In Fair Oaks, Dad’s Kitchen moves in, Fabian’s breakfast continues

Diners lost a lot when Maranello Bar & Kitchen in Fair Oaks closed two months ago, such as its imaginative Sunday breakfast-brunch.

In its place, Dad’s Kitchen opened Tuesday night, and we’ll be dropping by soon to take a look and write a “First Impressions” column. The new restaurant is at 8928 Sunset Ave; (916) 241-9365. It’s the sister of Dad’s Kitchen at 2968 Freeport Blvd., Sacramento; (916) 447-3237,

Dad’s Kitchen specializes in “American-style comfort food,” with a menu of mac ‘n’ cheese, chili, meatloaf, a daily blue plate special and the like.

In contrast, former four-star Maranello chef Gabriel Glasier had constructed a menu of impressive but pricy entrees assembled from first-rate, locally sourced ingredients. In June, the menu went gastropub, with emphasis on bites, small plates, salads and pizzas. Plus, a second bar was added. At the time, co-owner Joe Hensler (with wife Gayle) said, “We're trying to appeal to people who don’t want to spend big bucks on entrees on weeknights.”

When Maranello closed in October, Joe Hensler commented, “Dad’s Kitchen is more casual, and that concept may work better in this location.” Maybe so.

Meanwhile, another fine Sunday breakfast-brunch is still served in Fair Oaks at Fabian’s Italian Bistro, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The menu shows the likes of frittata, an omelet with Bolognese sauce and risotto with eggs. What caught our attention, though, was the sausage corn dogs.

Forget about the greasy, overbreaded template with ballpark mustard found on the national fair circuit. These start with lightly spiced breakfast sausages dipped in a thin, slightly gritty cornmeal batter, then cooked to a non-oily crisp and served with maple syrup for dipping and a side of fluffy scrambled eggs ($9.95). They’re fun, but don’t mistake them for just a novelty.

Fabian’s Italian Bistro is at 1755 Fair Oaks Blvd., Fair Oaks; (916) 536-9891, www.fabiansitalianbistro.

While on the subject of restaurants coming and going, Sacramento Bee business columnist Cathie Anderson reports that Zia’s artisanal gelato shop is leaving Placerville to relocate in El Dorado Hills. For details: