About this Business
From Our Editors
Owner Judy Griswold's passion is infectious as she praises Chef Oscar Valenzuela's modern American concept at Nero's Grill. "He's just amazing," she says. "He can take any ingredient and transform into something you'd never expect. And it will be delicious!" His creative touch is present throughout the menu in such dishes as the crispy firecracker shrimp lightly breaded with Frosted Flakes to contrast the spice of red-chili sauce, and the chicken-stuffed avocados with panko and melted pepper-jack cheese. Valenzuela puts together specials using heirloom tomatoes and other local ingredients, and he updates classic American dishes, such as meatloaf towers stacked with hand-battered onion rings.
Live music draws in energetic crowds throughout the week, as do the two happy hours per day. From 4 to 7 p.m. and 9 to 10 p.m. daily, crowds buzz over drink specials in the lounge, adding to what Judy describes as an already wonderful atmosphere. "We have a long-term relationship with bartenders and kitchen staff––many more than five years. It's warm. Our customers feel that warmth as well." In Nero's interior, creme- and cinnamon-hued walls glow like a warm latte in the shine of drum lights, with decor from local artist Mark Fleming. His portraiture and scenic oil paintings cover the stone walls, which add a rustic touch to dinners that take place in their three private rooms. Each room is outfitted with AV equipment, as dedicated staff helps with events such as monthly luncheons, rehearsal dinners, alumni reunions, and cocktail receptions.