The Dining Divas: The Waterboy

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What: The final Divas lunch—ever

Guests: Stacey Hodge, director of community relations for Ronald McDonald House Charities; Tim Hodge, who moves earth; Jeanne Reaves, consultant to for-profit and nonprofit executives; Carolyn Fischer, self-described party crasher; Rochelle Pastor, photographer whose longtime Sacramento magazine gigs include “The Dining Divas” and “Snapshots”; and Tina Macuha, “Good Day Sacramento” anchor/reporter and facilitator for Motivating the Teen Spirit

Where: The Waterboy, 2000 Capitol Ave., Sacramento; (916) 498-9891; waterboyrestaurant.com

On the menu: White anchovy crostini, Five Dot Ranch steak tartare, fritto misto, pan-seared dayboat scallops, Asian pear and endive salad, burger and BLT. Carolyn Fischer hates beets but loved The Waterboy’s beet salad with goat cheese and house-cured pancetta. “Everything is better with bacon,” said Tim Hodge—even beets.

Wine time: Carolyn Fischer chose St. Supéry 2006 Virtú Meritage and Emeritus 2007 Pinot Noir. Before lunch, we raised a toast with glasses of tequila, thanks to Tim Hodge, who brought a personally inscribed bottle of Penca Azul from his private reserve.

Recipe for a successful restaurant: “It’s half employees, half food,” said Diva Gayla Mace. “You can have the most amazing food with rude or bad servers and people will not come back.” Diva Joan Leineke looks for good food, great décor and no Siberia seating.

Food faves
: Rochelle Pastor loves spaghetti—any kind, any time. Tim Hodge picks pork belly. Carolyn Fisher likes bacon, sunflower seeds, beans and dark chocolate. Stacey Hodge goes for one of two extremes: The French Laundry’s foie gras on warm brioche with prehistoric salt or greasy tacos. Chocolate and cheesecake score for Jeanne Reaves. For Tina Macuha, it’s lumpia and pancit (Filipino food from her childhood), and chicken and waffles.

Motto: “I live to eat, not eat to live,” said Jeanne Reaves, echoing the Divas’ basic philosophy.

What’s next: For the past 18 years, the Divas have lunched together on the first Wednesday of the month. Now what? Paulette would like to cook a special lunch in honor of the Divas; Bernice will look for someone to have lunch with; Peg will work out, knit, travel and wonder about the latest fashion trend without Joan to lead the way; Joan hopes to have catering jobs; and Gayla will think of all the Divas.

Gloria’s plans
: Pick a date . . . let’s do lunch.

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 have lunched at an area restaurant, taking as their guests people who placed winning bids at charity events. They have raised more than $350,000 for local charities and nonprofits.