Years of catering experience helped Tirzo Hernandez cook up an idea for his own restaurant: food that customers would make for their own families if they only had the time.
“You learn what people really like when you work for them in their homes,” says Hernandez, who for seven years ran Walnut River Catering while simultaneously cooking for and managing Putter’s Bar & Grill and Brando’s Bistro Bar.
His new Tirzo’s Bistro & Catering, 2450 Hampton Road, Henderson, specializes in American classics such as pot roast and liver and onions — peppered with some Italian and French offerings.
“It’s very rare to find liver and onions nowadays,” says Hernandez, who moved from his native Mexico to Southern California in 1980, then to Las Vegas in 1993.
Tirzo’s opened in August on the site of the former Trumpets at Sun City Anthem Center. In 2007, a judge ordered that restaurant shuttered when its owners failed to make rent. Last summer, negotiations collapsed between the Sun City homeowner’s association, which owns the building, and an Italian restaurant.
“The economy is tough as can be right now,” Hernandez says. “But it has always been a dream of mine to have my own place, and I still have hope that I can do something great out of it.”
Aside from a coat of paint, Hernandez didn’t alter Trumpet’s classic decor, which remains dominated by giant window views of the valley.
The 3,000-square-foot eatery, which seats 120, is open 7:30 a.m.- 9 p.m. Sundays-Thursdays, 7:30 a.m.-10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. Reservations are recommended.
Signature dish: Shrimp and scallops Provencal, $17.99
Starters: Shrimp cocktail, $9; steamed clams, $7.99; mozzarella friti, $6.99
Soups and salads: Cobb salad, $10.99; New England clam chowder, $5.99; shrimp Louie salad, $9
Entrees: Pot roast, $13.99; liver and onions, $12.99; petit filet mignon, $18.99
Desserts: Cheesecake, $3.99; Black Forest cake, $3.99; double chocolate fudge, $3.99
BY COREY LEVITAN