The names may be different, but the fare at Wycliff's Kitchen might remind you of beef stew, or even a succulent BBQ.

The names may be different, but the fare at Wycliff's Kitchen might remind you of beef stew, or even a succulent BBQ.

There's little doubtabout beef stew's stature as a great American comfort food. But how often does it appear on a restaurant menu? We couldn't remember the last time we'd seen it when we tried Wycliff's Kitchen, a Kenyan restaurant just north of Route 161 on Cleveland Avenue. The chefs' take on it is called karanga ng'ombe, and it is the sum of all of the best beef stews we've ever eaten-rich and savory and loaded with beef. And, in spite of its traditional Kenyan origins, it's utterly accommodating of even the mildest of American palates.

If it's novelty you seek, Wycliff's can do that, too. Goat is much in evidence, both stewed (karanga mbuzi) and as a weekend special called nyama choma. The latter is a traditional Kenyan street snack that is charcoal-grilled and deeply flavorful in a manner almost reminiscent of American-style BBQ. Fried fish is also a popular entree among African customers and is served whole with the head on.

Entrees are served with your choice of two sides, which include sukuma wiki, lightly sautéed collared greens and onions; pilau, a fragrant rice with bits of meat; pleasantly seasoned fresh green beans; or plantains. As with most African restaurants we've visited, the vegetables are done particularly well-fresh, beautifully seasoned and not overcooked.

On evenings and weekends, the owner, Wycliff Nduati, runs the dining room. He effortlessly projects the sense that you're there to be taken care of and that he's there to take care of you. Questions about the food are encouraged, and Nduati is well-practiced at demystifying the menu for non-Kenyans.