Restaurant Alert: Cosi, Dean & Deluca won't show kitchen

WASHINGTON (WUSA9) - Two of Washington's best known restaurants for repeat closures refused to allow WUSA9 Restaurant Alert to look inside their kitchens during unannounced visits.

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Both were closed twice by inspectors, but passed health department re-inspections.

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Dean & Deluca

Georgetown's Dean & Deluca is known for caviar, high priced cheeses, and some of Washington's most expensive groceries, but inspectors say they found live and dead mice during the most recent inspection..

During our visit, a choir of birds tweeted at us in the high-end grocer's enclosed patio dining area.

We also found areas heavily soiled with bird droppings and what looked like small rodent droppings on the patio.

The cheeses, truffles and foie gras appeared perfectly displayed.

In our February 2013 report, we noted an inspection report obtained by WUSA9 cited 19 violations including live birds and roaches, as well as feces from rats and mice.

In the 2014 closure, inspectors cited 14 violations, including rodents, and instead of proper cooling at the safe, required 41 degrees, their fine sword fish, steak and roasted chicken stored at improper temperatures as high as 50 degrees.

Experts say sickening bacteria can grow rapidly as temperatures exceed 41 degrees.

A man who had just spent $13 on a few ounce of seafood salad was surprised.

"Ouch," he said looking at his plastic container of Dean & Deluca carryout. "That's discouraging."

In the recent inspection, inspectors cited mice upstairs in the food prep area and "around the cheese display."

When we asked to see those areas, a Dean and Deluca manager declined our request to see behind counters and asked we e-mail a request.

We've received no response.

Cosi at Metro Center:

Tuesday, just as we'd gotten out our flashlight and started looking around in the public dining area, a manager approached us and asked us to leave.

We were also kicked out after their May 2013 closure where inspectors cited 17 violations. It and February's 11 citation both timed cited "mouse droppings"

The franchise owner, shortly after last month's second closure vowed the store is improving standards and made a $10,000 pledge to stay rodent free.

When Inspectors shut Cosi down last month, we told the franchise owner that we would be returning and that we would want to look inside that Cosi kitchen to see if it was clean. They wouldn't allow it, so we can't tell you, what the conditions are today, inside that Cosi.

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