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Take Root

After finding out Take Root, a restaurant we'd never heard of before, was the destination for a friend's dinner party recently, we checked out their website as one does in that situation. Whoa. They call themselves a "noshery and yoga room?" Much love for the word noshery, that's kind of genius. But, a restaurant AND a yoga room in one? Where is this, Tulum? As their website informed us, the term "teyk root," means "a spirited journey to rediscover the physical and emotional power of sharing meals and practicing yoga." Come on, that's just too easy. "Yes, may I please have the duck in the puree of downward facing dog please?" Let's just say we went in super skeptical, so we were pleasantly surprised when we weren't eating on mats. While holding hands.

Dining at Take Root is essentially eating at the home of Brooklyn-ed out couple Elise Kornack and Anna Hieronimus. They don't employ anyone else. Elise cooks and Anna teaches yoga, decorates, cleans dishes, pours drinks, makes get the picture. During the day, Elise preps while Anna teaches classes for both kids and adults in their small back room studio.

Elise, who previously worked in the kitchen at both The Spotted Pig and Aquavit, has got serious chef game. Her food - from the peasant bread and brown butter to the potato gnocchi to the olive oil cake with yogurt - is all made by hand, in house. Take Root is open for dinner Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights, and all meals are now the full "Rooted" experience, a five course, $85 tasting menu with one seating, at 8pm. Dinner service is cozy, and for parties of 10-12 people, they bring in a big communal table for your own private dinner. Also, on Sunday they are open for a la carte brunch from 11AM-2:30PM. Either way, you're in for a treat. It's rare you get a unique dining experience as personal as this one, and a pranayama breath of fresh air compared to the usual eating excursions we all go on. Chef Elise takes you through each and every dish, offering up backstory, detail, and how-to's. Educational and informative, "feeding your body and soul" (took that right from the website) one dish at a time.

Take Root is exactly the kind of restaurant we love discovering. These two young ladies are following their creative dreams and doing so in impressive fashion. A yoga studio and a restaurant all in one. Only in Brooklyn. Namaste, people.

Food Rundown

Black Radish "Ceasar"
This salad was different, that's for sure. Black radish chunks are cubed, dressed with parmesan, and then topped with some dehydrated garlic chips, parmesan crisps ,and house made croutons for crunch. Overall, this gets a A for imagination, but only a B for execution. We enjoyed it, but could have gone for some more crunchy things some radishes that weren't soggy.

White Bean Bisque
We may not have been completely blown away by the first course, but once this second round came out, it was clear we were headed in the direction of awesome. A thick bisque of white bean served as the opening act to the headliner - a perfectly cooked stack of moist, buttery flounder dressed with fennel and lumpfish caviar. Deep flavors, creamy finish. We were literally licking our bowl dry.

Potato Gnocchi
Each course of this Rooted tasting menu was better than the next. This gnocchi was nuts. Elise makes each piece of potato pasta by hand and gives the plump dumplings a nice brown butter sear. She then places them in a thick sweet sunchoke and rosemary purée and shaves hazelnuts, horseradish and sunchokes all over the damn place. A crazy combination of flavors that works out beautifully.

Duck Breast
Until we had dessert, we were pretty sure this duck was going to be the star of the show. This thing was insane. Again, she couldn't have cooked this duck any better. It was oozing with juices and perfectly pink, atop a parsley root purée, green lentils, and cippolini onions.

Olive Oil Cake
A round of applause Waka Flock Style just for the plating of this dish. Olive oil cake is leaking coconut all over the place, alongside chocolate mousse, homemade yogurt and some nuts for crunch. We all go home happy. Damn, was that a good meal.

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