Keisha Shakespeare-Blackmore, Staff Reporter
Lush green grass, with an array of blooming flowers and a backdrop of melon-coloured sheer curtains draped along the balcony, tables neatly dressed and accented with bottles of pickle, small bowls of Scotch bonnet peppers, and miniature vases with basil. This is all part of the picturesque scenery at The Terrace at Devon House.
David and Sommer Machado, the brother and sister duo, are the new operators of the former Norma on the Terrace. The new restaurant not only has a new look but a new menu featuring local cuisine with an international flair.
David told Food that they are concentrating on local food because it is very important to support local farmers, and it ties well with Devon House, being that it is a heritage site.
"All our produce are fresh and specially chosen as it is important to not sacrifice our taste or quality. So while our menu is local, we make subtle changes so that both locals and foreigners can enjoy it," said Sommer.
"For example, we do fresh roasted snapper, but we debone it leaving the head and tail on stuffed with yampie so that it is easier to eat, which foreigners can appreciate," added David.
The restaurateurs pointed out that another fantastic aspect of the restaurant is that people can come for lunch or dinner and enjoy scrumptious meals at an affordable price, as the most expensive meal is a lobster dish for $2,400.
"We try to maintain affordable prices so that we can satisfy your dining experience without breaking your pocket. That way just about everyone can come here and enjoy good food because and everyone deserves to, "explained David
The name Machado is synonymous with delectable food. It was only fitting that David and Sommer got their father, Mario, and their mother, Fiona, who operated Mac's Chop House involved in the set-up. David explained to Food that they would be crazy not to get the 'great' Mario Machado to come on-broad and help out with the menu, training of staff and so on.
Sommer pointed out that it was their parents' influence that got them into the restaurant business in the first place. They grew up seeing their parents always hosting dinner parties at home. Both became interested in entertaining and making people happy through food from an early age. They both studied hospitality management at University of Central Florida.
David, 29 and Sommer 28, have not only been around dinner parties, but have actually worked in the field. David worked with Mac's for four years and, prior to that, with Sandals Resort for two years, while Sommer was the one who managed Mac's Gourmet Market. Sommer currently also does a lot of cooking at The Terrace and both are indeed following in their parents' footsteps.
The duo said that, because they grew up in a family that was always entertaining, what others may take for granted they live and see as business. Thus, The Terrace is much like home and they will operate with the same courtesies you would get if you were being entertained at their home.
"From the moment you enter the restaurant, you are greeted with a welcoming smile and you will experience good customer service throughout your meal to the minute you leave," said David.
"Plus, I make it my duty to try and remember our customers by face or even by name, down to what they ordered on their last visit. We try to extend that personal touch to all our customers, because good service is very important," added David.
The owners noted that since they opened on May 9, the response has been very good. David said that he is appreciative that their family built a good reputation so they have a loyal following and, so far, word of mouth has brought in new customers. He pointed out that while the previous restaurant had a stigma of being expensive, that is one thing they are trying to change. So they just hope to bring a young fresh air to the restaurant and that it will attract both young and mature customers alike.
The Terrace is open Monday to Friday from 11 a.m. to about 11:30 p.m. and on Saturdays for dinner.