Disclaimer: Fabian's is a client of the company I work for. Just know that they have 4.7 stars on Yelp and have had overall great reviews. So you don't have to take just my word for it.
If suburban folk don't venture downtown too much, then we downtown folk don't venture out to the burbs much either. Fabian's Italian Bistro had been on my radar for a while, but I had no real compelling reason to venture out to Fair Oaks. Once upon a time when I was married, that was my hood and we probably would be regulars there if I was still married out that way. But these days I rarely make the drive up Sunrise Blvd.
In fact, Fabian's is easy to miss as it is tucked into a small shopping center at the corner of Fair Oaks and Madison Ave. It's a nice sized, attractive restaurant with a small bar area and a patio for better weather. We were seated at a lovely bay window table at the front of the restaurant.
As I only tasted my own dish and dessert, this is just a mini review of our meal.
The server was attentive and the foccacia bread is served with a plate of balsamic, olive oil, and herbs. A good start.
We both opted for two pasta dishes.
I had the saffron pappardelle with jumbo shrimp, tomatoes, and leeks. They were generous with nice sized shrimp and the tender pasta is made in-house. I was a bit disappointed at first at the lightness of the sauce, more a broth than a thick, coating sauce. But the dish grew on me as I began to appreciate the lightness of the dish as the flavors developed and impressed me the more I ate.
My friend had the rigatoni mezzi with meatballs made from angus beef and pork. There were three large meatballs that I saw. I did not get a taste, but my friend enjoyed it.
She also ordered a side of shaved brussels sprouts with bacon, toasted almonds, and parmesan.
For dessert I had to satisfy my cream craving by ordering the creme brulee. It came with a side biscotti and was a thicker version. Creme brulees range from too thin to too thick, this one is on the thicker side, which I prefer. I actually consider it poor quality when creme brulees can drip off a spoon.
Darcie opted for the bourbon bread pudding after learning that the bourbon was cooked out of the bread pudding and not involved in some sort of sauce poured over. It was a hefty serving and bursting with a caramel bourbon flavor.
It's easy to see why Fabian's is a neighborhood favorite in an area filled with mediocre places or national chains.