April 20, 2014

Oct 7, 201205:52 PMTable Talk

Tragara closing, 4935 Bar & Kitchen taking its place

Oct 7, 2012 - 05:52 PM
Tragara closing, 4935 Bar & Kitchen taking its place

Tragara Ristorante, the longtime Italian eatery with an upstairs banquet room that’s hosted many a Bethesda Bar Mitzvah, is closing at the end of October.

The 26-year-old restaurant, owned for the past 18 years by Claude Amsellem, will become 4935 Bar & Kitchen, a Modern American restaurant with a French-Indian twist.

Amsellem, 73, is having health problems, according to Tragara manager Henry Tajiani. All private parties after October have been cancelled, and deposits have been returned, Tajiani said.

The new restaurant will be owned and operated by 26-year-old chef Ashish Alfred, a graduate of Rockville’s Magruder High School and the French Culinary Institute in Manhattan. His family founded AlfredHouse Eldercare Inc, a group of eight assisted-living facilities in Montgomery County.

Alfred, who said he interned with some of Manhattan’s top chefs (including Daniel Boulud and Mario Batali) was trained in classical French cuisine, but grew up eating Indian food.

The fusion fare at 4935 Bar & Kitchen will include dishes such as tandoori pork chops; mussels and clams steamed in coriander, coconut milk, white wine, ginger, garlic and shallots, and seared scallops with jalapeno quinoa and beurre blanc.

Alfred said he is not sure yet about menu prices, but estimated that it will be a “little cheaper than Black’s [Bar & Kitchen].”

Renovation of the space will begin in mid-November, and Alfred said he’s shooting for an “elegant industrial chic” look. Plans are to leave the kitchen as-is, save for updating some of the equipment. He said he hopes to open by the end of the year, but January may be more realistic.

Amsellem’s long history of hosting private events will hopefully continue, and Alfred intends to keep several elements of the successful banquet menus.

When the upstairs space isn’t being used for a private party, however, it will function as a gastro pub. Alfred said he has some “great mixologists” on board.

As for the name of the new restaurant, “it kind of picked itself,” said Alfred, who just wanted to keep things simple. It’s the address and last four digits of the phone number.

4935 Cordell Ave., Bethesda, 301-951-4935, http://www.facebook.com/4935BarKitchen 

The following photos are from a "Menu Preview" post on 4935 Bar and Kitchen's Facebook page.

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Welcome to Table Talk, the blog version of the column in Bethesda Magazine. Be one of the first to find out about new restaurants and food shops, and join in the lively discussion about first bites, snipes and recommendations.

Before becoming Food Editor of Bethesda Magazine, Carole Sugarman was an award-winning food reporter for The Washington Post for 20 years. She has also written for national food magazines and a food policy newsletter, as well as judged cookbook and cooking contests. She lives in Chevy Chase where she eats PB&J for lunch when she’s not working.

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