The Dining Divas: TulÍ Bistro

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Guests: Kim Breitbarth and Dennet Cowan, representing Shelly Carlson of ABC Ready Mix in Elverta; Kim Cemo, homemaker and community supporter; Sammy Cemo, business owner; Diane Fishburn, attorney. (Leslie Stein was slated to attend, but a family emergency came up.)

Where: Tulí Bistro, 2031 S St., Sacramento; (916) 451-8854; tulibistro.com

Benefiting organizations: Sacramento Children’s Home Guild, Wellspring Women’s Center and California Automobile Museum

Ambiance: Casual, hip and laid-back

Food: The best pizza in town? Could be. Thin and ever-so-crisp crust, with imaginative toppings that change daily. A shooter of potato and spring onion soup started the proceedings. From there, we had three sandwiches: the Po’ Boy (crispy prawns and chipotle rémoulade), the Parisian Bird (lemon herb chicken breast, sweet-and-sour pears and brie—wow!) and the Cuban (roasted marinated pork with cheddar and Swiss cheeses and cumin mustard sauce). Don’t skip the desserts, which are made in-house.

Commentary:
Grab a seat at the counter to watch the pizza-oven action by chef/owner Adam Pechal and his crew, or settle at a table in the outdoor seating area.

Wine time: Choices of Diva Bernice Hagen were Lynmar Estate Russian River 2006 Chardonnay and Ken Brown 2007 Pinot Noir. “The Chardonnay was excellent,” said Hagen, “and the Pinot was a bit thin but a good wine for sipping with lunch.”

Chatter: Diva Bernice Hagen, who had a cast on her broken thumb, appreciated help from Diva Paulette Bruce in the cutting department. Sammy Cemo revealed he broke his thumb in bed one time. You’ll have to ask him about it. Three of us—Kim Cemo, Diane Fishburn and I—were delighted to share the experience of reading The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein. Dennet Cowan lives in Rio Oso, where dining out calls for travel unless you head for the tried-and-true Italian restaurant in the area.

Quote of the day:
While chatting about the imaginative creations featured on some menus, Diane Fishburn said, “If my friend Rick Moseley saw something strange on his plate, he would want to get out the Roundup and spray it.”

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.

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