Got your goat . . . Several goat dishes, including goat biryani, goat curry, and Punjabi goat masala ($15.95), now have a regular spot on the Clay Oven menu. We sampled the latter dish and loved the complex sauce -- a peppery blend of spices and vegetables -- and the flavor of the goat, which was plenty rich but not a bit gamey. Unfortunately, there was a lot of bone and gristle among the chunks of meat, making each mouthful more of an adventure than we had bargained for. For the most part, menu prices have remained steady, with little or no increase on the inexpensive breads, desserts, and appetizers; however, costs for the dinners-for-two have gone up by several dollars. Nonetheless, the moderate prices are still hard to beat for such flavorful and exotic fare -- especially at the bounteous $7.95 lunch buffet, which is open Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 3:30 p.m. Dinner is served from 3:30 to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, until 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and until 9 p.m. on Sunday.
C'est okay . . . The folks at the veddy veddy upscale Johnny's Bistro (1400 West Sixth Street, 216-774-0055) say all is calm and bright at the expensive French restaurant, despite Chef de Cuisine Darren Eads's abrupt departure right before the holidays. In Eads's absence, former Sous Chef Fabio Mota has stepped up to the plate, continuing to create the type of sophisticated fare that helped win the restaurant kudos from Esquire food critic John Mariani during his most recent travels in Cleveland. While the menu hasn't been appreciably altered since the change in personnel, look for a switch toward somewhat lighter tastes and textures once warm weather returns. GM Dave Flowers promises this doesn't signal a change in philosophy or direction for the gorgeous Warehouse District dining room, which remains about the only place in Cleveland to insist upon jackets for men during the dinner hour.