The Sun Sets on Aujourd'hui

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.