The Times reports that while the Department of Health is having its budget and staff cut, it hopes to hire 45 restaurant inspectors (to the tune of $4.8 million) in order to implement a new program in which restaurants will be forced to display hygiene scores. This is not good news for places like Payard, which a couple weeks ago scored 53 points due in part to mice; or the Upper East Side location of Sarabeth’s, which just scored a 59 for roaches, mice, and flies; or another high-scorer, Republic. The worst of the current fine-dining offenders? Insieme, which clocked in at 82 back in November.
Update: Insieme’s chef Marco Canora clarifies in the comments: “Over 65 pts of the 82 had to do with our haccp program ..this program allows us to cook ‘sous vide.’ Our violations had to do with improper paperwork...the kitchen at Insieme is spotless.” Having sat at the chef’s counter at Hearth, we’re sure he’s right. Which only raises the question, what good will these scores be if they don’t explain explicitly why exactly a restaurant was docked?