Destination: Rock Center

December 17, 2022, 10:30.49 am ET  


Photo: Jupiter/Marcus Nillson                                                                                         

When the New York Times decided to declare Rockefeller Center one of its Top 10 Restaurants of the year (clever), we weren’t a bit surprised. In fact, we’ve been telling you what’s been going on at Rockefeller Center for more than two years now.

It began with the arrival of Chef Ignacio Mattos’ stunning café Lodi, a full service restaurant and patisserie that put the Rockefeller Center Martini on the map.

 
Photo: Lodi                                                                                                

While most places were shutting down in New York City during the pandemic, Rockefeller Center was quietly building up its dining star power with the introduction of Le Rock from Riad Nasr and Lee Hanson (below), the driving force behind Frenchette, serving up French classics such as Cote De Boeuf, Bison au Poivre, and Escargots in a majestic setting.

 
Photo: Gentl+Hyers                                                                                            

More recent arrivals include Naro from the husband-and-wife team behind such notable restaurants as Atomix and Atoboy where diners will find dishes rooted in Korean history. While there are several tasting menus by reservation only, walk-ins are welcome at the bar.

 
Photo: Naro/Charissa Fay                                                                       

Then came Jupiter from the all-woman team behind SoHo’s tremendously popular King restaurant. British chefs Jess Shadbolt and Clare de Boer and co-owner and beverage director Annie Shi (below) have created a vibrant new restaurant and bar with a menu focused on their favorite dishes. They’ve also amassed a long line out the door with folks looking to get a taste.


Photo: Marcus Nillson                                                                                   

That brings us to Chef Greg Baxtrom's Five Acres named after his family's farm. Baxtrom, whose restaurants include Olmsted, Maison Yaki and Patti Ann’s, is serving up homey dishes and cocktails in this sprawling open-air restraurant, including a shaved fennel Caesar, Surf & Turf Crab Cakes, Kohlrabi “Fettuccine” Alfredo, and a Maine Lobster Trio – poached, puffed cracker and mushroom perogis.


Photo: Five Acres/Cititour.com

And the excitement doesn’t end there.  Soon to follow will be an outpost of Smith & Mills which is currently providing the bites and drinkls for the Apres Ski Chalets with views of the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree. This a 20-minute stint is available on a first come, first served basis.

 
Photo: Cititour.com                                                          

And in the concourse, which is already home to foodie havens like Fuku, Ace's Pizza, Fieldtrip, 21 Greenpoint and Black Seed Bagels, there will soon be Puya, a Mexican taqueria from Puebla, and The Tipsy Baker. Also just opening on 6th Avenue is a sprawling new Breads Bakery for delicious breads, pastries and of course their killer babkas. Stay tuned!

- Thomas Rafael

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