Last fall, Anna Hieronimus and Elise Kornack were all set to open their new restaurant/yoga studio, on a quiet, beautiful street in Carroll Gardens, awaiting only the final permit from the city. The Fire Department was scheduled to do the final inspections on October 29, but instead of the visit they expected, they got, instead, a visit from Superstorm Sandy.
“City officials were totally bogged down after that,” said Kornack recently from Take Root, which ended up opening in January. “We had to wait two and a half months to open.”
Located on Sackett Street between Henry and Hicks, Take Root’s warm, cozy dining room is designed, according to Kornack, to make guests feel as though they’re walking into Kornack and Hieronimus’ home—which is where their business began.
The two met three years ago and shortly thereafter moved in together (they’re now engaged and will be married this fall); a former sous-chef at Aquavit and winner on the Food Channel’s Chopped, Kornack became “obsessed” (her word) with the garden of their new apartment in Prospect Heights, and the two began holding dinner parties in their backyard for 10 to 12 people at a time. The dinners grew so popular they began selling tickets; after some neighbors complainted, they decided to open a restaurant that would replicate their homey dinner party experiences.
At the same time, Hieronimus, whose mother ran a holistic health care center in Baltimore—“yoga and Ayurveda have always been a part of my life,” she said—was becoming a more serious practitioner of yoga, and several years ago underwent a teacher training program at Kripalu. Though she was teaching yoga privately, she realized that she really wanted to work with children, so behind Take Root’s dining room, just past the newly remodeled kitchen, is a yoga space for children, for toddlers to age six. The classes combine traditional yoga moves with singing, dancing, and creative movement. Hieronimus also offers yoga workshops for adults.
Take Root serves an $85 tasting menu on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights, with one seating at 8 pm by reservation. Children’s yoga classes are held Wednesday through Saturday. On Saturday morning, Hieronimus hosts a children’s reading circle in the yoga studio, while parents and caretakers are invited sit in the dining room and chat and munch on Kornack’s home-made baked goods and sip coffee and lemonade. On Sundays, a small-plates brunch is served beginning at 11 a.m.
Take Root’s yoga program is currently offering a summer special: bring a friend or a sibling and get a 50% discount on the class. The classes are $12, with a $2 discount for first time visitors; the reading circle is $5 and designed, said Kornack, to offer a variety of price points for people in the neighborhood.
“Our goal is to create a small community,” said Kornack. “I cook for people to hang out and eat.”