The Waterboy



Alison Buhler, Bank of America director and Sutter Medical Center Foundation trustee; Gloria Naify, community volunteer who sits on the Sutter foundation board and co-chaired its 2005 gala; Bobby Coyote, founder/owner of Dos Coyotes Border Cafe; Margo Jameson, Dos Coyotes office manager; Carolyn Fischer, self-described “domestic engineer” and Jesuit High School volunteer

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

Benefiting Organizations: Sutter Medical Center Foundation; Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation

Best Dishes: Thin-crusted pizzette, with a different topping every day; white anchovies (the best west of Barcelona, according to Buhler); tortelli with braised beef short ribs; veal sweetbreads with carrot-celery pure; cassoulet with duck confit, lamb shoulder, sausage and bacon; braised shoulder of Niman pork with crisp pork belly; potato and squash gnocchi; Painted Hills skirt steak on bruschetta with arugula and sauted potatoes; and Niman Ranch burger with grilled onions and applewood bacon. For dessert, the chocolate brioche bread pudding was a winner, but so were the pineapple upside-down cake and the affogato (espresso over vanilla ice cream). Did we order and enjoy everything? Just about.

Ambiance: Pick one; they all fit: comfortable; casual; homey; perfect mix of midtown past and new downtown energy; fun; relaxed; unpretentious; inviting; hip.

Caveat: The food is innovative but portions are not huge. You might want to augment the main course with a starter before and a dessert after.

Service With a Smile: Jennifer Noble, a Waterboy server ever since it opened, performed impeccably.

Chatter: Lunchers were surprised that there really is a Coyote behind Dos Coyotes. Buhler and Naify love Dos’ Yucatan salad. A fashion highlight: Jameson’s exotic hair color. “I like to stay in the pink,” she said. Coyote noted that a family is lucky when it has a 17-year-old to take over the driving, especially when Mom and Dad want to enjoy a glass of wine with dinner. The Waterboy is his favorite restaurant-other than Dos Coyotes, of course. “Lovin’ the place, the people, service and consistently amazing food,” said Fischer. Naify summed it up: “Good food! Good travels! Good friends! Great life!”

Quotable: Bobby Coyote: “When someone asks if the restaurant business is challenging, I say, ‘Look at my hair. It used to be dark brown; now it’s gray.'”

1-SECOND REVIEW: It doesn’t get any better than this, with flavors from robust to sublime.

*The Dining Divas-Gloria Glyer, Paulette Bruce-Miller, Bernice Hagen, Joan Leineke, Gayla Mace and Peg Tomlinson-Poswall-have been wining and dining together since 1993. Each 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 $200,000 for local charities and nonprofits.