One Darien Restaurant Gets a ‘C’ — the Worst Rating — in Latest Health Inspection Reports

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One restaurant in town received a “C” rating from health inspectors in the most recent health inspection reports released by Darien Health Department.

Health Certificate Frosty Bear 01-19-17

Town Health Department ratings certificates are supposed to be displayed prominently, like this one at the Frosty Bear Cafe at Darien Library.

Twelve  inspections took place from Aug. 16 to 20. Five were rated “A” and five were rated “B.” One, at Gofer Ice Cream, didn’t receive a rating because the establishment, like snack bars, isn’t the same type of place as a restaurant.

Keep in mind that a food-serving establishment with a history of good ratings may occasionally get a poor inspection rating, occasionally the best do, and every restaurant normally gets a few things wrong.

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Here’s an alphabetical list of the most recently released health inspection results (an explanation of how this list is put together is immediately below it):

—Bistro Baldanza — reinspection — 1020 Post Road — Aug. 19Town Rating: B — State Score: 92

—Driftwood Diner — 171 Post Road — Aug. 17Town Rating: B — State Score: 92

—Dunkin Donuts — 967 Post Road — Aug. 17Town Rating: A — State Score: 97

—Gofer Ice Cream — 1020 Post Road — Aug. 17 — Town Rating: Not applicable — State Score: 92

—Jennifer’s Kitchen at White Bridge —284 Tokeneke Road — Aug. 17Town Rating: B — State Score: 92

—Mama Carmela’s — 1981 Post Road — Aug. 19Town Rating: B — State Score: 90

—Meatball & Company — 22 Center St. — Aug. 16 — Town Rating: A — State Score: 93

Town ratings for Steam restaurant

—The Melting Pot — 14 Grove St. — Aug. 16Town Rating: B — State Score: 90

—Papa Joe’s — 1973 Post Road — Aug. 19Town Rating: A — State Score: 94

—Steam — 971 Post Road — Aug. 20Town Rating: C — State Score: 84 — Inspector’s

Remarks: “Not washing produce, just chopping and using; food uncovered in walk-in fridge; back room prep sink left unclean; no bleach in santi buckets [two] (corrected during inspection); two large sticks of sheet pans left unclean, several tongs and bowls stored unclean, interior of Bain Marie on the line unclean; non-food-

Town ratings for Steam restaurant, pt 2

Image from Darien H.D. website

Town ratings for Steam restaurant

contact surfaces unclean (shelving, under line/grease, carts on the line); rain storm yesterday afternoon (4:30 p.m.) brought water through back screen door … debris and dirt still all over floor and trapped on floor drain (cleaned with bleach/water after a phone call to Department of Health); plumbing issue at three-bay sink and odor from water wash hood after turned on; fruit flies observed in several areas of the kitchen (large quantity). are you treating professionally??? Need treatment invoice or plan to HD [Health Department] as soon as possible! ABC exterminators; back screen door open; floors unclean … back prep, walk-in [cooler] and under line equipment; hood system black and back area ceiling cracked a hanging [?].” — Inspector’s Comments: “Water wash hood was turned on during inspection … working correctly? Hand washing observed after inspection given after cleaning the floor.”

Steam restaurant inspection report 8-20-19

Image from the Darien H.D. website

Part of the Aug. 20, 2019 inspection report for Steam.

—Sugar Bowl — 1033 Post Road — Aug. 16 — Town Rating: A — State Score: 97

—Zotos International — reinspection — 100 Tokeneke Road — Aug. 20 — Town Rating: B — State Score: 95

Dates link to the food establishment’s inspection report referenced here (when available, sometimes it takes a while to get posted online), and Darien’s own A/B/C ratings link to a Web page showing several of the restaurant’s recent inspection ratings.

For restaurants and other food-serving establishments rated “C,” and for some others of interest to the public (like schools) additional information is given. When we provide that information here, then words within brackets (“[ ]”) have been added for clarity by; semicolons (“;”) separate individual comments by the inspectors. Each comment separated by semicolons is about a particular violation that triggers a deduction of one or more points from a perfect state score of 100.


See also:

You can find the past several inspection ratings under the Darien ratings system for food-serving establishments along with copies of inspection reports, including state health code scores on this website.


How Darien’s Food-Serving Places Are Rated

Restaurants in town are rated under the Darien Health Department’s own A/B/C ratings system. Health inspectors also use the state health code regulations to score restaurants, with a perfect score set at 100, and demerits (of 1 to 4 points each) for various code violations.


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The Darien system takes into account problems that are ongoing, so a restaurant scoring higher than others on the state scale may actually get a lower score on the Darien scale.

Health Department Health Inspections Health Reports

The “A”, “B” and “C” letter grades a restaurant gets in its last inspection will be prominent on these certificates, which must be posted where customers can see them, and you can use your phone and the “QR” code to the right of the letter grade to get to the department’s ratings website for more information.


Any establishment actually deemed unsafe can be closed by the town Health Department until violations are fixed. Town Health Director David Knauf says that has never happened in the time he’s been with the department.

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