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Tragara, Owner Claude Amsellem's Fine Italian Dining in Downtown Bethesda with Chef Michel Laudier - Closed

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It is tragic, to me, that the very first post on Tragara announces its closing.

I am proud to have written this review in the summer of 2011, and I stand by every word I wrote. I ask that you read it out of respect for the institution, for Mr. Amsellem, and for Chef Laudier.

Tragara is being retired in Italic in the Dining Guide. Along with Rock Creek, it is only the second restaurant ever to be retired in Italic in all of Bethesda, where it was a Top 3 restaurant. Tragara was a warm, welcoming place for senior citizens to enjoy a civilized meal, and it's a shame that our local press didn't recognize it for the excellent and important restaurant that it was.

Every time I become complacent, and decide that I couldn't care less if I'm powerful and influential, something like this happens to jolt me into realizing that I need to have more influence - if I had, then Tragara would not have closed.

Thank you, Mr. Amsellem and Chef Laudier, for maintaining such a fine restaurant to enjoy a civilized meal.

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Man, that sucks.

I don't think I had been this century. It was always expensive and it got more so. And the timing was never right.

I feel like bits and pieces of my history are disappearing. You should hear me and Mr. BLB recite the list of movie theaters that have gone since we've lived here... Sigh...

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sorta feel like bookluvingbabe. I haven't been to Tragara in ages, but when I lived in North Bethesda I dined there occasionally. It was always enjoyable, somewhat formal, always spectacular meals, tremendous FOH service, impeccable, polite, totally enjoyable...and always expensive. I also attended one event there. A terrific place for a party, small wedding or event, though probably quite expensive.

Wonder why it never got coverage...it was so good. Sad to hear its moved on.

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This is very sad. Especially and selfishly because I never knew about Tragara and thus never went. Don's review reminds me of a few places that still exist up in NY and the tri-state area. One in CT not far from Greenwich run by a now older gentleman who immigrated from Italy years ago and evolved into a sort of more serious Italian Tony Shalhoub (Big Night) character. Incredibly welcoming and gracious, formal but charming and ultra professional. And, though self-taught, exceptionally skilled in the kitchen or advising on wine. Can't recall the name. Sounds like that's along the lines of what I missed experiencing at Tragara.

And, guessing this closure is a retirement so likely no second act?

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