The Dining Divas: The Waterboy


Guests: Sally Guttridge O’Hara, CFO of Emerald Park Building Company; Lisa Lent, owner/president of Elk Grove Milling and a landowner who’s developing the Elk Grove Promenade; David Lanza, developer and Marysville farmer; Steve Bacon, in commercial real estate sales and leasing and a WIND board member; Pam Dinsmore, reader interactive editor for The Sacramento Bee; and Bruce Mace, husband of Diva Gayla Mace

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

Benefiting organizations: WIND Youth Services and Elk Grove Food Bank

1-second review: Two Cs—consistency and continuity—add up to an A rating.

Dishing on the dishes: Smelt fish sticks—what a crispy, delicious way to start lunch! The pizzetta changes daily but is always great. Other goodies: polpetto (pork and veal meatball) with creamy polenta and tomato sauce; the burger, which is no slouch in the burger department; sweetbreads with potato purée; scallops with angel hair pasta. For dessert, we had mixed-berry sorbet, chocolate pot de crème, Arborio rice pudding and apple crostada with rum raisin ice cream.

Wine time: Diva Joan Leineke chose St. Supéry Sauvignon Blanc and D-cubed Cellars Napa Valley Zinfandel.

Ambiance: From guest Sally Guttridge O’Hara: “I feel like I am at the home of an old friend who is a fabulous cook.”

It’s unanimous: Rick Mahan, owner/executive chef, wins raves for innovation and presentation. He was on holiday the day we ate at The Waterboy, but his staff performed admirably. It’s hard to beat Jenny Noble when it comes to providing good service. A Minnie Driver look-alike, Noble has worked at The Waterboy for more than 11 years.

Chatter: Dave Lanza gave Steve Bacon a lesson in how to behave at a Diva lunch: Take a taste, then pass the plate to the next luncher. This occurred after Bacon served himself an entire meatball. The meatball was meant to be shared, as are all the dishes we order. Sally Guttridge O’Hara bragged about coming home a winner from Monte Carlo. She went this past year during the Monaco Formula One Grand Prix, which takes place on the narrow streets of Monte Carlo. “It was exciting,” she said. “We had the opportunity to walk the same course the drivers competed on the next day.” Guttridge O’Hara and Lisa Lent volunteer at the Strauss Festival of Elk Grove. Do they waltz? No, said Guttridge O’Hara: “Do you know how hard it is to waltz?”

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 $283,000 for local charities and nonprofits.