I've wanted to comment too, so I guess this is my chance, given to me by Paul:
I don't know Dom and I have never been to his restaurant... have never eaten in a NY restaurant, so I can't speak for the level of "normal" cleanliness or how closely codes are actually followed... and I'm not formally trained,
BUT I have MANY years of food-service experience, starting with waiting tables (for 90 cents/hour!) when I was 15... waiting those tables on the graveyard shift when I turned 18 (LOTS goes on in the dark that the dayside would NEVER believe, trust me!) and then there's my 12 years in a large, upscale Puget Sound grocery store chain Deli... 7.5 of which were as the manager. I don't know about NY, but in my area, the Health Dept really puts everyone's feet to the fire. And our company was so pro-active that we hired Proctor and Gamble as our own "health dept" who visited each deli at least once a month and dug deep! For one example, we followed HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point) and had to keep ALL our temp logs on site for 90 days prior. They wanted to see those logs, all properly filled out (hot, cold, cold-->hot, hot-->cold, cooler, freezer, etc) so that there was a paper trail for each and every item in the deli. Then there were the little things, like a fine film of cheese on the bevel of the blade on the dedicated cheese slicer. That film would cost a couple of points... the list goes on. I quit after Kroger bought us... and added to the misery (Buck/Bull ratio tanked), esp for the managers... and, in talking to my friends who still work there, it has only gotten MORE picky than it was before, on all fronts, not just kitchen and food safety.
Also, if our State Health Dept found a problem, they were required to make more frequent visits AND dig deeper for more problems other than the first one they found. That's why you never want that first red flag to go up.
My point? Rodents are a basic, major issue. If Dom knows there are rodents and their excreta on his premises, he should fix the problem without being told by anyone, let alone the Health Dept. When they find it and cite him, then he should REALLY fix the problem... if they CLOSE him because he refuses, that's his problem, no matter how good his pizza is. If he had fixed it straightaway, that first red flag would not have gone up and he would still be open.
So, not knowing him, my question: is this a fine example of the "NY-no-soup-for-you" attitude that we hear about? Or is that just a NY myth, 'cause, boy-howdy, you sure don't run into that kinda thing on the Left Coast, not IMHE, anyway! We're much more likely to kiss a customer's ass than bite it! Our corporate buffoons came up with the idea that when we walked up to the counter to wait on a customer, we were REQUIRED to first greet them with "Hello! How may I help you today?" and nothing else! So, we *thought* "Hello! How may I kiss your ass today?" and it wasn't so painful!