It's really happening, the moment restaurateurs have long been dreading: After a month-long comment period, the DOH has finalized the rules for the new letter grading system. Despite warnings from some of the city's 24,000 food-service establishments that the system will drive them out of business, the DOH is determined to make sure diners know how sanitary their experience will be. As an experiment, we checked some current big-name restaurants (plus our local favorites) to see what they'd score if the grades were assigned today.
- Momofuku Ko: Grade C
- Balthazar: Grade A
- Per Se: Grade A (Zero violation points on last inspection!)
- Masa: Grade A (Barely!)
- The Breslin: Grade A
- Papacitos: Grade A (Barely!)
- Eleven Madison Park: Grade A
- Le Bernardin: Grade A
- River Cafe: Grade A (Zero violation points!)
- Shake Shack UWS: Grade B
The Health Department says that "under the now final rules, a restaurant receiving 0 to 13 violation points on an initial inspection would receive a grade of A, which would be posted immediately. Those with more points would get a chance to improve their scores on a re-inspection conducted a short time later. Those scoring 14 to 27 points on the Re-inspection would get Bs, and those with 28 or more would get Cs. If a restaurant wants to contest a B or C grade, it can post sign that says Grading Pending until it has had a chance to be heard at the Health Department’s Administrative Tribunal."
The first graded inspections will occur in late July, and it will take a little over a year for the Health Department to issue grades to all NYC restaurants.