Chefs and restaurateurs bite back at critics all the time, but it's rare to see a restaurant name a special after a critic when he drops them from four stars to two. After a recent chef shuffle, the Denver Post's restaurant critic William Porter gave Denver's the Squeaky Bean a two star review, writing that chef Theo Adley has "work that needs to be done...so the menu "eats" as well as it reads." In its previous iteration, under chef Max Mac-Kissock, Porter had given the Squeaky Bean a full four stars. And now, in honor (?) of the demotion, you can order a William 2-Star Porterhouse steak with a glass of William 2-Star Porter beer to wash it down.
The beer is a collaboration with local brewery Bull & Bush; its tagline riffs on a quote from Porter's review: "Beers come and go, here's hoping this one stays." The restaurant is known for cheeky cocktail names, often creating drinks named after recently deceased celebrities including recent odes to Shirley Temple and Harold Ramis.
In October of 2012, San Francisco sandwichery 1058 Hoagie responded to SF Weekly critic Anna Roth's review that ran with the headline "Deli Bored" by launching an "Anna Roth Is Boring" menu. But perhaps the greatest restaurant response to a bad review of all time is when Lockhart Smokehouse in Dallas threw a "Fork You Leslie Brenner Day" after Dallas Morning News critic Leslie Brenner bemoaned the barbecue restaurant's ban on forks. They also ran a baloney special, writing on Facebook, "Ours will be Smoked, not written."