A Dining-Out Guide

Nobody likes a critic of any kind, especially when they have received a bad review. Robert Shoffner, Washingtonian magazine wine and food critic, showed up late last month at Jean Louis at the Watergate, a restaurant famous for being expensive. When Jean Louis Palladin saw Shoffner he came to his table to say two earlier Shoffner reviews had been bad for business and he wouldn't serve him. Shoffner pointed out the restaurateur had no choice and called in the police to explain the law to Palladin.

Shoffner then ordered from the $95-a-person menu, but was then told the kitchen was out of everything. He could order oysters, smoked salmon and prosciutto, which he did. There would also be no desserts except for fresh fruit. Shoffner was not to get anything prepared in the kitchen. The critic left the restaurant, but did not give up the fight. The following day he went to the D.C. Office of Human Rights to prepare a complaint against Jean Louis.

Last Thursday, however, Shoffner again went to Jean Louis and was served from the $95-a-plate menu. He said yesterday, "Jean Louis and I played a match and I won. I have no hard feelings; it's a new ball game." Shoffner did not comment on the quality of the meal. Palladin said through a spokesman he would like to mend the fences with Shoffner now that the smoke has cleared.