When bad things happen to good restaurants – New York City inspection disclosure edition of fancy food doesn’t mean safe food

NBC reports that the Health Department’s new restaurant grading program has already dinged some famous New York City establishments resulting in low grades.

Famed brasserie Les Halles has received 20 ‘violation points,’ which translates to a B. Inspectors found roaches and unprotected food in Les Halles’ kitchen, both critical violations. Poor plumbing and a lack of vermin-proofing were also listed on the Health Department’s Restaurant Inspection Information website.

Di Fara Pizzeria, considered to be one of the city’s top pizza restaurants, is just two violation points shy of a C. Three critical violations — mice, flies, and poor refrigeration or heating equipment — as well as three other violations brought its grade to 26 violation points.

McSorley’s Old Ale House and the Regency Hotel on Park Avenue have both received over 30 violation points. McSorley’s, the city’s oldest bar, received 38 points, including four critical violations for flies and "tobacco use, eating or drinking…in food preparation , storage, or dishwashing area." And the Regency Hotel, with 44 points, had six critical violations, including improperly sanitized utensils and food preparation surfaces, cross-contamination.

Of the 631 restaurants inspected since July 27, ninety-nine, or 16 percent have received As. Three hundred and five, or 48 percent, received Bs, and 227, or 36 percent, have received Cs. These initial grades can be appealed.

DNA Info reports a Barnes & Noble cafe received an "A" grade under the city’s new restaurant rating system, despite evidence of mice.

Health Department spokeswoman Celina De Leon said inspectors found a "small number of mice droppings" on the floor of the café adding,

"While this presents evidence of a problem, there was no evidence that the problem was widespread or had contaminated food.

Barney Greengrass, the legendary purveyor of smoked fish and bagels, racked up so many violations — 42 points — during a July 29 inspection that the restaurant could wind up with a C grade if it doesn’t correct problems.

Shake Shack’s Columbus Avenue location received 19 points during an April inspection, a score that would rate a B grade under the new system.

The burger joint was docked for having food that was "spoiled, adulterated, contaminated or cross-contaminated" and for "evidence of roaches."