Two Restaurants Get Worst Rating — ‘C’ — in Most Recent Health Inspection Reports

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Two Darien restaurants received a “C” rating — the worst in the town A-B-C ratings system — in the most recently released town Health Department inspection reports.

A total of 13 other health inspection reports were released on Thursday by the department. Nine establishments each received an “A” rating and four others were rated “B.” The inspections took place from Oct. 26 to Nov. 7.

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.

Here’s an alphabetical list of the most recently released health inspection results (an explanation for each part of the list, including links, is just below the list).

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:

—Bodega Taco Bar — 980 Post Road — Oct. 29Town Rating: A — State Score: 94

  • CORRECTION: In the original version of this article, Darienite incorrectly reported a “C” rating for Bodega Taco Bar. In fact, that Oct. 29 rating was “A.”

—Chipotle Mexican Grill — Darien North rest stop, Interstate 95 — Oct. 26 — Town Rating: C — State Score: 94 — Inspector’s Remarks: “Chicken coming off grill temperature range of 148 to 173 degrees. Must be cooked to 165 degrees internally. Returned to grill and heated through to 170 to all parts of chicken; mixing bowls not allowed to air dry. Stacked.” — Inspector’s Comments: “Chicken was temped by employee prior to removing from grill. Told me it was to be cooked to 165. However, thicker portions of chicken were not thoroughly cooked. Sanitizer OK. Gloves and hand washing observed. Had manager demonstrate how lettuce is prepared for service. Tomatoes are pre-cut and pre-packaged.”

Chipotle Mexican Grill inspection I-95 North Nov 7, 2018

Image from H.D. website

Inspector’s comments and remarks part of the Nov. 7 inspection at Chipotle Mexican Grill at the Darien North rest stop.

—Darien Seafood Market — 1941 Post Road — Nov. 5Town Rating: A — State Score: 93

—Hibachi Sushi Ya — reinspection — 111 Old Kings Hwy. North — Oct. 26Town Rating: B — State Score: 92

—Jennifer’s Kitchen at White Bridge — 284 Tokeneke Road — Oct. 29 Town Rating: B — State Score: 91

—Juice Press — 72 Heights Road — Oct. 31Town Rating: B — State Score: 91

—Maplewood At Darien — 599 Post Road — Nov. 6Town Rating: A — State Score: 97

—Middlesex Middle School — 204 Hollow Tree Ridge Road — Nov. 2Town Rating: A — State Score: 97 — Inspector’s Remarks: “Uncooked food items stored over cooked items in walk-in freezer; frozen condensate on floor in walk-in freezer.” — Inspector’s Comments: “Hand washing, glove use in abundance. Sanitizer set up and used. Yogurt machine broken down and sanitized every Friday. Proper thawing observed. Temps (in Fahrenheit): turkey sandwich (36 degrees), chef salad (34 degrees) , marinara (160 degrees), pizza bites (146 degrees), soup (164 degrees), soup (172 degrees), tenders out of oven (190 degrees), chicken parmesan sandwich (166 degrees).”

Middlesex inspection Nov 2

Image from H.D. website

Inspector’s comments and remarks parts of report for Nov. 2 inspection at Middlesex Middle School cafeteria.


—Palmer’s Merket — reinspection — 264 Heights Road — Nov. 7Town Rating: A — State Score: 92

—Roost Darien — 1950 Post Road — Nov. 5Town Rating: C — State Score: 82 — Inspector’s Remarks: “Three trays of cooked vegetables cooling on sheet trays (lower shelf of rolling cart) range of temperatures: 73 to 84 degrees; uncovered turkey breast [in] downstairs walk-in [cooler]; bare hand observed upon entry to kitchen; no sanitizer available on the line; wiping cloths on aprons and on counters [are] unclean; knives stored in rack unclean, tongs and microplain stored unclean. Interior of ice machine needs [to be] cleaned and sanitized; unclean food contact surfaces — counters and prep counters; no paper towels at back hand sink; non-food-contact surfaces unclean — top of bain marie and between cold-holding units; fruit flies observed downstairs near open produce bins; several walls being removed, some with exposed insulation.” — Inspector’s Comments: “Avoid putting produce boxes on prep counters. Several sweet potatoes downstairs need to be discarded. All thems [items?] should be covered during construction and remediation projects. Timeline needed for remediation project. Service master equipment on site — manager and chef attending a Servsafe training in November.”

Roost Darien H.D. inspection report Nov 5, 2018

Image from H.D. website

Inspector’s comments and remarks part of the Nov. 5 inspection of Roost Darien

—Shake Shack — 1340 Post Road — Nov. 5Town Rating: A — State Score: 97

—Starbucks Coffee Shop — 815 Post Road — Nov. 5Town Rating: A — State Score: 97

—Upper Crust Baker & Cafe — 980 Post Road — Oct. 29Town Rating: A — State Score: 93

—Wee Burn Country Club — 410 Hollow Tree Ridge Road — Nov. 2Town Rating: A — State Score: 93

—Wee Burn Country Club, Satellite— 410 Hollow Tree Ridge Road — Nov. 2Town Rating: A — State Score: 94

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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