The Dining Divas: The Firehouse Restaurant

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Guests: Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Sacramento auction winner Nancy Stimson and her guest, Sandy Garese; Dale Adams and Carolyn Bregard, top bidders at the American Heart Association’s Heart Ball; Jackie Grebitus and Joan Glasgow, friends and wannabe Divas

Where: The Firehouse Restaurant, 1112 Second St., Old Sacramento; (916) 442-4772; firehouseoldsac.com

Benefiting organizations: Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Sacramento; American Heart Association

Ambiance: Historic charm and quiet enough for conversation

1-second review: Good food in a stately setting

Dishing on the dishes: Pears and Camembert en croûte; mulled wine-poached pear stuffed with blue cheese mousseline, served on hearty greens with toasted-hazelnut vinaigrette; pork tenderloin with ragout of mushrooms, fennel sausage and white beans; French onion steak sandwich with crosscut fries (outstanding). We tasted seven desserts—all wonderful—but especially loved the hummingbird cake (banana-pecan-pineapple spice cake with cream cheese mousse and ginger-carrot coulis), the Meyer lemon napoleon and the Grand Marnier soufflé.

Extras: The amuse-bouche was a tidbit of crunchy veggies in a crisp crust. The kitchen accommodated Sandy Garese’s gluten allergy in every dish.

Wine time: Diva Joan Leineke, our wine steward for the day, said it would take a while to get through The Firehouse’s extensive wine list. Her choices: Sterling 2004 Merlot and Ramey 2005 Chardonnay.

Quote of the day: “Oh no! Are you still bringing food?” asked Joan Glasgow, who also noted that “the french fries rock.” Jackie Grebitus, who majored in french fries during a tour of New York City, agreed.

Chatter: Having a retired husband around the house prompted Dale Adams to say gratefully, “Thank goodness for golf.” Her husband, she said, even goes grocery shopping with her. “It’s an adjustment on both sides.” Nancy Stimson noted that the door to The Firehouse restrooms is marked with a red light. “Any significance there?” wondered Stimson, a proud fourth-generation Northern Californian.

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