Maybe it's the time he spent growing up, working behind a fast-food counter.

Chef Gaetano Williams believes in serving food that won't break the bank. But luckily for diners at his Tano Bistro & Catering in Loveland, he serves dishes at a much higher caliber than the paltry imitations at dime-a-dozen chains.

"What we're trying to accomplish is that you can eat as if you were in a white tablecloth restaurant for a casual or upscale-casual price point," he says.

Williams was recently the executive chef at McCormick & Schmick's, where he concocted dishes with the knowledge he attained by opening seafood restaurants in Florida. Still, with the upscale McCormick chain, Williams didn't have complete influence over the menu. Enter Tano, Williams' entrepreneurial restaurant and catering venture.

"When you do your own, in my opinion, it's best that you have that [corporate] experience behind you, because you've already seen something that's tried and true," he adds.

So far in the bistro's young life, popular dishes have included the Bleu Sirloin (sirloin with roasted red potatoes, roasted shallot bleu cheese crust, broccolini) and the Vegetable Napoleon (grilled eggplant, cheddar polenta, mozzarella, portabella mushrooms, squash, zucchini, roasted peppers, red pepper coulis). The menu stays fresh, altering with the season.

The response from diners has been outstanding, but Williams still hopes to convert Loveland into a sought-after destination and showcase the historic town "” coupled, of course "” with a great dining experience.

"The only thing I want them to walk away from here with is that it was a great meal, a great experience, and was worth the money," he says. "That's the bottom line."