The sights, smells and flavors of Oaxaca debut in Gowanus Friday evening with the opening of Claro, a new restaurant from Chad Shaner and JT Stewart of nearby Freek’s Mill and TJ Steele of El Buho Mezcal. The trio will be offering a menu highlighting the distinct flavors of the Mexican state, cooking things like goat that's steamed in avocado leaves on the grill in the backyard, which is decorated with tiles designed by Oaxacan artist Franciso Toledo. (You'll spot them in other parts of the restaurant as well.) The dishes are also served on hand-made pottery by artist Francisco Martínez Alarazón, who also operates out of Oaxaca.

The aforementioned barbacoa is dry rubbed with salt and spices, then wrapped in avocado leaves to steam on the grill. Steele says he traveled the region to learn to make the dish, which is finished in duck fat and served with a consommé created from the steaming liquids. Memelas—fried corn cakes crafted from heirloom corn, another hallmark of the restaurant—come topped with heritage pork rib and quesillo. There are also lighter seafood dishes including a king salmon ceveche and a lobster tostada served with a tamalley aioli and sweet corn.

The bar program focuses on mezcal, obviously, from the brand Steele founded over a decade ago. Cocktails ($12) include the Casa Famosa with añejo mezcal, chamomile syrup, pimento dram and bitters and a selection of three different micheladas, like one made with Tecate, salsa verde, lime and a pink pepper rim.

284 Third Avenue, Gowanus, (347) 721-3126; clarobk.com

Claro Opening Menu by Nell Casey on Scribd