About 85 percent of restaurants in New York currently hold A grades from the Health Department, which, by the city's count, is 20 percent more than it was in the first few months after the city started giving restaurants letter grades in 2010. Daniel Kass, the deputy commissioner for environmental health, tells AM New York that this is proof that the DOH's new grading system is working, because the prospect of having a B or a C in the window has "forced some restaurants to step up their game." It should also be noted, however, that new legislation in the past year has made the restaurant grading system more consistent and less brutal than it was originally. Still, somewhat hearteningly, only 385 restaurants out of the 20,000-plus in the city have a C grade (of course that doesn't count restaurants that go shut down).
Other fun DOH facts for the day: The Lower East Side has more C-rated restaurants than any other neighborhood (14 total). Jackson Heights is the neighborhood with the most "grade pending" restaurants (i.e. restaurant's that are awaiting re-inspection after failing to get an A the first time). Of course, it's important to note that bad grades can happen for any number of reasons. Maybe the restaurant space turns out to be an irreparable hell hole. Maybe the DOH doesn't like its classical French potato cooking technique. Or maybe it just has too many chairs.