The Michelin-starred, Carroll Gardens charmer Take Root will close on March 17 after four years. The lease at 187 Sackett St. is coming to an end, just as partners Anna Hieronimus and Elise Kornack closed on a house upstate.
“The timing just felt appropriate,” Kornack tells Eater the day after her third James Beard nomination for Rising Star of the Year. “This is the best time for us.”
It’s the second closing for the restaurant, with the first from August to November 2015, when the partners took a break and made a few cosmetic changes to the dining room. This time it’s permanent.
Kornack and Hieronimus are not only business partners; they’re a couple. And they’ve been the sole employees of the restaurant since it opened. While at times their work has brought them closer, it has also taxed the relationship. Kornack says, “I can confidently say that there have been a handful of experiences that very much made us feel that way.” Hieronimus said in the interview that she’s been asked if her husband is the chef, and refused to touch the food after meeting them — an infrequent response from diners, but one with lasting effects.
Yet such interactions aren’t muting their sense of accomplishment. “It’s nice to end on this very high note, feeling great about it all,” she says. It’s not lost on Kornack that many of her peers in the industry are closing restaurants due to reasons like egregious rent hikes, increasing employee wages, and competition for diners.
While the couple is moving upstate, Kornack notes she will also be taking this time to “recharge the creative batteries.” Another restaurant-related project is a possibility. “We are feeling excited about the next step.”
The mighty, 12-seat restaurant originally opened in 2013, in a space that doubled as a yoga studio. It took some time to earn critics’ attention, but within two years, it received glowing reviews from Gale Greene, Ligaya Mishan, and a Best New Restaurant nod from Josh Ozersky. Here’s an excerpt from Greene’s review: “I'll give Take Root two stars for its romantic back-story and three brilliant dishes, plus a half star for our hosts' graceful dance. The feeling you are wrapped in their fantasy, the sense of eating in someone's home, is beyond stars.”