Mayor Bloomberg has previously declared on record that he would never patronize any restaurant that received a C grade from the Health Department. So what does this mean for his favorite diner, Viand Cafe on the Upper East Side, where Bloomberg has supped with everyone from Eliot Spitzer to then-Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano? Viand was slapped with 36 violation points in its latest inspection (only 28 points are needed to get a C grade). The reason for this disgrace? According to the Health Department website:
- Hot food item not held at or above 140º F.
- Cold food item held above 41º F (smoked fish and reduced oxygen packaged foods above 38 ºF) except during necessary preparation.
- Evidence of mice or live mice present in facility's food and/or non-food areas.
- Filth flies or food/refuse/sewage-associated (FRSA) flies present in facility’s food and/or non-food areas. Filth flies include house flies, little house flies, blow flies, bottle flies and flesh flies. Food/refuse/sewage-associated flies include fruit flies, drain flies and Phorid flies.
- Food not protected from potential source of contamination during storage, preparation, transportation, display or service.
- Facility not vermin proof. Harborage or conditions conducive to attracting vermin to the premises and/or allowing vermin to exist.
Viand was also cited for an administrative violation: "Manufacture of frozen dessert not authorized on Food Service Establishment permit." The restaurant will have another chance to clean up its act before it has to put up the C grade, and manager Angelo Pelengaris seems confident. "Most of the violations were from a fridge in the kitchen," he tells the Post. "When they come back, we will get an A. It's a very clean place."
Yesterday, a reporter doggedly grilled Bloomberg to get his position on this important issue. The mayor declined to comment, but his spokesman says "The whole system was designed to avoid a rush to judgment, and that's just what the mayor will do." Unfortunately for Viand, the mayor's patronage is a double-edged sword; it's doubtful the Post would be reporting on a diner's health code violations if Bloomberg wasn't a regular there.