First it was the original Todd English's Olives in Boston..next the much hound loved Di Fara's in NY; which sadly I haven't been to yet. Are the Health Dept's targetting the guy's at the top? In Boston, Olives claimed that the neighborhood was out to get him; resentment over bringing those noisy yuppies to their pristine neighborhood; and sicced the Health Dept on them...Is that what happened to Di Fara's? sort of sounded similar.
Interestingly, in the Boston press and on this board, there is little sympathy for Todd English...if anything, more of a tone of, "he had it coming." I personally love his restaurants because the food is great; but he and his restaurants have a reputation for arrogance... no reservations (except for parties of 6 or more)at his flagship Olives..generally a 2 hour wait unless you get there at 5 PM..not my idea of fine dining..but he gets away with it...and his spectacular success story.. restaurants all around Boston, NY,Las Vegas, Israel, Food Network..great target.
It's interesting how we react when a restaurant is closed by the Health Dept. Restaurants are inspected all the time..warned, fined, and closed...but when it's 1 we know and love..or hate...it brings out strong feelings.
I could imagine a restaurant that had violations might be able to cajole or persuade an inspector to not shut them down...but I have a hard time believing that the Health Dept could shut down a restaurant that met all the sanitary guidelines..they wouldn't manufacture the rat droppings that were in the kitchen at Olives...but, maybe they just look harder for violations in certain instances.