Pizzeria, Country Club Get Poor Ratings: Latest Darien Health Inspections



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In the latest 10 food inspection reports released by Darien Health Department, two inspections — one at a pizzeria, one at a country club’s kitchen — resulted in ratings of “Poor,” another two were “Fair” and the other six were “Good.”

Details about the towns rating system for restaurants and other food serving establishments are at the bottom of this article.

The most recent inspection results

In the list of health inspection results, below, information is listed by name, address, date of inspection, Darien rating, state score, inspector’s comments that led to the state rating and additional remarks on the inspection report.

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


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For restaurants and other food-serving establishments rated “poor,” 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 Darienite.com; semicolons like this (“;”) separate individual comments, each one with a particular violation that triggers a point deduction from that perfect state score of 100 points.

Here’s an alphabetical list of the most recently released results of Darien health inspections (keep in mind that a food-serving establishment with a history of “Good” ratings may occasionally get a “Fair” or “Poor” inspection rating, occasionally the best do, and every restaurant normally gets a few things wrong):

  • Chipotle Mexican Grill — Darien North rest stop, Interstate 95 — Dec. 19GOOD — 97
  • Country Club of Darien — 300 Mansfield Ave. — Dec. 8 — POOR — 85 — Inspector’s remarks: “Large soup cooked the previous day still cooling at 52 and 58 degrees (large plastic tubs in walk-in [unit]); thermometers missing in lowboy  [refrigerator that doesn’t come up high, often beneath a table] and salad prep refrigerator; uncovered food in walk-in [unit]; food on floor ([in] walk-in); dish machine [dishwasher] not sanitizing during inspection—bleach dripping out on sideboard; some hand sinks missing waste receptacles; wooden cutting boards split— [in] poor repair; waste water dripping in walk-in [unit]—moved and covered product during inspection; hood filters unclean—dripping.” — Inspector’s additional remarks:Sous vide (beef ribs at 165 degrees cooked for 12 hours) and cryovac machine in use during inspection, reheating food in cryovac containers and storage of food items in cryovac containers. Discussion with head chef about the alternative cooking procedures used and the cryovac machine maintenance. Marking salmon and storing in walk-in [unit] until ready to fully cook and serve.” [See re-inspection report immediately below.]

Dec. 8 inspection Country Club of Darien 912-23-16

  • Country Club of Darien [RE-INSPECTION] — 300 Mansfield Ave. — Dec. 21GOOD — 96 — Inspector’s remarks: “All staff in the kitchen need documentation of training; worn/split cutting boards in use.” Inspector’s additional comments: “Many items addressed from previous inspection. Organize shellfish tags, cover overhead lights in ware-wash area. You are required to complete HAACP plans for food handling procedures not approved by Connecticut State Health Code but will be utilized with adoption of the 2013 FDA Model Food Code.”

Dec. 21 reinspection Country Club of Darien 912-23-16

  • Driftwood Diner — 171 Post Road — Dec. 19GOOD — 97
  • Dunkin Donuts — Darien North rest stop, Interstate 95 — Dec. 19GOOD — 93
  • Heights Pizza — 330 Heights Road — Dec. 16POOR — 86 — Inspector’s remarks: “No documentation of employee training; ceiling lights not covered (prep/kitchen [area]); delivery person handling RTE [ready-to-eat] foods with bare hands; hand washing in prep sink; cutting board stored in ware-wash hand sink; no sanitizer set up; glass cleaner used to clean food contact surfaces; not properly sanitizing food contact surfaces; wiping cloths not kept in sanitizer between use; all granular must be labeled if not in original container; dust buildup on storage shelving and hanging utensil rack; upper/lower shelves of prep tables unclean; drain on three-bay sink in disrepair; hand sink at cook line not draining properly; hand sink at ware-wash needs to be sealed to wall.” [See re-inspection report immediately below.]

Heights Pizza Dec 16 inspection 912-23-16

  • Heights Pizza [RE-INSPECTION] — 330 Heights Road — Dec. 21 — FAIR — 92 — Inspector’s remarks: “No documentation of training; no shields on ceiling lights; ceiling rack dust buildup; upper shelves of prep tables unclean; drain on three-bay sink in disrepair; floors unclean; wall behind dough mixer unclean.” Inspector’s additional comments: “Will speak with owner about training.”
  • McDonald’s restaurant — Darien North rest stop, Interstate 95 — Dec. 21 — GOOD — 99
  • Sbarro — Darien North rest stop, Interstate 95 — Dec. 21 — FAIR — 91
  • Subway — Darien North rest stop, Interstate 95 — Dec. 19GOOD — 96

How Darien’s restaurants are rated

Restaurants in town are rated under the Darien Health Department’s own Good/Fair/Poor 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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Health Inspection Certificate

Health / Health

A Darien Health Department inspection certificate posted on Darien Doughnuts window, near the door.

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

You can find the past several inspection ratings under the Darien ratings system for food-serving establishments on this website, and now you can also find copies of inspection reports, including state health code scores in the same place.

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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