RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Vinny Montecalvo has been serving up Spaghetti a la Vinny since he and his brothers opened Italian Kitchen West at 8115 West Broad Street in Henrico.
"We opened up December 26th, 1964," Vinny told us.
They made fast fixes when they had 4 critical violations on a state health inspection, including that the meat slicer was encrusted with dried food debris. It was cleaned on the spot.
"Just wipe it down, clean and sanitize it. It had been used, not properly cleaned afterwards. It would have been cleaned before it had been used again, but it wasn't at the time of inspection," said Vinny's wife and co-manager Judy Montecalvo.
Judy showed us that everything in the fridge is properly dated.
"You can see the orange tags which have all of your refrigeration dates on it," she said.
They labeled all the cleaning supplies, and reminded staff to not to touch ready-to-eat foods with bare hands. Judy says their secret to success for 47 years is talking to customers.
"I want them to be honest with me so they can give me feedback so that we continue getting better," said Judy.
Kenn Tico Cuban Bar and Grill at 204 East Grace Street had a similar problem, employees touching ready-to-eat fruits on drinks with their bare hands. It was one of 4 critical violations. All violations were corrected during the inspection. The restaurant did not return our calls for comment.
And in Chesterfield, at Hunan Garden at 10340 Ironbridge Road had 5 critical violations. The report says an employee came in from outside and went to the grill without proper hand washing. The restaurant had 3 critical violations on a follow-up inspection. We contacted Hunan but did not receive comment.
The Richmond Health Department is giving its Food Star Award to Harold's Restaurant at 806 East 22nd Street for excellence on food safety inspections. This mom and pop place says it serves "the best chicken wings this side of heaven."
Fast food restaurants that also won the Food Star Award are Burger King on Jeff Davis Highway, Chick-fil-A on North 13th, and Subway on East Belt Boulevard.