The Dining Divas: Mulvaney’s Building & Loan

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Guests: Kathy Boone, director of Twin Lakes Food Bank; her daughter, Alicia Luna, a marriage and family therapist; Kathleen Palley, founder of Sacramento Children’s Museum; her mother, Elaine Van Beveren, a family law attorney; Joyce Raley Teel, owner of Raley’s

Where
: Mulvaney’s Building & Loan, 1215 19th St., Sacramento; (916) 441-6022; mulvaneysbl.com

Benefiting organizations: Twin Lakes Food Bank and Sacramento Children’s Museum

1-second review: Diva Paulette Bruce didn’t mince words: “Damn good food.”

Dishing on the dishes
: We had house-smoked salmon with Irish brown bread; carrot and ginger soup; grilled sweet-corn polenta with braised lamb; fettuccine with grilled hanger steak; sea bass with fresh cherry butter; and, for dessert, upside-down cherry cake, banana tart and the not-to-be-missed Valrhona Ding Dong.

Ambiance: A delightful patio and comfortable dining room.

Extras: Patrick and Bobbin Mulvaney saluted us with a Champagne toast. Bobbin performed the cork-removal-by-sword ceremony, except she used a butcher knife instead. Server Chris Beltz then retrieved the cork from a flower bed.

Quote of the day: “Use a tenderizer,” advised Diva Joan Leineke. “You know, the kind with the little feet.”

Chatter: Kathy Boone knows how to deal with volunteers as part of her work with Twin Lakes Food Bank. “You can throw a wrench and foul up the volunteer action,” she said. “It needs control.” Kathleen Palley studied children’s museums in Denver and Portland, Ore., while thinking about starting such a museum here. She came home and went to work. The museum in Rancho Cordova anticipates a 2011 opening. Joyce Raley Teel was asked how many grandchildren she has. The answer: 25. “You look familiar to me,” Elaine Van Beveren said to Diva Bernice Hagen. “And you to me,” said Hagen. Several bites of food later, Van Beveren remembered: The two of them once fought, sort of, over Monarchs courtside seats. All was forgiven. Both wish the Monarchs were still on the court.

 

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 $327,000 for local charities and nonprofits.