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Five Acres

  • Restaurants
  • Midtown West
  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Recommended
  1. Five Acres
    Photograph: Courtesy of Signe Birck
  2. Five Acres
    Photograph: Courtesy of Signe Birck
  3. Five Acres
    Photograph: Courtesy of Signe Birck
  4. Five Acres
    Photograph: Courtesy of Signe Birck
  5. Five Acres
    Photograph: Courtesy of Signe Birck
  6. Five Acres
    Photograph: Courtesy of Signe Birck

Time Out says

3 out of 5 stars

The first Manhattan restaurant from the chef behind Brooklyn's highly-regarded Olmsted.

If you aren’t tired of hearing about Rockefeller Center, there’s a decent chance you might be in the market for reservations at Rockefeller Center. In brief: Its potential as NYC’s next great dining destination has been percolating since about 2019; the bulk of its buzziest new spots opened by the end of last year; and the public and critical reckoning appears largely positive so far. 

Five Acres was among the famed footprint’s most anticipated arrivals for months before it began service on the rink level in December. Its talented proprietor chef Greg Baxtrom has operated a few Brooklyn restaurants with more renown than many places ever get since his 2016 solo premiere, Olmsted. This is Baxtrom’s first Manhattan venture. 

The dining concourse at 30 Rock has a number of entry points, including an elevator down from the sidewalk on the north side of 49th Street between 5th and 6th Avenues near the ice rink. Underground, Five Acres feels like the center of it all, its theoretical dining room delineated by winding potted plants overhead. Its pretty environment draws the eye up like at other Baxtrom properties; the similar greenery affixed over tables at Olmsted; the shelves of board games stacked up toward the high ceiling at Patti Ann’s; the fancy mushrooms that used to incubate above the bar at Maison Yaki, which has since become Petite Patate

The exposed, 65-seat area is referred to in a press release as an “open air” restaurant, one of the more clever PR euphemisms in recent memory. Although it is easy to get comfortable here, settling into smooth lines of textured, mossy-green banquettes, it is indiscrete. Not quite a fishbowl, but maybe a terrarium—and one that attracts a small but noticeable number of what seem to be fruit flies who are just as at ease in the verdant space. 

Five Acres’ menu is “guided by the seasons,” also according to a press release. Its winter, 2023 items are almost as winning as they are expensive. The smoked oysters Vanderbilt ($28 for six) are good fun and worth the price of admission. Their shells share space with smoked crème fraîche, shiso oil and a stained glass dandelion-hued tosazu gelée, which brilliantly enhances, rather than competes with the slippery bivalves. The lot’s also cloaked in hickory chip smoke and domed before an unveiling at the table. Enough time has passed since so much seemed to be suffused with plumes on trendy menus in NYC that the presentation is just such a delight, rather than dated, and it’s made even more welcome, of course, by the delicious, elegant one-sip combination that each half holds. The starter also encapsulates Baxtrom’s (who held positions at Chicago’s Alinea and NYC’s Per Se before striking out on his own) fine dining proclivities. 

The surf & turf crab cake ($34) is likewise mostly marvelously executed, its peekytoe crab’s gleefully brittle exterior about as shattering as the crown on a crème brûlée. The stated bone marrow in its aioli, however, is imperceptible, and the heart of palm hollow it’s served in, while a cute nod to the real thing, doesn’t add much other than wit. 

A trio of Maine lobster ($58) is also about a third unfulfilling whimsy, which would be fine and good if it didn’t total more than half a hundred dollars. That less-satisfying of its sections, a large, impressively constructed crustacean cracker topping a hearty dollop of aioli made with the sea creature’s eggs and knuckle served inside a cocktail glass, walks an odd line between earned showboating and well-meaning letdown. Its other components are much better, including its comforting and lightly rich pierogies in a satiny sauce and the butter-poached and otherwise terrifically unadorned headliner itself, which seems to make up the bulk of what reps say is about 4.5-oz of shellfish across the dish. Its texture’s fantastic and its simplicity is a breath of fresh air, quietly demonstrating real range. 

Grilled guinea hen ($46) is Five Acres’ most dynamic plate, and its least classically beautiful. It is a brick of meat; breast stuffed with confit leg mousse. The terrine is explosively game-adjacent and its accompanying root vegetable hazelnut financier is an excellent, slightly sweet accompaniment with a wonderfully caramelized bottom that’s a subtly telling detail.


The Vibe: Fairly exposed in what can feel like a set in 30 Rock’s mall-like basement, but pretty enough with quickly found comfort. 

The Food: Seasonally driven, with press time standouts like smoked oysters Vanderbilt, crab cakes and grilled guinea hen. 

The Drinks: Cocktails, wine and beer. 

Five Acres is located at 30 Rockefeller Plaza, rink level. It is open Tuesday-Saturday from 8am-2pm and 5pm-10pm. 

Amber Sutherland-Namako
Written by
Amber Sutherland-Namako


30 Rockefeller Plaza, Rink Level
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Opening hours:
Tuesday-Saturday from 8am-2pm and 5pm-10pm.
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