Three Poor Ratings in Recent Health Inspections at Darien Restaurants



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Three Darien food-serving establishments were rated “Poor,” five were rated “Fair,” and another 13 “Good” in the latest inspection reports released by Darien Health Department.


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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; 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):

  • Atria Darien — 50 Ledge Road — Oct. 28POOR — 89 — Inspector’s Remarks: “Oven not turned on: chicken at 127 degrees, potatoes at 99 degrees, cabbage at 151 degrees (just cooked in other oven). Sausage, fish cakes at 108, stuffed fish out at 102—left over from lunch; uncovered food in storage; sides of equipment, under grill—grease and debris; waste water pooling in salad bain marie and in walk-in freezer (on boxes and ice cream containers); leak at prep sink; floors unclean at line—between equipment on the line; hood dripping.” — Inspector’s additional comments: “Do not place boxes containing produce on colored cutting boards, some hand washing observed.”
Atria Darien health inspection health dept 911-04-16

Inspector’s Remarks section of a health inspection on Oct. 28 at Atria Darien.

  • Bodega Taco Bar — 980 Post Road — Oct. 28GOOD — 98
  • Chipotle Mexican Grill — Darien North rest stop, Interstate 95 — Oct. 31GOOD — 94
  • Genji (at Whole Foods) — 150 Ledge Road — Oct. 31GOOD — 96
  • Heights Pizza — 330 Heights Road — Oct. 26FAIR — 90
  • Jennifer’s Kitchen @ White Bridge — 284 Tokeneke Road — Oct. 25POOR — 86 — Inspector’s Remarks: “Two employees in kitchen [but] no documentation of training; thermometer missing in bain marie, food uncovered in walk-in [refrigerator]; onions on the floor of walk-in; wiping cloth used to cover meats in refrigeration; wall-mounted FF cutter left unclean, mold growth in ice machine; large wooden cutting board on counter is cracked.” — Inspector’s additional comments: “OTC [over-the-counter] Mucinex [a nasal decongestant] on shelf with food, hot shot spray and foggers observed—not in use, glove use discussion/talk changing and glove changes, Hometown Jerky in package for sale […] pulled from counter best-buy date 10/24/16???”
Restaurant inspector's remarks Darien Health Dept 911-4-16

Inspector’s Remarks portion of health inspection report for Jennifer’s Kitchen on Oct. 25.

  • Jimmy’s Southside Tavern — 340 Heights Road — Oct. 26FAIR — 91
  • Little Thai Kitchen — 4 West Ave. — Oct. 27FAIR — 93
  • Matsuri Grill — 390 Post Road — Nov. 2POOR — 81 — Inspector’s Remarks: “Food thermometer not readily available; fly strip hanging over prep table; plastic wrap roll stored over hand sink; no sanitizer set up; food-contact surfaces not sanitized every four hours; wiping cloths not kept in sanitizer between uses; food prep tables unclean; no paper towl at cook-line hand sink; granular [container] not labeled properly; cutting board stained and grooved—instructed to replace; flies present; evidence of rodent harborage; back screen door not closing properly; floors unclean.” — Inspector’s additional comments: “No manager present at time of inspection. Left instructions to hire an exterminator to control rodent problem. Will follow up on Friday, 11/4.”
Inspector's Remarks section of the Nov. 2, 2016 health inspection at Matsuri Grill.

Inspector’s Remarks section of the Nov. 2, 2016 health inspection at Matsuri Grill.

  • Meatball & Co. — 23 Tokeneke Road — Oct. 24GOOD — 84
  • Stop and Shop — 148 Heights Road — Oct. 17GOOD — 93
  • Taco Bell — Darien North rest stop, Interstate 95 — Oct. 31GOOD — 99
  • Trader Joe’s — 436 Post Road — Nov. 2GOOD — 96
  • Vavala’s Delicatessan/Caterer — 156 Heights Road — Oct. 28GOOD — 93

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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