Big changes at three Sacramento area restaurants stir the dining scene

Roasted leg of lamb has long been a favorite at Silva’s Sheldon Inn, now under new ownership.
Roasted leg of lamb has long been a favorite at Silva’s Sheldon Inn, now under new ownership. Sacramento Bee Staff Photo

Restaurants regulrly open and close, and some change ownerships. This recent trio of local transitions are cases in point::

Silva’s Sheldon Inn in Elk Grove has changed ownership, as husband-wife founders Doug and Barbara Silva have moved on. (It remains open for business.) The couple opened the restaurant in 1988 with a menu that still features meat, fish and pasta in an atmosphere of “simple country elegance.” The restaurant is housed in a century-old building of local historical interest.

Why the change? “Barbara felt she was ready to retire, and I realized I was probably ready to change my future as well,” said Doug Silva.

Silva, a graduate of the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco, helped Biba Caggiano open her landmark Italian dining house in 1986. Right now, though, he is one of the final candidates for a full-time teaching job in the American River College Culinary Arts Program, where he has taught part-time for 10 years. Its student-run restaurant, the Oak Cafe, is one of the best lunch bargains in Sacramento. “I just completed my final interview, and I will hear very soon if that will be my future,” he said by phone this morning.

After a year of conversations and negotiations, the Silvas sold their restaurant to businessman Jeffery Adkins, a longtime neighbor and friend. Adkins plans to expand the outdoor area, and could possibly open a wine-tasting room next door, Silva said.

The restaurant’s former sous chef, Ron Lesniak, is now the executive chef. “He and (Adkins) have broadened the menu somewhat, but they’re going to keep the formula the same,” Silva assured. “It’s not cutting edge, but obviously it has worked.”

Silva’s Sheldon Inn 2.0 “is a process, but so far nothing has missed a beat,” Silva said. “Right now it’s a matter of stabilizing everything. I’ll be consulting for a few more months, but Barbara and I are very happy to leave a legacy in place.”

Silva’s Sheldon Inn, 9000 Grant Line Road, Elk Grove; 916-686-8330,

Mighty Tavern

An email arrived from Joan Reid Lapuyade, co-owner of the Mighty Tavern with husband Dennis Lapuyade. It’s the same message as posted on the restaurant’s website: “(We are) selling/leasing the Mighty Tavern.” For two years, the Fair Oaks restaurant has occupied the space vacated by La Bohème French restaurant.

The announcement went on: “With sadness and gratitude, we will close the Mighty Tavern after dinner service on December 19. ... It’s time for (me) to focus on other dreams in the Bay Area. ... We’re serving a Mighty Lunch on December 18 (reservations required).”

Mighty Tavern, 9634 Fair Oaks Blvd., Fair Oaks; (916) 241-9444,

Anatolian Table

The Anatolian Table Turkish restaurant on K Street in Midtown has closed its doors, selling to the co-owners of San Francisco’s Skool, a “seafood restaurant with Japanese flair.” The space is being remodeled, with Skool looking at a target opening date in February.

The original Anatolian Table in Rocklin will continue operations, said Ertugrul Hazar, co-owner with wife Tugce Hazar. “I’m (expanding) the Rocklin location with front and back patios,” Ertugrul Hazar said. “We’re going to start serving Turkish breakfast on weekends in the early spring. We want to come back to Sacramento in a couple of years with a bigger and better location.”

Anatolian Table, 6504 Lonetree Blvd., Rocklin; 916-772-3020,

Allen Pierleoni: 916-321-1128, @apierleonisacbe