Appetizers
September 22, 2011
Terrace restaurant at Town & Country to serve last meal Sunday


The highly regarded Terrace restaurant at Town & Country Village will close Sunday "after we serve one last brunch," said co-owner Margo Powers. She and her chef-husband, Michael Powers, opened the Terrace late in 2007 after selling the Village Bistro in Fair Oaks, which they ran for five years. The Terrace serves breakfast and lunch.

"Our monthly overhead is double what we make," Margo Powers said in explaining their decision to move on. "We always have our fingers crossed that (business) is going to get better, but our well has run dry."

Donahue Schriber is the Terrace's landlord. The Costa Mesa-based retail-property company owns Town & Country Village, Pavilions and Natomas Marketplace, all in Sacramento, as well as 75 other shopping destinations in four Western states.

"Donahue Schriber was saddened to learn earlier this week of the Terrace's intent to close on Sunday," said Audrey Yokota, the company's director of marketing. "It was solely the Powers' decision. We wish them the very best in their future business endeavors."

As for the vacated space, it will soon be made available for lease, Yokota said.

The Terrace is among a number of area restaurants that have closed this year, largely in midtown Sacramento. The list includes the Market at Pavilions, Hangar 17, Brew It Up, Spin Burger Bar, Red Lotus, Celestin's, Pause Lounge & Kitchen, L Wine Lounge and the California Pizza Kitchen at 15th and L streets.

The Powers live on a 3-1/2-acre property in Wilton, where they tend a garden of organic vegetables, herbs and fruits used in the restaurant's kitchen. Michael Powers makes from-scratch jams and jellies from pineapples, oranges, kiwis, cantaloupes, blueberries, pluots and the like, sold by the jar at the Terrace.

"I'm studying agribusiness at Cosumnes River College, and we're going to make (their homestead) a full-on organic farm," Margo Powers said. "That's our next step. We're even going to start making goat cheese."

The Powers are now harvesting the remainder of their summer crop and preparing to plant their fall vegetable crop. "It's strange," Margo Powers said, sounding wistful. "It's the last harvest for our summer vegetables and the last harvest for the Terrace."

Their summer garden bounty includes 21 varieties of heirloom tomatoes, which made the restaurateurs natural contenders for the second annual Sacramento TomatoFest, held at Town & Country on July 30. Some 1,500 people attended the event, which featured eight restaurants in a judged food competition. Michael Powers' tomato-and-pineapple salsa took first place for best overall dish.

Michael Powers is a self-taught chef who likes to "put my own flair on things," he said. Among his most popular lunch items are seared scallops, jambalaya with jasmine rice, braised pork shoulder with caramelized apple and chipotle-based barbecue sauce, sesame-crusted ahi and salmon BLT.

Breakfast and brunch at the Terrace have always been consistent and first rate. Frittatas and omelets dominate those menus, but the fluffy blueberry pancakes with fat link sausage was always in demand.

"We call our food 'Northern California cuisine,'" Margo Powers said. "We're not so much trendy as earthy. Everything we do is from scratch."

After a moment, she added, "Mike's going to have to go somewhere. We're keeping our fingers crossed that a nice restaurant will pick him up."

The last brunch at the Terrace will be 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday. Town & Country Village is at Marconi and Fulton avenues, Sacramento. Information: (916) 486-1904, www.theterracecuisine.com.

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