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New Gowanus Restaurant Is a Shrine to Mezcal and Oaxacan Fare

It comes from two Union Square Cafe vets

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Tlayuda with rabbit salpicon
Photo: Claro

The latest Danny Meyer disciples to open their own restaurant are TJ Steele and Chad Shaner, the duo of chef-owners behind Oaxacan Claro, opening Friday in Gowanus.

On a menu (in full below) from the two chefs, expect to find dishes in tribute to Mexico’s Oaxaca, where Steele spends half of his time. There’s a lobster tostada, a skirt steak tlayuda (a stuffed, open-faced tortilla), a wild mushroom quesadilla, and a heritage pork rib memela (a fried masa cake with Oaxacan cheese).

There are quite a few personal touches here: A lot of thought goes into the tortillas, which are made from heirloom corn the team imports from Mexico, then nixtamalizes and cooks in house. Plus, El Buho mezcal will be at the bar — a brand that Steele founded after one of his first trips to Oaxaca in 2006.

Steele and Shaner also teamed up with JT Stewart, who co-owns nearby Freek’s Mill, where Shaner was cooking most recently and helped the restaurant earn two stars from the NY Times.

Claro opens its doors Friday, September 1 for the first time. Until it gets too cold out, the restaurant is offering an outdoor patio and bar with over 30 seats. Reservations are available for parties six and larger.

Claro Menu by Patty Diez on Scribd


284 3rd Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11215 (347) 721-3126 Visit Website

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