The Citiblog

7 Months In, Baxtrom Recalibrates Five Acres at Rock Center
June 16, 2023, 12:44.21 am ET



Five Acres, an open-air restaurant in the rinks-side level at Rockefeller Center, is making some major changes. Chef Greg Baxtrom opened Five Acres, named after his family farm, in December of last year. It is sandwiched between two popular spots, Naro and Jupiter, but has yet to capture the same excitement.

Baxtrom who owns popular Brooklyn restaurants - Olmsted, Patti Ann’s and more recently Petite Patate – is now embarking on a complete overhaul, hoping to capitalize on the morning rush with new breakfast offerings like Quiche with spring onion, shiitake mushrooms, and parmesan cheese; Cheddar & Ramp Omelet with Wisconsin cheddar and wild onions; and Sourdough Waffles with macerated strawberries and whipped maple syrup. There are also grab-and-go option including freshly made pastries, coffee and more.

The lunch and dinner menus have also been revamped, offering an array of new dishes like Smoked Oysters with smoked crème fraîche, rhubarb, and shiso; Scallop Cioppino with mussels, tomatoes, crispy potatoes, and a tomato broth topped with fennel fronts, fennel oil, and shaved carrots; and Wild Mushroom Pierogies with swiss chard, black garlic, and parmesan.

Three standout dishes that we tried include the Soft Shell Crab, perfectly crispy and delicate served with kohlrabi slaw and a bright, fancy ranch dressing. You’ll want to eat ten of them.

Equally interesting is the Puffed Lobster Chip. Somehow Baxtrom has managed to turn lobster meat into a crispy chicharrón dusted with Old Bay sea salt. The essence of lobster shines through, but it is quite peculiar in a good way and perfect with an icy cocktail.

Diners should also dive into the bread and butter which is quite unique. It is a carrot and curry milk bread peppered with flax seeds that is paired with a delicious house-made spring pea butter with crispy morel salt and pea shoots dancing on top. Tear off a piece, loaded with shredded carrot, and slather on some of that bright pea green butter and you will learn a new meaning of happiness.

A new beverage list also brings spring flavors to life like the Vesper with Perry’s Tot gin, Absolut vodka, vermouth blanc, and apricot liqueur; Snap Pea Collins with Beefeater gin, Cocchi Americano, manzanilla sherry, and pea syrup; and the Bay Laurel Sour with Malfy gin, bay laurel, lemon, and olive oil.

We haven’t tried everything at Five Acres (yet), but what we have tried makes it worthy of a visit. It is also softer on the wallet than its neighbors. But deep down it’s Baxtrom’s way of delivering homey goodness that will have you wanting to come back for more.

Insider Tip: Five Acres is now offering Happy Hour Monday-Saturday from 4-6pm with a limited bar menu, $14 cocktails and wine; Reverse Happy Hour from 7pm-close with 1/2 off select wines and cocktails and an exclusive seasonal snack menu; and Industry Night on Saturday and Monday from 2pm - close [hospitality employees receive 50% off their dinner check].

- Thomas Rafael