The night started off with high expectations, but turned out to be mostly about restaurant hygiene. Our itinerary included dinner at Sam’s Place, a favorite of ours, and then, for dessert, a slice of cake from the Buttercup Bake Shop, a bakery that I discovered a few days ago. (Their carrot cake is absolutely delicious!) 

These days, I pay close attention to the NYC Health Department’s restaurant certification, which is supposed to be prominently displayed. I rarely go to restaurants with less than an A rating. At Sam’s Place, the certification appeared to be missing until I discovered a B rating, obscured (no doubt “accidentally”) under some other postings. Somehow the hidden certification bothered me more than the sub-par rating itself. We moved on.

On our way to another restaurant, we passed the Buttercup Bake Shop, and oddly, it appeared closed, even though it was within the posted hours. (This is a common occurrence in Portland but unusual for New York.)

After a wonderful dinner at Chola Eclectic Indian Cuisine (an A rating), we headed back to the Buttercup Bake Shop, still hoping for a slice of that mouthwatering carrot cake. As we approached the Buttercup, we could see it was completely shuttered and locked. Then we saw the Notice. It was posted on the window (see photo at top).

I don’t know how far below A or B rating you need to go to get this kind of Health Department action, but after eating two slices of cake from the Buttercup this week, the Heath Department closure made me laugh and feel queasy at the same time.