Appetizers
June 24, 2013
Big changes (and a grand opening) come to Maranello

maranello.JPGThings are shaking up at Maranello in Fair Oaks, and a grand opening from 5 to 7 p.m. Sunday will show them off.

For one thing, the restaurant has a new name - Maranello Bar and Kitchen. For another, it will open a second bar this week, replacing much of the former main dining room. Banquette seating will accommodate diners there, or they can stake out the patio or the Ferrari and Pebble Beach rooms.

The menu has gone gastro-pub, with emphasis on bites, small plates, salads and pizzas (don't miss the ground shortrib burger). Entrees have gone from a couple dozen to seven.

"At the end of the meal, we want people to say, 'Wow, what just happened? That was fun and different,'" said innovative chef Gabriel Glasier.

Also, Sunday breakfast is back ($7 to $15, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.) with dishes such as luscious creme brulee french toast (challah bread with raspberry coulis, Chantilly cream and candied pecans; pictured), meaty crab cakes served as a Benedict (with roasted pepper hollandaise), and smoked salmon scramble (caper-dill salsa, lemon zest sour cream). Also tops: cherrywood-smoked bacon and tender biscuits with raspberry and plum jams.

"We're trying to appeal to people who don't want to spend big bucks on entrees on weeknights," said co-owner Joe Hensler (with wife Gayle). "We're going more in the direction of (our customers) sharing food and enjoying a fun bar atmosphere with artisanal cocktails, craft beers and a focus on wine."

Maranello Bar and Kitchen, 8928 Sunset Ave. (off Hazel Avenue), Fair Oaks; (916) 241-9365, www.maranellorestaurant.com.

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