Carolyn Hunt, senior commercial officer, First American Title Company; her mother-in-law, Sara Hunt; her good friend, Deborah McGuire of Vacaville, wellness coordinator for the Vacaville Unified School District (they attended thanks to the largesse of Carolyn’s husband, Chris, and his company, Chris Hunt Construction); Kathleen Harris, third-generation president of Harris Industrial Gases and board member of Placer Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals; Sallysue Stein, a community volunteer who calls herself a kept woman, with appreciation to her husband of 27 years.
Where: Wine & Roses, 2505 W. Turner Road, Lodi; (209) 334-6988; (877) 310-3358; winerose.com
Benefiting organizations: Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services and Placer SPCA.
1-second review: Fresh ingredients, great ambiance, quality company.
The best: The food and service were outstanding, but we were expected, and the staff (including server Jane Springmeyer of Thornton) was dedicated to making our visit memorable. Our favorites included grilled peach and endive salad with Point Reyes blue cheese souffl and candied walnuts; tamale pancake with barbecued pork, lime crÃ¨me fraÃ®che and avocado; fresh figs with prosciutto; farmers market roasted vegetable sandwich with Bellwether Farms Crescenza cheese and Green Goddess dressing on grilled sourdough; great garlic fries with all sandwiches, including the roasted salmon BLT on house-baked focaccia. All the desserts were tops, especially the chocolate banana spring roll, chocolate molten cake and blackberry crisp.
Ambiance: Upscale and seasonal: Pick a time of year, and the atmosphere, as well as the menu, will change. In good weather, dine under the oak trees.
Bonus: Chatting with Jonathan and Cathy Wetmore of Grands Amis Winery of Lockeford, just as we were tasting their delightful unfiltered Zinfandel 2002. Our outing also included a tour of Wine & Roses’ new full-service spa, architecturally and artistically a beauty.
Chatter: Carolyn Hunt opined: Good food is like a good book&emdash;every nuance and subtlety is a joyous surprise. She also had a book to recommend: Water for Elephants; Sallysue Stein added Adam to the must-read list. Fashion advice for Debby McGuire, who was getting ready for her daughter’s wedding in Ireland: You must wear a hat. McGuire and her husband have four children; this is their first wedding. She has been active in the foreign-exchange program and tells some rather interesting, even shocking, stories about the visitors and hosts.
Quote of the day: We were not stuck in Lodi! said Kathleen Harris.
Left to right: Debby McGuire, Paulette Bruce-Miller, Bernice Hagen, Carolyn Hunt, Peg Tomlinson-Poswall, Gloria Glyer, Joan Leineke, Kathleen Harris, Sallysue Stein, Sara Hunt, Kathryn Munson (restaurant co-owner)
The Dining Divas&emdash;Gloria Glyer, Paulette Bruce-Miller, Bernice Hagen, Joan Leineke, Gayla Mace and Peg Tomlinson-Poswall&emdash;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, the Divas have raised more than $248,000 for local charities and nonprofits.