The Dining Divas: Piatti Ristorante & Bar

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Guests: Ruth Fields Messersmith, retired consultant and “community service junkie,” who is president of Friends of the Sacramento Crisis Nurseries and serves on the UC Davis Medical Center Leadership Council; Jeri Lardy, special-events chair for Friends of the Sacramento Crisis Nurseries; Marie Crayne and Karrie Blevins from River City Bank, sent by the bank’s Jeanne Reaves, top bidder for lunch with the Divas at Ronald McDonald House Charities’ Red Shoe Ball

Where: Piatti Ristorante & Bar, 3003 Douglas Blvd., Roseville; (916) 786-5678; piatti.com

Benefiting organizations: Sacramento Crisis Nurseries and Ronald McDonald House Charities

1-second review: Fabulous company, good food, commented Marie Crayne.

Ambiance: “Tuscan at ease” is how Ruth Fields Messersmith described it.

Favorite dishes: All the desserts, especially the warm chocolate cake and the caramel custard called crema catalana. Predessert favorites included pan-seared rock cod, veal scaloppine, grilled pancetta-wrapped shrimp, calamari with spicy roasted tomato and caper aioli dippers, and the pizza with housemade spicy Italian sausage and a very, very thin, crispy crust.

The wines: Paulette Bruce, the Divas wine sommelière for the day, chose St. Supéry 2005 Sauvignon Blanc Napa Valley and
Antinori “Santa Cristina” 2006 Chianti. Diva Bernice Hagen liked the Chianti; Diva Peg Tomlinson-Poswall approved of the Sauvignon Blanc, especially with the veal.

Need to know: Chef David Feldman follows the corporate menu but has the liberty to create his own entrées, especially the daily pastas, which scored high with our diners.

For all servers everywhere: Diners do not care to be addressed as “guys” or  “gals.” How about a simple “Welcome. What can I do for you?”

Quote of the day: Diva Peg Tomlinson-Poswall recalled a comment made by Diva Gayla Mace at the first Diva lunch in 1993: “I don’t like him very much today, but I still love him.”

Of interest: Piatti’s special-events coordinator, Deirdre Miller, was on a school field trip to Apple Hill and arrived just in time to bid us farewell. She redeemed herself by sharing a box of Apple Hill doughnuts.

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 $290,000 for local charities and nonprofits.