[Above left, Picnic; above right, Kelley & Ping on Greene Street]
Having long since transcended our anger on the matter, we can now see with clarity of soul that the endless string of DOH shutterings—begat by a dingy KFC in the West Village—now represent a permanent part of the Manhattan dining scene. Some months in, let's check in on several recent DOH'd places and how they're conveying the sad news to their patrons, shall we?
1) Upper West Side: Emails a reader, "One favorite UWS restaurant, Picnic, was recently shut down by the DOH for, you guessed it, rats! Picnic has been very successful in the three or so years it's been open. A bit overpriced, but solid, with a 23 food rating in Zagats, they offer French food with high quality ingredients and excellent bread and baked goods."
· ANALYSIS: Plus two points for the folky sign in the window, but minus one point for placing the blame on construction in the area ("this is an area-wide problem, especially in view of the construction of multi-story apartment houses on Broadway"). Score: 1.
2) Soho: Writes another reader, "Popular Soho eatery, Kelley & Ping was shuttered by the Commissioner of Health on Wednesday for failing two separate inspections in five months. One violation was for use of a 'prohibited chemical' and another for 'Single service item reused' as well as general lack of cleanliness. A sign claims the store was padlocked because of 'fruit flies' which is not a violation that would shutter a restaurant."
· ANALYSIS: Beyond the absurdist fruit fry claim (minus 3 points), deduct one additional point for the phone message that states the restaurant will be closed "for repairs" for up to five days. As for the vegetable refuse on the curb, we have no idea. Score: -4.