The Sun Sets on Aujourd'hui

By | Chowder |

If you haven’t heard already, the Four Seasons announced this weekend that it will close its celebrated restaurant, Aujourd’hui, after a final dinner on June 27. This is sad news for lovers of Boston tradition (the restaurant opened in May of 1985 and served the likes of Julia Child, John F. Kennedy, Jr., Bruce Springsteen and even The Rolling Stones–who each took over the restaurant for private parties at one time or another).

It’s even sadder for fans of chef William Kovel’s excellent food–food which earned the restaurant 5th place in our January ranking of the 50 best restaurants in the city. But as of July 1, if you want to enjoy Aujourd’hui’s gorgeous park view, you’ll have to book a private event, as the dining room is being converted into meeting space.

The news isn’t a complete shock–on recent visits, we noticed the barely-filled dining room. And the formality of the place did seem at odds with the times. But Kovel had instituted several programs to appeal to new guests, including a nice three-course prix fixe for $40, and the lovely “Bubbly Bar Fridays” program, with champagne by the glass and free snacks. We were always impressed with how Kovel’s food hit the sweet spot between modernity and tradition.

But what’s done is done. The hotel blames customers’ changing tastes (thanks a lot, customers), and you can’t help but notice that there’s that recession going on.

As of today, according to Four Seasons PR manager Kristan Fletcher, both Kovel and sommelier Jason Irving are free agents, “exploring their options.” We hope they’ll find something soon. It would be a shame to lose either of these talents to another city.

  • Elizabeth Walsh

    Wow! What a disappointment! My husband and I have always enjoyed dining in Aujourd’hui, expecially since Chef Kovel took over. The food is simply wonderful and we were always surprised that the restaurant downstairs (which serves overpriced average burgers and fries) is busy while Aujourd’hui was typically pretty quiet. We’ll be sure to follow this Chef where ever he ends up.

  • Fran Rubin

    I am so sad to here it will be gone. My husband and I had our wedding dinner in the Le Soir Room of the Four Seasons and would come back for our anniversary. I hope we will be able to have a last dinner there this month. What a loss to elegance and style in this city

  • A Fan

    Perhaps if Aujourd’Hui has been relocated to the first floor of the hotel when the opportunity arose, this talented group would have continued to shine brightly in the Boston culinary world.

    Chef Kovel is a gifted and forward thinking talent who will be followed by those with discriminating palates.

    I am with you, Elizabeth.

  • David Khouri

    Are you kidding me?! How do they intend to keep the reputation of a 5 star hotel without a 5 star restaurant? Aujourd’hui is a wonderful oasis in Boston. The only comfort is knowing that Chef Kovel will end up in what will undoubtedly be the best restaurant in Boston…Four Seasons loss…BIG TIME

  • Out-of-towner

    Typical short sighted decision. I wonder how much they will have to lower room prices when the Four Seasons looses it’s five star rating? Woops, did they forget to factor this in the equation? Would you like a hamburger with your $750 a night room? In the end, the Four Seasons’ loss will be someone else’s gain.