“These top chefs haven’t passed the mustard.” Thanks again, New York Post. Since the Health Department started delivering letter grades city-wide for cleanliness, some students expected to shine as stars have faltered, including “celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain’s flagship brasserie, Les Halles; Upper West Side staple Shun Lee; Dylan Thomas’ favorite pub, the White Horse Tavern; and Di Fara’s Pizzeria, often hailed as the city’s best slice.” Even Shake Shack racked up a pile of violation points. But questions remain! How would you grade, “Evidence of rats and roaches; not vermin-proof”?
That’s a solid B, right there, which seems a little high considering the presence of all this vermin:
DI FARA PIZZERIA
1424 Avenue J, Brooklyn
Evidence of rats and roaches; not vermin-proof; plumbing problems; light bulbs not shielded or shatterproof
37 W. 65th St.
Cold food above 41 degrees; evidence of mice; not vermin-proof
411 Park Ave. South
Evidence of mice; not vermin-proof; plumbing problems
And yet, some on the inside are calling the grading too harsh. The head chef at the Regency Hotel was less than pleased with the whole process after getting marked on 44 points:
“The inspector found one egg out of 21.2 dozen — one egg in the middle of the stack — that was cracked. He said, ‘Chef, you’re supposed to check all of these.’ “And we got points because one employee put on rubber gloves to split a strawberry with a steak knife to garnish a yogurt and he didn’t have a hairnet on. That counted as a critical violation.”
Whether the grades themselves mean anything remains to be seen — the city is working to mark all 24,000 restaurants in the city — but, the more you know! Just maybe think about the score your apartment might receive before you go changing your eating habits.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on August 8, 2010