas: L Wine Lounge & Urban Kitchen

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Guests: Sandy Malaney, CEO of Big Hairy Dog Information Systems; Ada Bauman, educational consultant with Glencoe/McGraw-Hill Publishers; Carolyn Fischer, who chooses not to tell what she does; Patrick Powers, publicist and television producer

Where
: L Wine Lounge & Urban Kitchen, 1801 L St., Sacramento; (916) 443-6970; lwinelounge.com

Benefiting organization
: Make-A-Wish Foundation

1-second review
: Made to order for the Divas, who thrive on small plates for a taste of this and a sample of that

Ambiance: The restaurant, complete with private wine lockers, gets a four-star rating from Patrick Powers.

Dishing on the Dishes: Where to start? With the amuse-bouche—a bacon mushroom soup. Tantalizing. Here’s a sample of what we tasted: gnudi (ricotta gnocchi) with cauliflower; sautéed prawns with chorizo on polenta; slow-roasted lamb ribs with pomegranate glaze; boquerones (white anchovies) with piquillo peppers and fennel marmalade; and Brussels sprouts sautéed with tarragon. Desserts included a light and lovely crème brûlée, an ice cream sandwich and an apple crisp.

Wine Time: Diva Gayla Mace chose Catena Chardonnay from Argentina and Row Eleven Pinot Noir Vinas 3. Divas Joan Leineke and Peg Tomlinson-Poswall gave thumbs up to both, especially the Pinot. Diva Bernice Hagen appreciated their low alcohol level and drinkability.

Names to Know: Marcus and Kolea Marquez are the personable owners of L Wine Lounge; Ame Harrington is the genius in the kitchen; Leon Moore was an attentive and informed server.

Tadbits: Carolyn Fischer ordered gnudi to take home for dinner. Patrick Powers called himself the BOTB (Bottom of the Barrel) guest. He can be a guest anytime, especially if he arrives with a basket of treats from Ettore’s. Sandy Malaney’s birthday party for 10-year-old twins was slated for Race Place Motorsports, an indoor kart-racing center on Bradshaw Road. Carolyn Fischer knew about a 60-year-old who held a birthday party at the same place and had a ball.

The Dining Divas—Gloria Glyer, Paulette Bruce, Bernice Hagen, Joan Leineke, Gayla Mace and Peg Tomlinson-Poswall—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 $320,000 for local charities and nonprofits.

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