We discovered a small restaurant in Fair Oaks that is worth the trip. It is called Fabians Italian Bistro. There are a lot of bistros in California (originally a neighborhood restaurant with a relatively simple menu and modest prices) that are not worth a damn. They are able to combine haughty service with lousy food.
We've been to Fabians twice in the last week. We've had four dishes - A butternut squash in burnt butter, a chicken piccata, a risotto and mac and cheese. Each were special. Tonight I had a Brussels Sprouts appetizer with a pinch of blue cheese and pancetta. Exceptional. Last week I had a home made soup that was magnificent.
But the place is even better because of the service. The servers are polite, funny and they know their stuff. But they don't hand out a lot of gourmet terms that mere mortals do not understand.
There is one small problem with the place. The deserts are up to the quality of the entrees but the portions are generous enough that you will need to avoid the excellent bread to have enough room to try them.
Fabian's is in the Almond Orchard Center on the corner of Fair Oaks and Madison. The Almond Orchard is one of those unassuming small shopping centers. Don't be fooled. It is close to where we live but it is worth the trip it you cannot call it your local bistro.