New York State Senator Jeff Klein has released his annual “Dirty Dozen” list of the cleanest and dirtiest restaurants in the city, and leaving aside the non-surprises (El Barrio Restaurant in Harlem takes No. 1, a Golden Krust in Flatbush takes No. 2), East Village charmer 26 Seats has the twelfth most violations. Of course, a restaurant with 26 seats doesn’t make for good publicity, so Klein, in his press release, goes after an Iron Chef.
Del Posto Ristorante on 10th Avenue in the Meatpacking District is part of celebrity chef Mario Batali’s growing restaurant empire and has been accumulating critical accolades since its 2006 opening. It was given a three star rating by critic Frank Bruni of the New York Times and awarded two stars by the 2007 and 2008 New York Michelin Restaurant Guide. Proving that even world-class kitchens cannot afford to scrimp on pest control and other food safety measures, Del Posto failed its June 17th health department inspection with two pest violations and food that was “spoiled, adulterated, contaminated or cross-contaminated.” In total, the restaurant received 44 violation points, well over the 28 point threshold for failure.