by Kate Schmidt
Alan and Kevin Shikami announced today that they will close their six-year-old restaurant Kevin on March 1. Here's an excerpt from their bittersweet statement:
"On a Saturday night, when the room is full, and you wander the room, stopping to visit with old friends who remember the first day you opened, when there was no liquor license, and the Italian design chairs were still on the high seas, the quiet days before the explosion of people and reservations, and the joy of running to keep up, on a Saturday night like that you can almost believe that the old times are not just old times and there is life still in this space, with this chef and this staff that has stayed with you since the beginning of time.
"But there are too many Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, too many Januarys and Julys and Augusts. You wait for the business to come back, but the years pass and the sales decline. . . . What is the name of that town in the movie that is there, for a moment, and then gone? There is something both sad and beautiful about the passing of a magical thing. . . .
"There were six good years. We say thank you to our customers, to our many suppliers, purveyors and distributors, and to you, for your kind attention."
Kevin may be going the way of Brigadoon, but Shikago, the brothers' newer venture, appears to be thriving. Our critic, David Hammond, swooned over it, and the restaurant has ambitious plans for Valentine's Day: "40 on 40," a five-course prix fixe dinner for up to 40 couples served in the Phillip Johnson-designed law library 40 floors above the LaSalle Street restaurant. Items on the menu include lobster medallions in ginger-passion fruit broth, seared ostrich with strawberry-balsamic coulis, wild striped bass in lemongrass-galanga broth, and a hoisin-glazed fillet of beef with wild mushrooms, sesame, parsnips, and steamed potato-scallion dumplings with white truffle oil. Dessert's a flourless chocolate cake with strawberry-champagne sabayon and white chocolate mousse. It's $140.
In the meantime, the Shikamis encourage fans to pay their last regards to Kevin, promising wine discounts.