The wait is over, and Greg Baxtrom’s highly anticipated Five Acres has finally debuted in Rockefeller Center.
The Rockefeller renaissance has long been underway, and Greg Baxtrom is the latest to continue revitalizing the complex with his new restaurant, Five Acres. The restaurant is named after Baxtrom’s five-acre farm outside of Chicago and serves as the culmination of Baxtrom’s fine-dining background at restaurants such as Alinea, Blue Hill at Stone barns and Per Se. The menu is an evolution of the inspired, seasonal cuisine he’s become known for at Brooklyn’s Olmsted, where produce from the backyard garden and local farmers reigns supreme.
The open-air 65-seat space itself is reminiscent of a backyard garden thanks to INC Architecture & Design’s handiwork. A hanging garden along the dining room’s perimeter, deep green leather banquettes, ribbed glass pillars and bronze metalwork all evoke a greenhouse bursting with ripe produce. The Art Deco design plays perfectly with the nostalgic elements built into all of Baxtrom’s concepts, each of which is either built by his dad or sourced from his family farm. In this case, Five Acres’ 10-seat private dining room features William Morris-inspired naturalist wallcovering and wood sourced from the family farmhouse.
The menu features the creative, vegetable-forward cuisine that New Yorkers have come to expect from Baxtrom. The dishes are guided by the seasons and are honed by both Baxtrom and culinary director Sherry Cardoso, who brings experience from Per Se and Brooklyn Fare. Snacks such as shrimp cocktail with french blue prawns wrapped in Feuille de brick and served with cranberry cocktail sauce and delicata squash vase with whipped ricotta, prosciutto chips, market greens and apples begin the menu. Appetizers come next, including highlights such as tuna tartare with Leche de Tigre made with preserved heirloom peppers from the summer; crab cake with bruleed bone marrow aioli; fennel caesar salad with savory seeded granola; and beef tartare with soft scrambled eggs and crispy potato.
Next, the mains bring the heat with hearty, filling dishes straight from farm to table. We recommend the grilled guinea hen with a salsify hazelnut tart and juniper jus and the lamb “gyro” wrapped in warm potato pita with herbs and flowers, pickled bird beak peppers, and consomé for dipping. Avoiding meat? The winter root ratatouille with beet butter and sprouted grain risotto with sweet potato and coconut is also delicious. You really can’t skip dessert, as pastry chef Alessandra Altieri creates pure magic in dishes such as chocolate custard with huckleberry and mint and pumpkin cake with pear sorbet and honey.
Lastly, wine director Trey Bliss’ wine program perfectly complements the cuisine through its varietals from across the world. Regenerative and sustainable wine producers that favor indigenous grapes and natural fermentation abound throughout the list. Beverage director Andrew Zerrip provides excellent seasonal cocktails that are named after city landmarks designed by landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted. Five Acres is open from 5PM - 10PM Wednesday through Sunday, and reservations are available via Resy.
Photography by: Signe Birck